Bloemfontein - A late goal from Abdelrahman Fetori helped Libya reach the quarter-finals as they played to a 2-2 draw against Congo at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday night, while Ghana beat Ethiopia in the night's other match in Bloemfontein.
Libya went into the game needing at least a point to secure their place but found themselves two goals down just after the break after Moise Nkounkou and Hardy Binguila had found the back of the net for Congo.
However, substitute Abdelsalam Omar pulled one goal back for Javier Clemente’s side, before Fetori scored a dramatic equaliser in added time.
It was the Red Devils who fired the first shot in anger in the 7th minute when Bersyl Obassi had a view of goal, but his effort drifted wide of the target.
Two minutes later Libya were awarded a penalty in a dangerous position, but Mohamed Ghanudi curled his shot just wide.
The Mediterranean Knights had an even better opportunity in the 24th minute when Ahmed Kamal El Trbi made a great run to connect with a freekick, only to direct his header narrowly wide.
Congo thought they had opened the scoring four minutes later when Obassi got the ball into the back of the net, but the goal was disallowed as the referee had spotted an infringement on the Libyan goalkeeper.
Sebastien Migne’s side did eventually break the deadlock in the 36th minute as Nkounkou placed his low volleyed shot into the bottom right corner from just inside the penalty area.
The Red Devils doubled their lead in the 54th minute as Binguila beat Mohamed Nashnush with a superb strike from long range which brushed the inside of the post before hitting the back of the net.
Libya made their final two substitutions just before the 70th minute and it paid off five minutes later as one of the substitute, Omar, reduced the deficit with a good finish from inside the box after controlling a cross from Faisal Ali.
Congo managed to keep their opponents at bay and seemed to be on their way to the next round until Fetori netted the equaliser with a great strike from outside the box which left the goalkeeper with no chance.
The result saw Libya finishing in second place with five points, while Congo and Ethiopia complete the group with four and zero points, respectively.
Meanwhile, a dubious 76th minute penalty gave Ghana a 1-0 win over Ethiopia as they advanced to the knock-out stages as group winners.
Ethiopian midfielder Salahdin Hussen was judged to have brought down Seidu Bansey on the edge of the box, although a replay showed minimal contact before the striker tumbled to the ground.
But Kwabena Adusei made no mistake from the penalty box, sending the keeper the wrong way and sending Ghana into the quarter finals.