AFCON Player of the Day: Essam El Hadary

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Essam El Hadary celebrates after winning the semi-final clash.

A 4-3 win on penalties, thanks to the brilliance of Essam El Hadary, after a 1-1 draw in normal time, led Egypt to a win over Burkina Faso and a AFCON final berth.

After goals from Mohamed Salah and Aristide Bance for both sides respectively, the two teams could not be separate after 90 minutes and extra-time.

And while Burkina Faso had the lead in the early stages of the shootout, it was a complete turnaround as their goalkeeper Herve Koffi and then Traore were both denied by El Hadary to hand Egypt a spectacular win.

44-year-old El Hadary is also the oldest Nations Cup player in history.

Meanwhile, Egypt will lock horns against the winner of the semi-final clash between Ghana and Cameroon, which takes place on Sunday.

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AFCON Player of the Day: Mahmoud Kahraba

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Despite being the most successful team in the history of the African Cup of Nations, Egypt came into the 2017 edition of the tournament under considerable pressure, having failed to qualify for the previous three editions. Thanks to Mahmoud Kahraba, The Pharaohs are into the semi-final.

Kahraba, on as a substitute, hooked home an 87th-minute winner in a dramatic finish to Egypt’s quarter-final match against Morocco. The 22-year-old ensured Egypt secured their first win over Morocco in 31 years, setting up a semi-final clash against Burkina Faso on Wednesday. Egypt will now surely fancy their chances of reaching the final.

In the day’s other game, the Ayew brothers starred for Ghana as they edged past the Democratic Republic of Congo to reach the last four. Jordan Ayew opened the scoring in the second half, and after Congo found an equalizer, Andre Ayew put Ghana up for good with a calmly-taken penalty.

Ghana will play Cameroon in the other semi-final.

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AFCON Player of the Day: Joseph Ondoa

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Cameroon knocked favourites Senegal out of the African Cup of Nations with a penalty shoot-out victory to book their place in the semi-finals.

After a goalless 120 minutes at the Stade de Franceville, Sadio Mane proved the fall guy and Cameroon goalkeeper Joseph Ondoa the hero as he saved the Liverpool winger’s spot-kick.

In scenes reminiscent of Cameroon’s 2002 final victory in this tournament over the same opponents, Vincent Aboubakar then made no mistake with his penalty to seal the deal 5-4.

Before the half-hour mark, Mane put Mame Diouf through – but the Stoke striker was closed down by the busy Ondoa and put the ball over the crossbar.

Ondoa reacted well early in the second half to keep out Mane’s header and did enough to stop Keita Balde Diao’s follow-up challenge almost on the goalline.

Mane and substitute Moussa Sow both had good opportunities as Senegal pressed for a late winner, but – when needed – Ondoa proved too good.

Can Cameroon now go on to lift the AFCON trophy this year?

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