Egypt eased into the knock-out stages of the Africa Cup of Nations courtesy of a 1-0 victory over a toothless Sudan in Yaoundé.
Mohamed Abdelmonem’s first half strike was enough to earn the Pharaohs their second victory of the tournament as he was left unmarked near the six-yard line and dipped to powerfully head home a corner.
Carlos Queiroz’s side dominated proceedings throughout, but were unable to put the game to bed thanks to some poor finishing and fine goalkeeping.
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Sudan stopper Mohamed Mustafa, who came off injured at half-time, denied Abdalla El Said, while Amr Soleya should have done better with a 20-yard finish that he blazed over after the break.
That left the door open for Sudan to get an unlikely draw, but the closest they came was with a late deflected free-kick from Mohamed Abdelrahman which Mohamed El Shenawy fumbled to safety.

TALKING POINT

Where are the goals coming from for Egypt? Victory and ultimately progression to the knock-out stages raises the question of how far Egypt can go in this tournament.
The seven-time winners, which is more Africa Cup of Nations titles than any other country, have not looked at their fluent best so far during the tournament.
Mo Salah in particular is being well marshalled, and that in turn restricts their scoring options.
Carlos Queiroz’s side had plenty of chances elsewhere on the field in this fixture, but their finishing was wayward and they really should have made the scoreline look more comfortable.
In the end, they did enough to win, but you feel trickier tests lie ahead, especially for their defence, who had very little to do all evening.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Mohamed Abdelmonem (Egypt). In a match lacking much quality in the final third, he provided the moment of magic required to see the Pharaohs through to the knock-out stages.

The defender had never previously scored for his country, but he was criminally left unmarked in a dangerous area, and duly headed his side into the last-16.
Otherwise, Abdelmonem had a comfortable evening, covering all the ground he needed to and ensuring all his defensive duties were completed without much need for concern.

Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah (R) celebrates next to Sudan's midfielder Mustafa Ahmed Saeed Elfadni and Egypt's forward Mostafa Mohamed at the end of the Group D Africa Cup of Nations

Image credit: Getty Images

PLAYER RATINGS

EGYPT: El Shenawy 6, Kamal 6, Ashraf 6, Soleya 5, Hegazy 6, Abdelmonem 7, Elneny 7, El Said 7, Mohamed 7, Salah 7, Marmoush 7. Subs: Zizo 6, Trezeguet 6. Fathi N/A, Hamdy N/A
SUDAN: Mustafa 8, Elfandi 6, Mohamedein 5, Khedr 5, Hassan 5, Karshoum 6, Majoub 5, Al Rashed 5, Abdelrahman 5, Hussein 5, Abdelrazig Omer 5. Subs: Achrine 7, Gumaa Abas Omer 6, Hamed 6, Makki 6

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

35’ GOAL - EGYPT 1-0 SUDAN (Abdelmonem): It has been coming! Another set piece and another header. Mohamed Abdelmonem dips to nod from the edge of the six yard box. Mustafa had no chance but his defence will be disappointed
41’ TERRIFIC SAVE BY MUSTAFA. The Pharaoh's are really pushing for a second before the break. Abdalla El Said bursts into the box and strikes goalwards, but his fierce shot is tipped around the post
60’ TIP-TOEING SALAH. The Egyptian dances his way past several defenders and it looks like this will be the moment he doubles the lead, only for a low shot to be well saved
66’ GLORIOUS CHANCE FOR EGYPT! It really should be 2-0. Salah lays off to Soleya who is in acres of space on the edge of the area, but he’s leaning back and cracks his shot narrowly over the bar
80’ CLOSE! Sudan have their best chance yet as a low free-kick is fired in by Abdelrahman. It takes a huge deflection and Shenawy fumbles, but does enough

KEY STATS

  • Egypt have lost just two of their last 24 games in normal time
  • Sudan have now won only one of their sixteen games at the Africa Cup of Nations since lifting the title back in 1970
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