Egypt’s Olympic national team have snatched the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations title after beating Côte d'Ivoire 2-1 in the tournament’s final game following extra time on Friday, November 22nd at Cairo Stadium.
Karim Al-Eraqi opened the scoring for Egypt eight minutes before the break to give his team the upper hand when he struck the ball from inside the area after receiving a brilliant cross from impressive winger Ramadan Sobhi.
The Ivorian side did their best to return to the game again, as they were close to notch the equaliser, when Egypt’s defence blocked a shot from Cheikh Timite after some good work from Hamed Traore on the left to finish the first half with a 1-0 lead for Egypt.
In the second half, Côte d'Ivoire lost more scoring chances before snatching the equaliser when unmarked Doumbia struck the ball from inside the area to make it a 1-1 draw between the two sides. The game then went to extra time.
Egypt’s U-23 national team skipper Ramadan Sobhi found the net six minutes before the final whistle of the second half of the extra time to deliver the trophy for his country.
With this victory, the young Pharaohs continued their winning streak, as they claimed five victories in the continental tournament without any losses.
Egypt started the tournament by beating Mali 1-0 in the first round of the group stage, and then they defeated Ghana 3-2 in the second round, before beating Cameroon 2-1 in the final round of the stage to qualify for the semi-finals with a full mark of nine points.
In the semi-finals, Egypt defeated South Africa 3-0 to book a place in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, two days before Friday’s 1-0 win over Côte d'Ivoire in the final game.
Côte d'Ivoire reached the final game after beating Ghana 3-2 on penalties in the continental tournament’s semi-finals after the game’s full-time result ended with a 2-2 draw between the two sides.
The continental tournament took place in Egypt from November 8th to 22nd with the participation of eight teams.
The top three in the AFCON U-23 will represent the continent in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.