Egypt beats Cameroon, will play Senegal in African Cup final

Egypt's Mohamed Salah, center, and teammates celebrate during the African Cup of Nations 2022 semifinal soccer match between Cameroon and Egypt at the Olembe stadium in Yaounde, Cameroon, Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

YAOUNDE, Cameroon (AP) — Liverpool teammates Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané — two of African football’s leading forwards — will be facing off as rivals for the continental title.

Salah didn’t even get a chance to take a penalty for Egypt in a 3-1 shootout victory over Cameroon in the African Cup of Nations semifinals on Thursday after the hosts failed to score three times from the spot.

It was Clinton N’Jie’s miss wide that secured Egypt’s progress after the seven-time African champions scored their first three penalties. Goalkeeper Mohamed Abou Gabal, who wears the name Gabaski on the back of his jersey, also made two saves for Egypt.

The game ended 0-0 after 120 minutes with the biggest flashpoint coming toward the end of regulation when Egypt coach Carlos Queiroz was sent off. He will now be banned from the touchline for Sunday’s final against Senegal.

Egypt's head coach Carlos Queiroz, center, is shown a red card by referee Gassama Bakary Papa of Gambia during the African Cup of Nations 2022 semi-final soccer match between Cameroon and Egypt on Feb. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

It was the first game back at the Olembe Stadium in Yaounde since eight fans died after a crush outside Cameroon’s last-16 game against Comoros last Monday.

The same venue will stage the final on Sunday when Mané’s Senegal will be seeking its first African title after losing the last final in 2019 to Algeria. Senegal should be fresher after having an extra day’s rest and beating Burkina Faso inside 90 minutes on Wednesday.

The tournament has been taking place in the middle of the European season, frustrating leading European clubs like Liverpool that have been without key players like Salah and Mané.