The seven-time champions held its nerve in the penalty shootout win courtesy of two excellent saves by its veteran keeper Essam El-Hadary in the win over Burkina Faso.
Earlier on a goal to Egypt’s Mohammad Salah had given the North African giants the lead with less than 25 minutes remaining, before Burkina Faso’s Aristide Bance placed the ball beautifully to restore parity with 15 minutes left.
The game itself was crappy and cagey throughout. From the opening whistle Egypt was content on defending and playing deep in its own half and only being a threat on the counter. The defensive approach was no different to what Egypt has done before and it again brought it success despite Bance’s 73rd minute effort being the first goal it has conceded in the whole tournament.
Burkina Faso were the better of the two sides for a large majority of the game.
Betrand Traore created the first opportunity on 7 minutes with a stinging strike that was well saved by El-Hadary whose poor clearance had gifted the Burkini’s with good field position.
It continued to test El-Hadary from outside the area but weren’t able to find any success.
With the match moving past the hour mark, it was a spot of brilliance from the in-form Salah, who hit a curling effort from outside the box to open the scoring. Salah has been superb for the Egyptian’s and his strike was something of real quality.
Burkina Faso wouldn’t lie down however and hit back less than ten minutes later through Bance. After chesting the ball down, he controlled the ball with poise before lashing his volley high into the net.
The rest of regulation time, along with the 30 minutes of extra time was met with few clear cut chances as both sides became increasingly nervous about what was to come.
In the shootout, Burkina Faso made the perfect start when shot-stopper Herve Koffi made a pearler of a save to deny Abdallah El Said’s shot from the spot.
However it went from ecstasy to agony for Koffi who was denied from the penalty spot with the fourth shot.
El-Hadary was the star by saving two spot kicks including one off his opposite number Koffi to send Egypt through to the final by the tune of 4-3 in the shootout.
It will play the winner of Ghana Vs Cameroon who play tomorrow.
The final is on Sunday night whilst the third-place playoff will feature Burkina Faso against the loser of Ghana Vs Cameroon on Saturday night.