Egypt’s national team earned a 2-1 victory over Congo-Brazzaville on Sunday to win the first game of their group campaign in Africa’s 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
Goals from Mohamed Salah and Abdallah El-Said helped the Pharaohs secure an important comeback victory and go top of Group E of the African qualifiers.
The first real chance of the game came at the 17th minute when a sequence of passes led to a key through ball from Abdallah El-Said, which found Mahmoud Trezeguet but his low shot was easily saved by Congo keeper Gildas Mouyabi.
Only a minute later, Mohamed Salah went one-on-one with the Congo keeper but his chipped effort was pushed over by Mouyabi for a corner.
Against the run of play an inch perfect cross from the right flank by Bifouma found Ferebory Dore who scored the opening goal of the game, giving Congo the lead.
Congo gained confidence following the goal and kept on applying pressure on the Egyptian defence and threatened again in the 27th minute with a shot from outside the box that was saved by Egypt’s keeper Essam El-Hadary.
Not long before the half-time whistle, Mohamed Abdel-Shafi’s sublime cross from the edge of the box found Mohamed Salah who headed into the far-post to score the equaliser for Egypt in the 41st minute.
Almost quarter of an hour into the second half Tarek Hamed’s long through-ball found Mohamed Salah. The AS Roma winger laid the ball off to Abdallah El-Said who scored Egypt’s second goal, putting the Pharaohs in front.
With less than 20 minutes remaining to full time, Congo were close to equalise as El-Hadary came out to clear a cross, but he wasn’t able to get back into his goal in time, only for Abdel-Shafi to clear Ngampio’s rebound shot off the line.
Few minutes after coming on to replace Trezeguet, Ramadan Sobhi orchestrated an Egyptian attack, and his pass found Abdallah El-Said whose volley went over the bar.
Congo continued to aggressively push for an equaliser and were close to make it 2-2 in the 86th minute, as substitute Prince latched on to a through-ball, but Ali Gabr intervened and sent it out for a corner kick. El-Hadary managed to deal with a thundering shot from the corner to keep the scoreline at 2-1.
El-Said almost made it 3-1 following a one-two with Salah, but his injury-time shot was saved by the Congo keeper.
After beating Congo, Egypt went top of Group E in the CAF qualifications following Ghana’s goalless draw with Uganda on Friday.
Congo XI: Mouyabi; Baudry, Moubhio, Bakoua, Itoua, Imouele, Massengo, Tsiba, Doré; Bifouma, Ondama.
Egypt XI: El-Hadary; Abdelshafy, Gamal, Gabr, Gaber; Hamed, Elneny, Trezeguet, El-Said, Salah; Morsi.