Midfielder Marwan Attia insists Egypt can cope with the “great loss” of Mohamed Salah as they gear up for their Africa Cup of Nations last-16 clash with DR Congo in San Pedro.

Salah is back at Liverpool for treatment on the hamstring injury he picked up in the second group game, with the hope he might be able to rejoin the national team should they reach the latter stages of the tournament.

Egypt squeezed into the knockout round following three successive 2-2 draws and will next face a DR Congo side who are also unbeaten but yet to record a victory.

Attia said at a press conference: “The absence of a Mohamed Salah is a great loss for the team, but it will not deter us from achieving our goal.

“No match is easy, but we are ready to rise to the challenge and beat Congo.

“Tomorrow’s match will be difficult, but we will give it our all to win and move on in the tournament.

“We are confident in ourselves and our abilities and we will fight to the end to win.”

Egypt are also without first-choice goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy, who suffered a dislocated shoulder in their final group game against Cape Verde.

Boss Rui Vitoria feels his team are being dogged by misfortune, telling the press conference: “We have been suffering from strange injuries since the first day. Even our equipment manager was injured. We always play to win, but bad luck seems to be following us.”

The winner of the game will play either Equatorial Guinea or Guinea in the quarter-finals.

Angola beat Namibia 3-0 to reach the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations after both sides finished with 10 men in Bouake.

The Black Antelopes, who won Group D, looked to have made the worst possible start when goalkeeper Neblu was shown a red card for handball outside the area in the 17th minute.

Angola, though, took the lead in the 38th minute through Gelson Dala.

Namibia, through to the knockout stages for the first time after finishing among the best third-placed teams, then found themselves also down to 10 men when defender Lubeni Haukongo was sent off for a second caution five minutes before half-time.

Dala nodded in a second for Angola ahead of the break, with Al Ittihad forward Mabululu scoring a third in the 66th minute to secure a place in the last eight.

Namibia’s hopes of further progress in the tournament appeared to have been lifted earlier when Bethuel Muzeu raced clear and tried to lob the advancing goalkeeper, who palmed the ball away clearly outside his area.

Despite the setback of Neblu’s red card – Signori Antonio came on in goal, replacing midfielder Estrela – it was Angola who got themselves in front when Dala tucked home a cross from Fredy.

Namibia defender Haukongo then collected a second caution for a foul on Mabululu as he broke clear.

Angola struck again just a couple of minutes after as Dala headed in a second from Fredy’s free-kick.

Early in the second half, Brave Warriors captain Peter Shalulile fired over before Angola scored a third in the 66th minute following a swift counter-attack.

Fredy picked up a loose pass on the edge of Angola’s area and the ball eventually found its way through to Mabululu, who cut back on to his right foot and curled a shot into the far corner.

Shalulile saw a header drop just wide before Angola substitute Zito Luvumbo hit the crossbar during stoppage time as Pedro Goncalves’ side progressed to the last eight.

Head coach Rigobert Song admitted Cameroon must tighten up at the back if they are to progress to the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals.

Cameroon were just minutes away from a group-stage elimination after trailing Gambia but a James Gomez own goal and injury-time strike from Christopher Wooh sealed a 3-2 victory and a last-16 place.

They take on Nigeria in Abidjan on Saturday but Song warned his backline to be more vigilant ahead of them lining up against African Footballer of the Year Victor Osimhen.

“We have already conceded six goals and we will (have to) find the formula to not concede,” former Liverpool and West Ham defender Song told a press conference.

“We will try to put Nigeria in difficulty and fight to continue.

“I know what needs to be done and we will do everything possible to obtain a positive result.”

Cameroon are expected to be boosted by the return of captain Vincent Aboubakar, who missed the entire group stage with a thigh injury.

Nigeria had a more straightforward passage into the knockout stages, following up a draw against Equatorial Guinea with wins over tournament hosts Ivory Coast and minnows Guinea-Bissau.

They have only scored three goals in the campaign but boss Jose Peseiro is satisfied with their approach.

“I saw some statistics that said our team until now has created more clear opportunities than the other opponents,” Peseiro told a press conference.

“Sometimes the ketchup doesn’t come, but the next time all the ketchup (comes out). In the next match or another match, we can score more goals with less opportunities.”

Head coach Rigobert Song admitted Cameroon must tighten up at the back if they are to progress to the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals.

Cameroon were just minutes away from a group-stage elimination after trailing Gambia but a James Gomez own goal and injury-time strike from Christopher Wooh sealed a 3-2 victory and a last-16 place.

