The final four semifinals spot of Africa Cup of Nations 2017 have been decided after Egypt and Ghana secured victories in their respective quarterfinals to join Burkina Faso and Cameroon in the last four. The Ayew brothers were in sparkling form for Ghana, who got the better of DR Congo, while Egypt beat Morocco by a slender 1-0 margin on Sunday.
All eyes were on the huge clash between seven-time champions Egypt and Morocco, and the match was quite close from the first whistle. Morocco knew about the task ahead of them with Egypt's solid defence, which had not leaked-in a single goal.
The Morocco players did receive some chances at goal, but they failed to make it count. With Morocco playing with three central defenders, Egypt also did not find it too easy to break open their defence, and with Morocco getting huge support from the crowd, they were pressing for the all-important winning goal to reach the semis.
Just when one thought that the game would head over towards an extra-time, Egypt's Mahmoud Kahraba broke the heart of Morocco players with a goal in the 88th minute, which eventually helped them reach the semifinals.
Though Morocco's coach Herve Renard's dream of winning his third Africa Cup of Nations was brought to an end by Egypt, he had some positive words for the winning team. Renard had won the title earlier with Zambia and Ivory Coast.
"Congratulations to Egypt and their coach. They are a very, very strong team who on a difficult pitch managed to play football, so when they find themselves on a better pitch it will be difficult to beat them," AFP quoted Renard as saying.
The other semi-final between Ghana and DR Congo was entertaining. Ghana have been one of the teams to watch with their good football. Despite their flair, they were not able to break the deadlock, nor could Ghana in the first 45 minutes, which produced few chances for both the teams.
However, the major action took part in the second half with Jordan Ayew scoring the opening goal for Ghana in the 63rd minute. Their joy did not last long with DR Congo's Paul Jose M'Poku's stunning strike five minutes later levelled the game at 1-1.
It was some quality football from both the teams, which made the game interesting as Ghana once again regained the lead with Andre Ayew slotting the spot-kick, which was awarded to them after Christian Atsu was brought down with just under 13 minutes left for the game to end.
Ghana held their nerve to contain Congo's attack and move into the semifinals.