Egypt had led after only 89 seconds thanks to Mostafa Mohamed, but two second-half goals in three minutes threatened to cause one of the biggest shocks in recent tournament memory before they were saved by a penalty call in the dying moments of stoppage time, the referee consulting the screen after VAR advice following a challenge on Mohamed before Liverpool superstar Salah crashed in his spot-kick off the post.
An even worse fate was to befall Ghana later that same Sunday evening, when they fell victim to a huge upset against Cape Verde.
Alexander Djiku's equaliser looked to have the underwhelming Black Stars back on track after they fell behind early, only for Garry Rodrigues to pop up with a deserved stoppage-time winner to take his team top of the group.
It was another dismal result for Ghana - who lost to debutants Comoros in Cameroon two years ago as they crashed out at the group stage - to pile more pressure on under-fire boss Chris Hughton, whom reports claimed was subsequently attacked by a fan at the team hotel, with Ghana later confirming that it was a verbal altercation.
Date, kick-off time and venue
Egypt vs Ghana is scheduled for an 8pm GMT kick-off today on Thursday January 18, 2024.
The match will take place at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
Where to watch Egypt vs Ghana
TV channel: In the UK, the game will be televised live on Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event. Coverage starts at 7:55pm.
There will also be free-to-air TV coverage available live via BBC Three.
Live stream: Those with a Sky Sports subscription can also catch the action live as it happens online via the Sky Go app.
The BBC Sport website and BBC iPlayer will also be streaming the game for free online.
Live blog: Follow minute-by-minute updates from tonight's big game with Standard Sport's live blog.
Egypt vs Ghana team news
Egypt XI: El Shenawy, Kamal, Hegazi, Abdelmonem, Hamdy, Fathi, Elneny, Ashour, Marmoush, Mohamed, Salah
Subs: Gabr, Hany, Trezeguet, Kouka, Kahraba, Fatouh, Attia, Fathi , Hamada, Abou Gabal, Zizo, Sobhy
Ghana XI: Ofori, Odoi, Djiku, Salisu, Mensah, Ashimeru, Samed, Semenyo, Kudus, Ayew, Williams
Subs: Seidu, Opoku, Ayew, Bukari, Wollacott, Paintsil, Owusu, Ati-Zigi, Amartey, Nuamah, Baba, Sowah.
Egypt vs Ghana prediction
Both heavyweights were well below par on opening weekend, with Egypt just about getting away with it - but Ghana certainly not.
But whereas that Egypt display felt like a minor blip for the record seven-time champions that will most likely be corrected relatively swiftly, for Ghana such a flat and disappointing performance was definitely nothing new.
It has been a proper struggle for Hughton so far and the Black Stars have now won just one of their last five games, and that was only a 1-0 victory over minnows Madagascar in World Cup qualifying back in November.
We expect Salah and Co to kick on here at the expense of Ghana, who would be left in real trouble after back-to-back defeats ahead of their final group clash with Mozambique on Monday night.
Egypt to win, 2-1.
Head to head (h2h) history and results
These two sides played out a 1-1 draw in their last meeting in World Cup qualifying in 2017, but Egypt had won three in a row before that.
Egypt wins: 12
Ghana wins: 5
Egypt vs Ghana match odds
Egypt to win: 19/20
Ghana to win: 18/5
Odds via Betfair (subject to change).