They take on Nigeria in Abidjan on Saturday but Song warned his backline to be more vigilant ahead of them lining up against African Footballer of the Year Victor Osimhen.

“We have already conceded six goals and we will (have to) find the formula to not concede,” former Liverpool and West Ham defender Song told a press conference.

“We will try to put Nigeria in difficulty and fight to continue.

“I know what needs to be done and we will do everything possible to obtain a positive result.”

Cameroon are expected to be boosted by the return of captain Vincent Aboubakar, who missed the entire group stage with a thigh injury.

Nigeria had a more straightforward passage into the knockout stages, following up a draw against Equatorial Guinea with wins over tournament hosts Ivory Coast and minnows Guinea-Bissau.

They have only scored three goals in the campaign but boss Jose Peseiro is satisfied with their approach.

“I saw some statistics that said our team until now has created more clear opportunities than the other opponents,” Peseiro told a press conference.

“Sometimes the ketchup doesn’t come, but the next time all the ketchup (comes out). In the next match or another match, we can score more goals with less opportunities.”

Head coach Collin Benjamin says Namibia are “hungry” to make more history at the Africa Cup of Nations as they seek to upset Angola.

The Brave Warriors are through to the knockout stages of the tournament for the first time after finishing the group stage among the best third-placed teams.

Group D winners Angola are favourites to become the first nation to reach the quarter-finals ahead of Saturday’s last-16 clash in Bouake.

But Benjamin cannot remember a time when Namibia were not underdogs and believes there is a steely determination among his squad.

“We have some good technical players with big hearts and there is the signature of the coach,” he said, according to cafonline.com.

“It’s the determination, it’s ambition, it’s mentality, these boys want to succeed and they understand everything about the team.

“We want to be part of the best 16 teams in Africa and definitely we are among the best 16 – it is a motivation in itself.

“I don’t remember if Namibia will go into any game with the odds favouring us, it will always go against us.

“Our coaches are educated to know that players are playing at good levels and they are hungry.”

Angola are bidding to progress to the last eight for the first time since hosting the tournament in 2010 on the back of wins over Mauritania and Burkina Faso and a 1-1 draw with Algeria.

Head coach Pedro Goncalves is confident of ending the Black Antelopes’ lengthy wait for a quarter-final.

“It has been a historic moment for us and we have a bigger game tomorrow, perhaps the biggest game in the last 14 years of the Angolan national team,” said the Portuguese.

“For sure, it will be very tough but I have confidence tomorrow everybody will do a great job.

“Namibia is a very powerful team, they are very brave.

“We need to be considerate in our passing. We have to be balanced because if we lose our balance, Namibia can be dangerous for us.”

Hakim Ziyech fired Morocco into the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations as Group F winners after a 1-0 victory over Zambia.

The Chelsea midfielder, currently on loan at Turkish club Galatasaray, scored the game’s only goal at Stade Laurent Pokou in San Pedro with an emphatic finish seven minutes before the break.

That was enough to clinch the three points and top place with DR Congo claiming runners-up spot following a 0-0 draw with Tanzania, meaning Zambia’s involvement is over.

In a tight start to the game, Morocco defender Achraf Hakimi and Zambia striker Patson Daka both took aim, but could not hit the target, and genuine chances were few and far between despite enterprising play from both sides.

Sofiane Boufal twice and Azzedine Ounahi were similarly inaccurate as the beaten World Cup semi-finalists attempted to impose themselves as the half wore on.

Kennedy Musonda tested Morocco keeper Yassine Bounou’s concentration with a 30th-minute strike from distance, but it took a vital touch from defender Frankie Musonda at the other end seconds later to prevent Ismael Saibari from reaching skipper Ziyech’s cross in front of goal.

Zambia were fortunate not to concede 10 minutes before the break when defender Nayef Aguerd headed wide from Ziyech’s cross, but the 30-year-old rammed home the opener within three minutes after keeper Lawrence Mulenga had spilled a low cross.

Mulenga parried Ayoub El Kaabi’s header as Morocco looked to kill the game off, but they headed for the dressing room just a single goal to the good.

Half-time substitute Amine Adli twice forced saves as Walid Regragui’s men continued their search for a second goal after the break, although Lameck Banda came close to an equaliser with 59 minutes gone.

Zambia redoubled their efforts as Morocco tired with Lubambo Musonda shooting just too high and Emmanuel Banda forcing a save with substitute Fashion Sakala causing problems, but there was no way back.

DR Congo progressed to the Africa Cup of Nations knockout stages and Tanzania bowed out after a 0-0 draw between the teams in Korhogo.

