It was a tale of two halves for Congo DR and Ghana in Oyem. Dieumerci Mbokani had the best chance of the first half when he took advantage of a Ghanaian defensive error and rounded Black Stars goalkeeper Razak Brimah for an open look on goal. However, the angle was too narrow for the Hull City forward and his shot hit the post. The match really sprang to life in the second half as the momentum swung to Ghana. Jordan Ayew scored the breakthrough goal in the 63rd minute after showing great pace and individual skill to find space to execute a well-placed, curling shot out of the reach of Ley Matampi.
Egypt and Morocco played for the final semi-final spot in Port-Gentil. The first half was scrappy with chances few and far between, but the teams took more risks going forward in the second half, producing several clear goalscoring chances. Egypt star man Mohamed Salah’s half-volley from close range thwarted by Morocco ‘keeper Munir’s reflex save and Morocco’s 32-year-old midfielder Mbark Boussoufa’s long range effort that hit the crossbar were the pick of the bunch.
Morocco took control of proceedings in the second half and target man Aziz Bouhaddouz will regret several missed opportunities. Just when Morocco looked to be on the verge of finding the opener, Egypt nearly scored with a cleverly-worked free-kick. Salah peeled off the Moroccan wall and got on the end of Abdalla Said’s chip but, once again, Munir made the point-blank save. With two minutes left in regulation, Egypt found the breakthrough from a corner kick after Morocco failed to clear, and substitute Kahraba reacted the quickest to ultimately give the Pharaohs the victory.
Highlight of the day
Congo DR goalkeeper Matampi did not hold back his excitement in celebrating Mpoku’s wonder strike. Reminiscent of TP Mazembe and former Congo DR goalkeeper Robert Kidiaba’s famous unique bouncing celebration, Matampi executed the ‘donkey ride’ dance to perfection.
6 - With the win over Congo DR, Ghana reached their sixth successive Africa Cup of Nations semi-final and 11th overall appearance in the last four. However, the Black Stars have not won the continental competition since 1982.
Wednesday 1 February, semi-final
Burkina Faso – Egypt
Thursday 2 February, semi-final
Cameroon – Ghana
The winners of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations Gabon 2017 will represent the continent at the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017.