Record African champions Egypt on Thursday 27 June, joined Nigeria as the two confirmed teams to have made it through to the last 16 stage of the ongoing AFCON finals; this after they won their second match of the tournament by beating DR Congo 2-0 in the two nations’ second match of Group A played at a jam-packed Cairo International Stadium.
First half goals from captain Mohammed Elmohamady in the 25th minute and Mohammed Salah in the 43rd minute did the damage for The Pharaohs against The Leopards, who lost by a similar margin, their opening group game against Uganda.
The win sends them through automatically to the knockout round with a game to spare as they had also won their opening game, against Zimbabwe, and now top Group A with six points ahead of Uganda who have four.
Uganda had played to a 1-1 draw with Zimbabwe in the group’s earlier fixture on Wednesday.
In previous editions, two losses for DRC would have meant their exit but with the new 24 team tournament, they still harbor belief of qualifying from the group, now as one of the four third best placed teams.
But to do so, Fimbu as they are more commonly known, will have to win their last group game against Zimbabwe and hope for favourable results elsewhere.
The Florent Ibenge led charges put up a valiant showing than the one against Uganda and would have at least drawn the game if not for the woodwork denying them twice in the opening stanza.