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Last Updated: Friday, 3 February 2006, 18:53 GMT
Egypt 4-1 DR Congo
By James Copnall
BBC Sport, Cairo

The hosts Egypt booked a semi-final date with Senegal in the African Cup of Nations after a relatively easy 4-1 win over DR Congo.

Egypt's Hossam Hassan
Hossam Hassan scored Egypt's second against the DR Congo

Ahmed Hassan, who knocked in two set-pieces, the veteran Hosam Hassan and Emad Moteab netted Egypt's goals, with the DR Congo goal coming Egypt defender Mohamed El Saka put the ball into his own net for an own goal.

Claude LeRoy's DR Congo were one of the more attractive sides in the competition, and will be happy with the performance overall despite being knocked out in Friday's quarter-final.

After only 15 seconds the Congo captain Lomana LuaLua had the game's first shot, a curling effort that did not miss the Egypt goal by much.

Mohamed Barakat, the 2005 African footballer of the year, replied with Egypt's first attempt, to the delight of the crowd of more than 70,000.

The next to threaten was the 39-year-old Hossam Hassan, the Egypt captain in the absence of the injured Mido, but he too did not worry the Congolese keeper Pascal Kalemba.

The Egyptians were shading the possession, but were finding it difficult to break down Congo's 4-1-4-1 formation.

The Congolese were dangerous on the break too, and Biscotte Mbala should have opened the scoring, but volleyed over from just four yards.

The mistake proved costly because within a couple of minutes Egypt were ahead.

Amr Zaki won the penalty, tricking Ndandu Kasongo into a clumsy challenge, and Ahmed Hassan tucked the penalty past Kalemba's despairing dive.

Hosam Hassan doubled the lead, running into the area, controlling a long pass, and smashing a shot into the roof of the net.

However, the Congolese got a goal back before half-time, the Egyptian defender El Saka deflecting Cyrille Mubiala's shot into his net for an own goal.

The frenetic pace continued in the second period.

Hossam Hassan thought he had scored a second goal, only to see Kalemba turn his close range shot away.

The keeper also made an excellent save from Tarek El Sayed, as the Egyptians regained control of the match.

Just before the hour Emab Moteab scored Egypt's third, with his third of the tournament.

The Congolese protested furiously that Zaki had used his hand in the build-up, but the Gambian referee Modou Sowe was having none of it.

Congo tried their best to get back into the game, with Zola Matumona and Biscotte Mbala playing particularly well.

Mbala found space in the Egypt box, before blasting his shot against the bar.

Egypt increased their lead to perhaps unjustified proportions when Ahmed Hassan's free-kick wrong-footed everyone and sneaked into the Congo net.

  • Egypt assistant coach Shawky Gharib:
    "This was their best performance of the tournament so far.

    "We stepped up a gear and the players should be proud.

    "We do not have an easy route to the final and we will not underestimate Senegal."

    DR Congo coach Claude LeRoy:
    "I think the score was a little bit harsh.

    "With our suspensions we had to put together a new defence and they made several basic errors. However I believe that the team played a wonderful last 30 minutes.

    "Hats off to Egypt. Our adventure is over but theirs continues."

    Fixtures, results and tables
    28 Jan 06 |  African
    Egypt 2006: Venues guide
    06 Dec 05 |  African


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