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Tunisia through to Arab Cup final following last second Egypt own goal

In an all-African matchup, Tunisia edged out Egypt 1-0 to win in the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup semifinals and book their spot in the final, where they will meet either hosts Qatar or Algeria. A heartbreaking own goal off the head of Amr El Soulia came in the final seconds of second half stoppage time and doomed Egypt to defeat, providing a shock ending to a closely fought matchup. Following their defeat, Egypt will play a match for third-place against the loser of the Qatar-Algeria match before shifting their focus to the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.

The match was even throughout with a domestic-based Egypt squad holding their own against Tunisia, who featured several regulars based abroad as well as Manchester United starlet Hannibal Mejbri in their lineup. In the first half, both teams were generally limited to hopeful long range efforts with Tunisia looking a bit more threatening on set pieces. Egypt came the closest to scoring at the end of the half when Marwan Hamdy was set up for a close range finish, but bold and brave goalkeeping from Tunisia’s Mouez Hassan put off the Zamalek forward and kept the ball out of the goal.

More action followed in the second half but it appeared likely that extra time was going to be needed to separate the teams. Tunisia had a penalty awarded in the 58th minute when Mohamed Ali Ben Romhdane went down under a challenge in the Egyptian penalty area, but the Video Assistant Referee intervened and the penalty kick was cancelled out. Egypt had another excellent chance to break the deadlock in the 75th minute when Hamdy surged past a Tunisian defender and only had Hassan to beat, but Mostafa Fathi stepped in and took away Hamdy’s chance to shoot harmlessly over the bar.

Both teams had opportunities to win the match in the final ten minutes, but it was a set piece that created the crucial moment in the game’s final moments. In the fourth minute of stoppage time, a Tunisia free kick from the left wing was curled in by Naïm Sliti. Egypt midfielder Amr El Soulia jumped up and got a head to the ball, but turned around in horror to see his flick fly past goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy and into the Egyptian goal for the winner. Egypt had no chance to respond before the final whistle came and the Carthage Eagles now await the winner of the later semifinal for Saturday’s final match.

Highlights are in the link below.

Highlights from FIFA TV

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