Salah Fires Egypt To First World Cup Since 1990

Ibrahim Salah

Egypt will host Congo without the trio of Abdallah El-Said, Hossam Ashour and Mahmoud Abdel-Monem "Kahraba" in a FIFA World Cup qualifier at Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria on Sunday.

Egypt last qualified for the World Cup in 1990 but will now compete at next summer's showpiece in Russian Federation. In Cairo, an army helicopter dropped hundreds of Egyptian flags on thousands of fans gathered at the city's iconic Tahrir square.

Unused subs: Kifoueti, Kibamba, Bissiki, Dore, Illoy-Ayyet, Pambou, Avounou, Mafoumbi, Baudry.

Arnold Bouka Moutou was the scorer for Congo late in the game.

The win clinched Egypt a long-awaited spot in Russian Federation for the 2018 World Cup finals, where the Arab world's most populous country will compete on football's ultimate stage for the first time since Italy in 1990. Just after the hour mark, Salah latched on to a pass from Arsenal's Mohamed El Nenny before poking home from close range.

The game looked to be headed for a draw when Egypt were awarded a penalty.

In the three decades since their last World Cup appearance, Egypt have won four Africa Cup of Nations titles - in 1998, 2006, 2008 and 2010 - but never taken that form into World Cup qualifying.

Egypt's coach Hector Cuper has revealed he is ready to face Congo in a major decider despite increasing pressure from nationals for him to prove his worth.

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