Egypt Qualifies For 2022 World Cup Play-off
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By Agency Report
Egypt on Friday booked their place into the final play-off stage of the CAF 2022 World Cup qualifying zone after a hard fought 2-2 draw against Angola.
A brilliant assist by Egypt captain Mohamed Salah triggered a comeback that earned a 2-2 World Cup draw in Angola on Friday, and a place in the final African qualifying stage.
Egypt are the fourth group winners after Senegal, Morocco and Mali to secure places in two-leg play-offs next March that will decide which five African teams go to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The remaining six places will be decided by Tuesday with African champions Algeria, Nigeria, Tunisia on the driving seat of their groups
Ivory Coast, Cameroon, South Africa and Ghana, Benin and the Democratic Republic of Congo are locked in two-team battles to win the other sections.
Morocco are the only team boasting a perfect record in the group stage with a 3-0 ‘away’ win over Sudan in Rabat giving them 15 points from five Group I outings.
Liverpool star, Salah pushed the ball between two defenders and onrushing Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny slammed the ball into the net to halve an Angolan lead to 2-1 by the interval.
Akram Tawfik equalised with a deflected shot just before the hour and the draw gave Egypt an unassailable four-point lead over Gabon in Group F with one round remaining.
Salah, who won the Premier League Player of the Month and Goal of the Month awards on Friday, was the centre of attention with several spectators racing on to the pitch during the match seeking selfies.
South Africa-born Egypt assistant coach Roger de Sa hailed the two-time African Footballer of the Year, calling Salah “a respectful professional who is a pleasure to work with.
“He is one of the best footballers in the world, but so humble. His behaviour in the build-up to the Angola match was exemplary.”
The only disappointment for the Liverpool sharpshooter was seeing a personal goal drought stretch to four matches after scoring in 10 consecutive games.
He even found time during the match to act as a peacemaker after a scuffle close to the Egypt bench threatened to get out of hand soon after his side levelled.
Salah calmed his teammates and opponents after Egypt coach and former Real Madrid manager and Manchester United assistant Carlos Queiroz was pushed by an Angolan player.
The closing stages were incident free with both teams seemingly satisfied with a point as Egypt moved closer to a fourth World Cup appearance.
They were invited to the 1934 tournament in Italy and qualified for the 1990 finals in the same country and the 2018 edition in Russia.