Egypt have secured a last 16 berth at the Total Energies Africa Cup of Nations after they defeated old rivals Sudan 1-0 at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde yesterday night.
Pharaohs defender Mohamed Abdelmonem scored the only goal of the game, seeing his side finish as runners-up in Group D behind Nigeria and advance into the knockout phase of the AFCON.
Despite the defeat, the Falcons of Jediane actually move up to third place on the log, but their tally of just one point will not be enough to see them join the Pharaohs and Super Eagles in advancing.They join bottom-of-the-log Guinea-Bissau in early elimination.
The match got off to a frantic start, with the teams trading chances within the opening five minutes: Egypt’s Mohamed Elneny and Mostafa Mohamed both spurned good opportunities, while Sudan’s Mohamed Hussein sent an effort into the stands after good build-up play.
The Pharaohs then settled into a pattern of sterile dominance, bossing possession without really threatening the Falcons’ defence. Star man Mohamed Salah was unable to find his top form, notably failing to control a brilliant pass into the penalty area from Abdallah El Said in one of the rare instances in which the heavyweights looked like scoring in the opening half hour.
Egypt clicked through a couple of gears and duly claimed the lead on 35 minutes, with Abdallah El Said’s corner kick allowing Mohamed Abdelmonem to score with a free header, giving Sudan goalkeeper Mohamed Mustafa no chance whatsoever.
Egypt kept Sudan on the back foot through the remainder of the first half, but did not add to their lead, leaving the game 1-0 in favour of the seven-time AFCON champions at the interval.
The Falcons of Jediane made a triple change at the start of the second half, with Yasin Hamed and Abbas Omer introduced to try and spark their attack, while goalkeeper Mustafa succumbed to a knock suffered in the first 45 and was replaced by Ali Abu Eshrein.
After an initial bright period for Sudan, Egypt reasserted control and created several half- chances to add to their lead, the best of which was spurned by Amr El Solia, who shot over the target with only the goalkeeper to beat on 66 minutes.
Sudan offered little in attack – with only a momentary fumble from Egypt goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy giving them a glimpse of a goal with 10 minutes to play – and in general they were easily held at bay the Pharaohs.
Egypt, as Group D runners-up, will face the winners of Group E (Ivory Coast are the current leaders) in their round of 16 clash, set for the Japoma Stadium in Douala on Wednesday 26 January.
February Ends with Extreme Heat – WMO
The UN weather agency, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), says February saw more extreme heat and unusually high temperatures in both hemispheres.
Summarising the state of the climate, it said the month ended with extreme heat in the southern hemisphere where it is summer, while high temperatures atypical of the northern hemisphere winter prevailed.
Parts of North and South America, northwest and southeast Africa, southeast and far eastern Asia, western Australia and Europe all saw record-breaking temperatures, either on a daily basis or for all of February.
“The anomalous heat is consistent with the persisting warming observed since June 2023, with seven consecutive new global monthly temperature records, including January 2024,” Alvaro Silva, a climatologist working with the WMO, said in a statement.
Global sea surface temperatures were record high. While the El Niño weather pattern “has stoked temperatures in some parts of the world, human induced climate change is the long-term major contributing factor,” he added.
Conversely, a large part of northwestern Canada, central Asia – and from southern central Siberia to southeastern China – witnessed exceptional cold during the last week of the month.
The meteorological winter in the northern hemisphere and summer in the southern hemisphere finished officially at the end of February.
Meanwhile, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) raised increasing concern on Friday that more refugees would cross into Chad from Darfur in the coming weeks amid a worrying lack of food and other essentials.
Almost a year since the start of the civil war between rival militaries in Sudan, neighbouring Chad urgently needs more humanitarian aid and significant development investment, the agency reported, especially in its eastern areas which are hosting the refugee influx.
This investment will allow the country to continue its generous open-door stance towards refugees.
“Chadian officials are concerned that many more hungry Sudanese families will come in the next weeks,” said Kelly Clements, UNHCR’s Deputy High Commissioner, who is in the country to review the relief operation.
“The country is committed to keeping its borders open, despite the fragility of this region.
“But, doing so will put even more strain on Chad, which has so graciously been hosting refugees from Sudan’s war – now raging almost a year – and other refugees still here from earlier emergencies.” (NAN)
More Than 30,000 Killed in Gaza Strip War – UN Officials
More than 30,000 people have been killed in the Gaza Strip since Israel launched its military offensive in October, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Thursday.
Volker Türk quoted the number during a meeting of the UN’s Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The head of the UN’s World Health Organisation (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, also used the figure in a post on X, formerly twitter.
“The death toll in Gaza has surpassed 30,000 a large majority women and children.Over 70,000 Palestinians have been injured,” he wrote.
“This horrific violence and suffering must end.
Neither Türk nor Tedros quoted a source.An official confirmation from the health authorities in Gaza, who usually post the figures daily, is expected later.
Israel launched its assault on the Gaza Strip in response to Palestinian militants from Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist organisations killing of more than 1,200 people inside the Jewish state on October 7. (dpa/NAN)
Saudi Arabia places Orders for 120 Helicopters with Airbus
Saudi Arabia’s The Helicopter Co. (THC) has ordered up to 120 Airbus helicopters.
Also, the German helicopter emergency medical services operator, DRF Luftrettung, placed orders for up to 10 Airbus H145 helicopters.
The airline manufacturer made the disclosure on Wednesday.
The companies signed the deals at the HAI Heli-Expo currently taking place at Anaheim Convention Centre in southern California, according to Airbus.
Airbus’s framework agreement with THC, a premier provider of commercial helicopter services and fully owned by the Public Investment Fund, will include up to 120 Airbus helicopters of various types.
These will be delivered over the next five years to seven years.
The deal included a firm order for eight H125s along with 10 H145s that were converted options from an earlier contract.
This brought THC’s total Airbus helicopter fleet to 60. Twenty-five of the 60 are already in service.
The new H125 helicopters would support the delivery of THC’s range of services in areas including aerial work and tourism.
Furthermore, DRF Luftrettung’s orders for up to 10 H145 helicopters include seven firm orders and three options. (dpa/NAN)
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