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Last-gasp Pharaohs end World Cup exile

Egypt clinched their place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ to earn their first appearance at the finals for 28 years, having had to watch from the sidelines since Italy 1990.

Their place at the upcoming tournament was clinched in dramatic fashion as Mohamed Salah scored a stoppage-time penalty to sink a stubborn Congo 2-1. They now sit four points clear of second-placed Uganda with one Group E game remaining.

The Liverpool man had opened the scoring earlier in the half, only for Arnold Bouka to slam home in the 88th minute to silence almost 85,000 fans and seemingly set-up a tough trip to Ghana to seal their spot.

However, they were not to be left disappointed and 44-year-old goalkeeper Essam El Hadary led the celebrations at full-time as the North Africans, seven-time continental champions and 2016 CAF Africa Cup of Nations runners-up booked only their third passage to the finals. Russia will only be their second destination for a World Cup, having made their debut at Italy’s first hosting back in 1934.

Updated: October 9, 2017 — 3:47 am

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