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DR Congo Advances; Premier League Awaits Senegal vs Ivory

DR Congo Advances; Premier League Awaits Senegal vs Ivory

Max-Alain Gradel
Ivory Coast's forward #15 Max-Alain Gradel takes part in a training session in Yamoussoukro on January 28, 2024, on the eve of the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) round of 16 football match between Senegal and Ivory Coast.(Image-Getty) 

 The Democratic Republic of Congo secured a spot in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) quarter-finals after a thrilling encounter, triumphing over the seven-time champions, Egypt, in a tense penalty shootout that ended 8-7 following a 1-1 deadlock during regular play.

Meschack Elia made a decisive header off a well-placed cross from Yoane Wissa of Brentford, putting Congo in the lead at the 37th minute mark. Egypt, led by Arsenal's Mohamed Elneny but missing the injured Mohamed Salah, managed to level the score just before halftime as Mostafa Mohamed successfully converted a penalty kick.

Egypt faced adversity when left-back Mohamed Hamdy received his second yellow card early into extra time, reducing his team to ten players. Despite both teams pushing for a winning goal, the deadlock persisted, leading to a tense penalty shootout. Goalkeeper Lionel Mpasi emerged as the hero, confidently converting the decisive spot-kick, paving the way for Congo to advance to the quarter-finals, where they are set to face Guinea in an eagerly anticipated clash scheduled for Friday.

The AFCON final is slated for February 10, promising further excitement and drama. In the upcoming match between Senegal and Ivory Coast, scheduled for Monday, a total of ten Premier League players are expected to take the field. Notable names include Moussa Niakhate of Nottingham Forest, Fode Ballo-Toure of Fulham, Pape Sarr of Tottenham Hotspur, Cheikhou Kouyate of Nottingham Forest, Idrissa Gueye of Everton, and Nicolas Jackson of Chelsea, representing Senegal, while Ivory Coast's roster includes Simon Adingra of Brighton, Serge Aurier of Nottingham Forest, Willy Boly of Nottingham Forest, and Ibrahim Sangare of Nottingham Forest.

Looking ahead to the final round of 16 matches on Tuesday, the Premier League will be well-represented with seven players potentially in action. Among them are Mali's Yves Bissouma of Tottenham Hotspur and Boubacar Traore of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Burkina Faso's Issa Kabore, Dango Ouattara of Bournemouth, and Bertrand Traore of Aston Villa, as well as Morocco's Nayef Aguerd and Sofyan Amrabat of Manchester United.

Here are the latest results and upcoming fixtures for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) round of 16 matches:


- **27 January:**

  - Angola secured a commanding 3-0 victory over Namibia.

  - Nigeria clinched a narrow 1-0 win against Cameroon.

- **28 January:**

  - Guinea narrowly defeated Equatorial Guinea with a score of 1-0.

  - Egypt and DR Congo battled to a 1-1 draw, with DR Congo emerging victorious 8-7 on penalties.

**Upcoming Fixtures:**

- **29 January:**

  - Cape Verde will face Mauritania in an eagerly anticipated match.

  - Senegal will take on Ivory Coast in what promises to be a thrilling encounter.

- **30 January:**

  - Mali will clash with Burkina Faso in a highly anticipated match.

  - Morocco will go head-to-head against South Africa in what is expected to be an intense showdown.

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