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2-goal Salah sends Egypt to World Cup with last-gasp penalty

The Liverpool striker’s two goals put Egypt four points clear with one match left in the preliminary campaign.

Egypt’s Mohamed Salah vies for the ball against Congo's Tobias Badila during their World Cup 2018 Africa qualifying match between Egypt and Congo at the Borg el-Arab stadium in Alexandria on 8 October, 2017. Picture: AFP.

ALEXANDRIA - Mohamed Salah scored with a last-gasp penalty to book Egypt a place in the World Cup finals for the first time in 28 years as they edged Congo 2-1 in their dramatic Group E qualifier on Sunday.

The Liverpool striker’s two goals put Egypt four points clear with one match left in the preliminary campaign.

Salah had given his side a 63rd minute lead even though Egypt still looked tentative in a tense match with opponents who had yet to win a match at the bottom of the group.

A defensive blunder had let in Salah, to the relief of the home crowd, but Egypt’s dreams threatened to turn into a nightmare when Arnold Bouka Moutou equalised, firing past 44-year-old goalkeeper Essam Al Hadary with three minutes left.

The home side, though, won a 95th minute penalty which Salah converted to secure the trip to Russia -- Egypt’s first appearance at the finals since 1990 in Italy.

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