Match reports and free highlights from Thursday's Africa Cup of Nations games as Egypt come from behind to draw 2-2 with Ghana; Nigeria beat host nation Ivory Coast in Abidjan; former Birmingham City striker Emilio Nsue scores hat-trick as Equatorial Guinea earn 4-2 win over Guinea-Bissau
Thursday 18 January 2024 23:27, UK
A round-up from Thursday's Africa Cup of Nations matches with Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Nigeria all in action on day six of the tournament.
Egypt lost Mohamed Salah to injury before coming from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Ghana in their potentially decisive Africa Cup of Nations match.
Mohammed Kudus scored both goals for Ghana but the Black Stars were let down by defensive mistakes as Omar Marmoush and Mostafa Mohamed capitalised to dent the four-time champions' hopes of making the knockout stage.
Ghana remained bottom of Group B with just one point, level with Mozambique, while Egypt are second on two points behind group leaders Cape Verde. Cape Verde and Mozambique play their second game of the tournament on Friday. Only the top two in each group are assured of advancing.
The Black Stars started promisingly but found it hard to get through the Egyptians' defensive lines as the Ghanaian fans let their impatience show.
But a cooling break restored the supporters' good mood with many standing up to dance and cheer as the party restarted in the stands.
Kudus scored in first-half injury time - a minute after Salah left the field - when he received the ball from Salis Abdul Samed, eluded one defender, then another, before firing past Mohamed El-Shenawy in the Egypt goal from well outside the area.
Egypt kept pushing and Marmoush finally equalised in the 69th minute after capitalising on a botched backpass from Inaki Williams.
Kudus replied two minutes later with a shot that took a slight deflection off a defender to sneak inside the far post. But another defensive error from Osman Bukari, who had just replaced Williams, allowed Mohamed to equalise three minutes later.
William Troost-Ekong's second-half penalty was enough for Nigeria to jolt ther campaign into life with a 1-0 win over host nation Ivory Coast.
The Super Eagles were under pressure to get a victory after drawing their opening game against Equatorial Guinea and are now all but certain of reaching the knockout stage.
Coach Jos Peseiro's team finally showed defensive stability as it ended a six-game run of conceding at least a goal.
But it was another frustrating performance from star player Victor Osimhen, despite earning the penalty that facilitated the win.
Referee Mustapha Ghorbal awarded the spot kick after consulting video replays and deciding Ousmane Diomande had fouled Osimhen.
Troost-Ekong took responsibility and confidently fired the penalty down the centre of goal in the 55th minute.
Ivory Coast dropped to third in Group A on three points, one behind Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria. Ivory Coast face Equatorial Guinea next, with Nigeria playing Guinea-Bissau in the final round of group games.
Emilio Nsue scored a hat-trick as Equatorial Guinea took a giant step towards the knockout stage with a 4-2 win over Guinea-Bissau in the early kick-off.
Nsue, 34, became the oldest player to score a hat-trick at the tournament, which is in its 34th edition, and the first in 16 years. Morocco's Soufiane Alloudi last managed the feat for Morocco in January 2008.
Nsue capitalised on a defensive mistake to put the National Thunder ahead in the 21st minute, only for an own goal from Esteban Orozco to draw Guinea-Bissau level again in the 37th minute.
But Jos Miranda struck from outside the box after the break and Nsue grabbed his second to effectively seal the result five minutes later. He completed his hat-trick by scoring from a difficult angle just after the hour mark.
Substitute Z Turbo scored Guinea Bissau's consolation goal in injury time but couldn't prevent the country's winless run at the Africa Cup from stretching to 11 games. The Djurtus are bottom of the group after losing both games so far.