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Cape Verde and Egypt seal last-16 places at Cup of Nations

CAPE Verde’s Bryan Teixeira scored a 99th-minute equaliser as they held record seven-time champions Egypt to a 2-2 Group B draw at the Africa Cup of Nations, with both sides reaching the last-16 after a pulsating clash.

Cape Verde had already been confirmed as group winners before a ball was kicked and took the lead against the run of play through striker Benchimol at the end of the first half.

Egypt hit back five minutes into the second period when Trezeguet produced a neat finish from a tight angle before Mostafa Mohamed thought he had won the game in added time after racing onto a long pass to score but Teixeira had the final say.

Cape Verde claimed the Group B top spot with seven points from their three games followed by Egypt on three points in second place and Ghana third with two points.

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The group phase finishes on Wednesday when Ghana, who drew 2-2 with Mozambique, will find out if they are one of the best third-place finishers to advance.

Egypt was again without striker Mohamed Salah, who could sit out the remainder of the tournament after his agent, Ramy Abbas, revealed on Monday that the Liverpool striker faces three or four weeks on the sidelines with his muscle injury.

That would take him very close to, or beyond, the February 11 Cup of Nations final.

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Cape Verde took the lead against the run of play with their first shot of the game on the stroke of halftime.

Kenny Rocha produced a cross from the right, Ryan Mendes touched the ball on and Benchimol struck a low shot into the net on the turn with a superb finish.

Trezeguet fired over for Egypt seconds after coming on as a halftime substitute but their early pressure in the half paid dividends as they netted an excellent equaliser.

Ahmed Hegazy’s one-two with Trezeguet was perfect for the latter to drive home a shot from a tight angle.

Mohamed should have put Egypt ahead in the final six minutes from six yards out but he ballooned the ball over the bar before making up for the miss with a goal in the 93rd minute.

However, there was still time for Cape Verde to spoil the party as Teixeira scored when the ball fell to him in the box, ensuring Egypt played to a third straight 2-2 group draw.

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By The African Mirror

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