The second half saw Brentford’s Yoane Wissa denied by Tanzania goalkeeper Aishi Manula and send a further shot over as DR Congo drew a third game out of three in Group F.

Sebastien Desabre’s side finish second in the pool behind Morocco and will face Egypt in the last 16 on Sunday.

A turbulent campaign for Tanzania, which included head coach Adel Amrouche being suspended after making comments about Morocco’s football federation and assistant Hemed Suleiman stepping in as acting boss, concludes with them bottom with two points.

Former Chelsea man Gael Kakuta brought a comfortable catch out of Manula with an early free-kick before Tanzania captain Mbwana Samatta rifled a shot off target on the quarter-hour mark.

Manula got down to save a Wissa effort, although the forward was flagged offside.

And Manula then did well to come out and make a block with his legs in the 30th minute when Fiston Mayele was played in.

After the break, DR Congo’s efforts to break the deadlock included substitute Meschak Elia blazing a 73rd-minute shot into the stand when the ball fell to him in the box following a free-kick.

Five minutes later, Wissa attempted to send a lob over Manula, who managed to tip the ball away.

The Leopards’ late push continued with Cedric Bakambu heading too high and another Wissa shot fizzing just over before the final whistle confirmed Desabre’s men as through with another draw.

South Africa advanced to the Africa Cup of Nations last 16 with Tunisia crashing out as the sides played out a goalless draw in their final Group E match in Korhogo.

Tunisia substitute Haythem Jouini headed over from a great position late on as the 2004 champions failed to secure the win they required to keep their campaign alive.

While Jalel Kadri’s side finish bottom of the group with two points, Hugo Broos’ South Africa went through with four – claiming the runners-up spot behind Mali.

Namibia, with whom Mali drew 0-0 on Wednesday, have also qualified for the next round as one of the group stage’s four best third-placed finishers.

After a cagey start, pressure from Tunisia saw Ellyes Skhiri shoot too high and Elias Achouri put a header wide.

South Africa responded with Evidence Makgopa heading off target and Thapelo Morena unleashing a 33rd-minute strike that just missed the top corner.

Mothobi Mvala and Percy Tau produced further unsuccessful efforts for the Bafana Bafana towards the end of the first half.

Neither side was able to fashion much in the way of attack after the break until a flurry of attempts from South Africa that started with a Sphephelo Sithole drive that was parried by Bechir Ben Said with just under 15 minutes of normal time remaining.

Subsequent shots from Teboho Mokoena and Tau went wide before Ben Said kept out Makgopa’s header.

As Tunisia made a late push to save themselves, Jouini squandered a great chance in the 89th minute as he headed over from fellow substitute Sayfallah Ltaief’s cross.

Another header, from skipper Yassine Meriah, then had the same outcome in stoppage time as the Eagles of Carthage’s hopes of progress ended.

Namibia qualified for the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time after a goalless draw against Mali.

The Brave Warriors, whose victory over Tunisia had set up the prospect of knockout football, lived up to their nickname with a resilient display against the misfiring Group E winners.

After almost taking a surprise lead in the 16th minute when Prins Tjiueza’s angled shot was tipped onto the post by goalkeeper Djigui Diarra, Namibia focused mainly on damage limitation.

They knew as long as they matched Tunisia’s result against South Africa they would progress as one of the best third-placed sides and the first two goalless draws of the tournament ensured that is how it played out.

Mali dominated possession but their best first-half chances saw Fousseni Diabate cut in onto his left foot to force a good save from Lloyd Kazapua and Lassine Sinayoko plant a close-range header wide.

Having managed just one shot on target, Mali coach Eric Chelle replaced both his strikers just a few minutes into the second half, bringing on Kamory Doumbia and Ibrahim Sissoko.

With Namibia working hard to hold onto what they had and not over-extend themselves, the initiative remained with Mali but Sissoko’s main contributions were to balloon a shot way over from the edge of the area and then fail to connect with Nene Dorgeles’ cross into the six-yard box.

Mali did not force Kazapua into a genuine save in the second half until five minutes from the end when he tipped Amadou Dante’s low free-kick around the post.

Angola sealed top spot in Group D with a 2-0 win over Burkina Faso in the Africa Cup of Nations in Yamoussoukro.

Goals from Mabululu and Zini wrapped up victory for Angola but their opponents still progressed in second place following Mauritania’s shock win over Algeria.

Burkina Faso came into the game with plenty to prove after conceding a stoppage-time goal in a 2-2 draw against Algeria in their previous match on Saturday.

