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2018 WCQ: Salah sends Egypt to Russia, Ghana miss out

A Mohamed Salah brace sent Egypt to the 2018 World Cup in Russia after the Pharaohs beat Congo 2-1 in a Group E qualifier Sunday night.

Egypt are back at the World Cup for the first time since 1990.

The win at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria is enough to see Egypt uncatchable at the top of Group E with 12 points from five matches.

Uganda, who drew 0-0 with Ghana on Saturday, are second in the group with eight points and with only one 2018 World Cup qualifying game to go.

Ghana are third with six points and Congo last with one point in Group E.

The match itself in Alexandria on Sunday was a rather dull affair with Egypt very cagey in attack as they opted to defend in numbers to avoid defeat.

Congo, on the other hand, offered very little in attack throughout the first half despite seeing a lot of the ball.

Consequently, scoring chances were few and far between for either side with the first half ending goalless.

Egypt played much better in the second half and threw numbers forward in attack in search of the goal that would send them to Russia next year.

The Pharaohs thought they had found that goal in the 63rd minute when Mohamed Salah found the back of the net with a clinical finish.

Egypt looked to be cruising to victory until Arnold Bouka Moutou equalised for Congo in the 88th minute.

The drama, however, was not over with Mohamed Salah converting from the penalty spot in the 95th minute to hand Egypt a 2-1 win and a place in the World Cup next year.

Lineups:

Egypt: El Hadary – Hegazy, Fathi, Abdelshafi, Rabia, Elneny, Hamed, Sobhi (Elmohamady 88’), Salah, Hassan (Gamal 78’), Gomaa (Mahmoud 56’).

Congo: Mouko – Itoua, Mayembo, Etou, Badila, N’dinga, Saint-Louis (Gandze 93’), Delarge (Bouka Moutou 71’), Oniangue, Bahamboula (Ndockyt 84’), Bifouma.

 

 

 

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