Substitute Mostafa Mohamed scored a 90th minute equalizer to save Egypt blushes as they held Gabon to a 1-1 draw at Stade de Franceville on Sunday night.
Jim Allevinah gave Gabon the lead after 73 minutes, shortly after Egypt was down to ten man after Omar Gaber was sent off for receving a second yellow card.
It seemed The Panthers were on their way to a historic win, but for Mohamed’s last gasp equalizer.
It was a cautious start to the game with both sides trying to control possession. Egypt had the first shot on target after 8 minutes when Mohamed Sherif’s backheel pass found Mohamed “Afsha” Magdy who sent a shot just over the crossbar.
As time passed, Gabon started to find more spaces, and had their first chance after 18 minutes when skipper Pierre Emerick Aubameyang tried to find the best of goalkeeper Mohamed Elshennawy, but his shot went wide.
Guelor Kanga shot from a long range went just wide after 35 minutes. Sherif tried his luck after a swift counter attack for Egypt but his shot was high, as the first half ended goalless.
After the break, Gabon was asking more questions, and five minutes into the second half Aaron Boubendza went one on one with Elshennawy who brilliantly saved the situation.
Mario Lemina’s header after a corner kick threatened Egypt’s defense but went just wide, as the hosts continued to press.
Egypt hopes had to deal with a blow when Omar Gaber was sent off for a second bookable offense after 70 minutes. And just two minutes later, substitute Jim Allevinah broke the deadlock.
Clermont Foot forward found his way through Egyptian defense and exchanged the ball with Andre Biyogo Poko before sending a low shot past Elshennawy.
Egypt coach Hossam Elbadry made number of attacking changes, fielding in strikers Mostafa Mohamed and Salah Mohsen trying to find a late equalizer.
And both substitutes combined in the last minute. From a long pass Mohsen’s header found Mohamed, whose initial effort was stopped by Gabon’s goalkeeper Anthony Mizwe, but he followed with a header home to give Egypt a precious away point.
Egypt tops Group F on 4 points, while Gabon had their first point of the campaign. Angola faces Libya in Luanda on Tuesday.