But it was Angola who had the better of the opening stages, and the Egypt-based Mabululu opened the scoring in the 36th minute with a fine header from Fredy Ribeiro’s right-wing free-kick.

Burkina Faso responded well and came close to an equaliser in the second half when Dango Ouattara forced a good save out of Neblu in the Angola goal.

But Pedro Goncalves’ side managed to retain the upper hand and confirmed their victory in time added on when when Jeremie Bela’s initial effort was fumbled by Burkina Faso goalkeeper Herve Koffi, and Zini was on hand to make it two.

Angola’s win means they will progress to play a third-placed team in Bouake in the next round.

Algeria crashed out of the Africa Cup of Nations as Mohamed Dellahi’s first-half goal proved enough to earn Mauritania a shock first-ever 1-0 win in the tournament and a ticket to the last 16.

Dellahi punished some lax defending in the 36th minute and – despite a second-half onslaught – two-time tournament winners Algeria could not find a response as they finished bottom of their group for a second consecutive AFCON, while Mauritania go forward as one of the best third-placed teams.

After two successive draws had left them in trouble, Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi dropped Riyad Mahrez to the bench as he tried to freshen up his side but it did not work as Mauritania proved stubborn opponents.

Algeria dominated possession and Adam Ounas tried to catch out Babacar Niasse, shaping to cross and hitting a vicious inswinging shot the goalkeeper did well to claw behind.

But Mauritania stunned Algeria late in the half. Anthony Mandrea pushed away a stinging shot from Souleymane Anne, but Algeria could not clear the resulting corner and when Omare Gassama’s shot was blocked, the ball fell for Dellahi to fire in, giving Mauritania their first ever lead in AFCON play.

Mahrez came on at the break as Algeria tried to turn up the heat but Mauritania remained a threat, and Aboubakary Koita wriggled his way past three defenders in the box before sending an off-balance shot over.

At the other end, Niasse came tearing off his line to cut out Ramiz Zerrouki’s long ball forward, but needed Ibrahima Keita to scramble back and block Youcef Belaili’s shot at his unguarded goal.

Algeria were looking desperate but it was Mauritania who had the late chances to score, with Lamine Ba hitting the crossbar before Guessouma Fofana was denied by the goalkeeper.

Eleven minutes were added on and Algeria went agonisingly close again, with Baghdad Bounedjah poking the ball inches wide after Aissa Mandi’s shot was blocked by Niasse, but it was Mauritania’s night.

Holders Senegal sailed into the knockout stages of the Africa Cup of Nations with a 100 per cent record after beating Guinea 2-0 in Yamoussoukro.

Abdoulaye Seck headed the opening goal early in the second half and Iliman Ndiaye added a late second for the in-form favourites.

Defeat means Guinea, who went into the game knowing they would at least qualify as one of the best third-placed teams, must face Group A winners Equatorial Guinea.

A dismal first period yielded no shots on target, although Senegal did come close when an effort from Nampalys Mendy was deflected just over the bar.

After a fractious end to the first period which saw players from both sides having to be separated, Sadio Mane missed a golden chance shortly after the break.

The former Liverpool man rounded Guinea keeper Ibrahim Kone but failed to keep his shot on target and fired wide.

Seck rose unmarked to head home the opener from Krepin Diatta’s pinpoint free-kick and the goal clearly settled the hosts, who assumed full control.

Ndiaye’s excellent finish wrapped up victory on the stroke of full-time, but there was still time for Guinea to at least register a shot on target as Morgan Guilavogui’s volley tested Edouard Mendy in the Senegal goal.

Cameroon staged a late fightback to snatch a place in the knockout stages of the Africa Cup of Nations with a dramatic 3-2 win over the Gambia on Tuesday.

Christopher Wooh headed the winner in the first minute of injury time after the Gambia had hit back from 1-0 down to lead 2-1 heading into the closing stages of an eventful game in Bouake.

There was further drama to follow as Muhammed Sanneh claimed to have equalised for the Gambia but replays showed he had pushed the ball into the goal with his hand and VAR intervened.

The result – coupled with defeat for Guinea against Senegal in Group C’s other match – meant Cameroon, minutes after fearing elimination, leapt into an automatic qualification spot.

Karl Toko-Ekambi’s 56th-minute header looked to have settled Cameroon’s nerves after a poor opening half but the Gambia’s first goals of the tournament, from Abdoulie Jallow and Ebrima Colley, turned the game on its head.

It took an 87th-minute own goal from James Gomez to revive Cameroon’s hopes and Wooh had what proved the final say.

With no points from their opening two games, the Gambia went into the game with nothing to lose as they eyed qualification as one of the best third-placed teams.

