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Egypt and Algeria draw at FIFA Arab Cup for Egypt to win Group D

North African rivals Egypt and Algeria squared off on Tuesday at the FIFA Arab Cup, with the two teams drawing 1-1 to finish up their group stage fixtures after having clinched quarterfinal berths prior to the matchup. Defender Mohamed Tougai opened the scoring in the first half for Algeria and Amr El Soulia equalized for the Pharaohs with a penalty kick conversion in the 60th minute to see the teams finish level on seven points at the top of Group D. With the teams equal on nearly all tiebreakers, Egypt were determined the group winners due to a better Fair Play record after late yellow and red cards to Algeria.

Both teams had qualification for the knockout stages wrapped up, but there were plenty of bragging rights to play for as well as the title of group winner. Algeria got off to the more positive start and looked more dangerous in the first half with their veteran attack causing issues led by Youcef Belaïli, Yacine Brahimi and Baghdad Bounedjah. In the 19th minute, it was Brahimi who started the sequence leading to the opening goal after drawing a foul in a dangerous position. The 31-year-old played a short free kick to line up Belaïli for a shot, and the scruffed effort glided right to Tougai, who got enough of a touch to redirect the ball past Mohamed El Shenawy in the Egyptian goal.

Egypt managed to keep Algeria from increasing their lead and as the match wore on the Pharaohs settled and played their way into contention. In the 60th minute, Egypt found their equalizer thanks to the intervention of the Video Assistant Referee. A corner kick was spilled by Algeria goalkeeper Raïs M’Bolhi before the veteran eventually collected after a scramble, but the replay found that in the process of attempting to clear the ball, Tougai had kicked and fouled El Soulia. The Al Ahly midfielder stepped up after the VAR review and his poor spot kick fortunately found its way under M’Bolhi for the equalizer.

The match eventually ended in a draw with both teams finding it difficult to get shots on target, but late on it was discipline that impacted the tournament picture. A second half stoppage time yellow card to El Arbi Soudani and a red card to young midfielder Yacine Titraoui put Algeria behind Egypt in the Fair Play standings, resulting in Egypt winning the group with the teams equal in nearly every tiebreaker.

As a result of Egypt winning Group D, the Pharaohs will have the more manageable quarterfinal matchup against Jordan while Algeria face off with neighbors Morocco on Saturday. Highlights of the Egypt-Algeria draw are below.

Highlights from FIFA TV

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