Egypt and Ghana have both advanced to the semi-finals of the 2017 AFCON after both recording wins this morning.
Seven-time champions Egypt won an all North African affair against Morocco and in the process ruined any hopes that Morocco manager Herve Renard had on winning the AFCON with three separate nations.
Renard previously won titles with Zambia in 2012 and Ivory Coast in 2015.
Egypt advanced on the back of Mahmoud Abdel-Moneim prodded strike just three minutes from time. Morocco had failed to deal with the impending cross and watched in despair as the goal saw it crash out of the AFCON.
To be fair, Morocco only had themselves to blame after being incredibly wasteful in front of goal. Twice it was denied by the crossbar as Romain Saiss and midfielder Mbark Boussoufa hit the woodwork and beat the keeper only to see their efforts rebound away.
As time eked away, panic seemed to set in to the Moroccan camp. Aziz Bouhaddouz was denied just before Egypt scored and it appeared as if it wasn’t going to be for the Moroccans.
Just as it looked like extra time was the only solution for breaking the deadlock, Abdel-Moneim hit a low shot on the spin to send his side through to the final four.
Egypt is still yet to conceded a goal and despite the wastefulness of their North African rivals, were very strong defensively again and continually worked for each other in the back.
Egypt will face off against Burkina Faso in the semi finals on Wednesday.
In the other quarter final match up, Ghana had the brotherly connection of Jordan and Andre Ayew to thank as it fended off DR Congo 2-1 in a match that didn’t get going till after the hour mark.
Not too dissimilar to Morocco’s issues in front of goal, DR Congo was wasteful with Dieumerci Mbokani squandering several chances.
His first opportunity was also the first chance of the game that came on six minutes.
After a mix up in the back from Ghana, Mbikani made a meal of his shot and was denied.
AFCON leading goal scorer Junior Kabananga then blasted over the bar on 25 minutes when he should have done better with his effort.
Just before the half-time interval Mbokani again broke through but sliced his skewed shot into the side netting.
Ghana spurred into life in the second half on the back of Jordan Ayew’s goal justr past the hour mark.
The Aston Villa man disposed a DR Congo defender before racing down field and calming slotting into the back of the net.
DR Congo bounced back less than 10 minutes later through Mpoku who placed his shot hiome to restore parity. However the celebrations wouldn’t last as Ghana received a penalty on 78 minutes after Christian Atsu was clumsily tackled by Lomalisa Mutambala.
Andre Ayew made no mistakes from the spot and giving Ghana the winning goal.
The win ensures Ghana a sixth consecutive semi final appearance in the AFCON’s with its fans hoping to end the 35-year title drought that has haunted the African giants.
Ghana will play against Cameroon in the semi-final’s on Thursday.