They took the game to Cameroon with Ali Sowe forcing a good save from Fabrice Ondoa early on.

Cameroon created an opening after Wooh won possession in midfield but Toko-Ekambi’s shot on the turn was blocked.

Yankuba Minteh went close for the Gambia with a back-post header but Ondoa smothered his effort before also saving well from Musa Barrow.

Cameroon raised the tempo in the second half and should have taken the lead when the ball dropped invitingly for Georges-Kevin Nkoudou but he blasted against the bar.

Olivier Ntcham and Nouhou Tolo also spurned chances but the Indomitable Lions were rewarded when Toko-Ekambi glanced home from an Nkoudou cross.

That looked to have secured progress but the Gambia refused to give up hope.

Cameroon lost their composure and Sowe tested Ondoa before Jallow burst forward to guide in a volley from an Alieu Fadera cross.

Fadera then shot narrowly wide before Colley lashed in to give the Gambia the lead five minutes from time.

Cameroon roused themselves and Toko-Ekambi hit the bar before Gomez diverted a cross into his own goal.

Amid frantic scenes, Wooh then headed Cameroon back in front in stoppage time and they held on despite the scare of the referee initially missing Sanneh palming the ball into the net.

Morocco head coach Walid Regragui says Bayern Munich defender Noussair Mazraoui could be fit in time to face Zambia in the Atlas Lions’ final Africa Cup of Nations Group F clash.

Mazraoui sustained a muscle tear in last month’s Champions League contest at Manchester United and did not feature in the group leaders’ first two matches of the tournament, a 3-0 victory over Tanzania followed by a disappointing 1-1 draw against the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Regragui’s men will look to secure top spot and ensure they advance to the knockouts with a win on Wednesday night, when Mazraoui might make a comeback despite reports Bayern have been attempting to have the player return to his club.

He told Moroccan media: “I don’t know where you got the information that Bayern Munich wants to recall him but we have all the rights to him during this Africa Cup of Nations.

“He is with us. Besides, it’s possible that he will play tomorrow.

“There are no easy matches. We want to aim for first place.

“We deserve this qualification. We have no time to rest, we are focused on bringing home three points. It’s going to be a tactical match against Zambia. It’s a good opposition.

“We have no absentees. We are on our tournament plan. We gave up a lot of energy (against DRC) but that’s how it is.

“We are prepared. We have high level players. We have a quality squad.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Monday revealed the organisation would be investigating both the Royal Moroccan Football Federation and Congolese Association Football Federation following a post-match incident in the draw that led to DRC captain Chancel Mbemba receiving a torrent of racial abuse.

Regragui, who was involved in a confrontation with the former Newcastle defender, has categorically denied there was any racist element to their heated encounter.

Zambia have drawn eight of their last nine matches at AFCON, including 1-1 draws against DRC and a 10-man stalemate with Tanzania to open this edition

They enter the contest third in Group F and trailing Morocco by just two points, level on two with second-placed DRC, so it remains all to play for.

Head coach Avram Grant told a press conference: “We already know that Morocco is a big team but we are not afraid of them.

“We will play them and I hope we will put up a good performance. We will have to show character,” he said

“That’s what we try to do every day, get better. And on all levels. Since I have been coaching this team, we have progressed in several areas but we must continue.

“Even when you become champion, you have to continue to improve the team.”

DR Congo head coach Sebastien Desabre is determined to ensure his side’s fate remains solely in their hands with victory over Tanzania.

A win against the Taifa Stars on Wednesday will guarantee DR Congo a birth in the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations, with Morocco taking on Zambia in the other fixture in Group F.

Morocco currently top the table with four points, with DR Congo and Zambia on two points and Tanzania bottom with a single point from two games.

The top two teams from each of the six groups will advance to the last 16, along with the four best third-placed sides.

“We intend to give our best,” Desabre said. “We are confident and concentrated on the task. We are playing to win and its very important that we win.

“We need the victory and we also want to qualify because that is very important. We do not want to find ourselves in a situation of making calculations.

“We want to win and gain automatic qualification because anything less than that puts our fate outside of our hands.”

Tanzania assistant coach Hemed Suleiman will again take charge of the side against DR Congo after Adel Amrouche’s meltdown following the 3-0 loss to Morocco saw him banned for eight games and subsequently sacked.

“It’s a final for us,” Suleiman said.

“We tried to work on our problems. These games are hard but there is solidarity in the group.

“Ours for now is to focus on tomorrow’s game. We have to forget about the previous games and focus on this new task.”

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