Egypt will face Morocco in the final of the 2023 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) following victories on Tuesday night.

Egypt, who won the last edition of the U-23 AFCON, booked their place in the final of the competition with a 1-0 win over Guinea.

The Young Pharaohs kept alive their hopes of defending the title and also earned their place in next year’s Olympic Games in Paris thanks to the victory in Tangiers.

Mohamed Shehata Mahmoud’s brilliant first-half strike was the difference between the two sides in the cagey contest.

In the other semifinal game, the host, Morocco became the second African nation to seal their spot for the Paris Olympics 2024 after a thrilling encounter against Mali.

Morocco prevailed in a penalty shootout, winning 4-3 after the teams battled to a 2-2 stalemate in regulation time.

Zakaria El Quahdi sparked a frenzy among Moroccan fans by scoring the opening goal after only 14 minutes, fueling the home crowd’s passion.

Despite the host’s early domination, Mali, headed by the outstanding Mamady Diambou, showed tenacity and increased in confidence throughout the encounter.

Mali increased their attempts in the second half, finally equalising in the 66th minute through Diambou. Because there was no resolution at the end of regulation time, the referee extended the game by 30 minutes.

Morocco regained the lead in the 108th minute thanks to Amine El Quazzani’s strike. Mali, however, refused to accept defeat and equalised in the 116th minute when Issoufi Maiga headed in from close range, bringing the score to 2-2.

The game was eventually settled by a penalty shootout. Morocco kept their cool and converted all four of their penalties, while Mali struggled with misses from captain Boubacar Traore and Ahmed Diomande.

The final of the competition is set to be played on July 8 between Egypt and Morocco while Guinea and Mali will be playing for the third-place playoff.

Source: Joy Sports