AFCON2019: Egypt advance into the last 16 as Group A winners.

Mohamed Salah was Liverpool’s top scorer last season with 27 goals

Egypt maintained their perfect start to their Africa Cup of Nations campaign by beating Uganda in Cairo to advance into the last 16 as Group A winners.

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah opened the scoring with a superb free-kick midway through the first half.

Aston Villa’s Ahmed Elmohamady then doubled the Pharaohs’ lead before half-time with a powerful drive.

DR Congo thumped Zimbabwe in Group A’s other game on Sunday, meaning Uganda progress as runners-up.

Hosts Egypt go through to the last 16 with a perfect record having beaten Zimbabwe and DR Congo in their opening two group games.

The seven-time winners are also yet to concede a goal at this year’s Afcon, but they rode their luck against Uganda, who were left to rue a string of missed chances.

Uganda’s Farouk Miya and Emmanuel Okwi, who both impressed at the Cairo International Stadium, tested Egypt keeper Mohamed El-Shenawy before Salah broke the deadlock with side’s first shot on target.

And Cranes forward Lumala Abdu was denied twice in quick succession by El-Shenawy before Egypt captain Elmohamady netted his second goal of the tournament with a fine finish from Ayman Ashraf’s cut-back on the brink of half-time.

Uganda continued to apply pressure in the second half and Miya twice went close with whipped free-kicks while Okwi’s poked effort clipped the outside of the post with the keeper beaten.

However, Salah did spurn an opportunity to score a third for Egypt when he was denied by a fine one-handed save by Denis Onyango when through on goal.

Egypt talisman Salah was criticised earlier this week for supporting team-mate Amr Warda, whose suspension was reduced by the Egyptian Football Association to the end of the group stage, meaning he is available for the Pharaohs’ next game.

The Cranes finished second in Group A despite their defeat in Cairo, meaning they have reached the Afcon last 16 for the first time since 1978 – when they were beaten by Ghana in the final.

Result does not reflect state of play – analysis

Nick Cavell, BBC Africa in Cairo:

This is one of these matches where the final result did not really reflect the state of play.

2-0 flatters Egypt a little – Uganda came out and started the game very well. They combined physicality with positivity, putting together some nice passing moves.

Physicality isn’t the dirty, nasty play you sometimes see of trying to stop people – it’s physicality that sets up attacks. And they were really unlucky not to go ahead before Mo Salah’s exceptional goal.

That piece of brilliance was the real difference between the two sides.

In the second half Uganda carried on in much the same way – trying to go for it – but the game tailed off when both teams knew they were both going through.

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