VIDEO: Mohamed Salah hat-trick gifts Egypt first-ever win in Harare
A Mohamed Salah hat-trick all but qualified Egypt to the final round of World Cup qualifying as the Pharaohs earned their first-ever win in Harare.
Egypt starting XI: Sherif Ekramy; Wael Gomaa, Mahmoud Fathallah, Ahmed Hegazy; Ahmed Fathi, Mohamed El-Nenny (Ibrahim Salah), Hossam Ashour, Ahmed Shedid (Ahmed Temsah); Ahmed Eid (Ahmed Elmohamady), Mohamed Abou-Treika, Mohamed Salah.
FC Basel starlet Mohamed Salah created the opening goal after just six minutes after being played-in brilliantly down the right by Ahmed Fathi. The 20-year-old found Mohamed Abou-Treika just outside the six-yard box, who made no mistake to give Egypt the lead in Harare.
The home side equalized after 22 minutes, following a horrible defensive error by the Pharaohs. Mahmoud Fathallah’s back-pass was intercepted by Knowledge Musona before the Zimbabwean striker, who also scored in Egypt, finished with a calm chip over Ekramy from close range.
As half-time approached, Salah, who was guilty for wasting a glorious chance moments before, restored Egypt’s lead after latching onto Sherif Ekramy’s goal-kick before neatly sliding home past Arubi.
The Treika-Salah connection continued in the second-half. Abou-Treika sent the Basel winger through against two Zimbabwean defenders just beyond the halfway line before Salah burst-past both and made it 3-1 with a left-footed poke.
Lincoln Zvasiya pulled one back for the Warriors with four minutes to go following another piece of sloppy defending by Egypt, while Ekramy, who had an overall solid performance on his competitive debut for the Pharaohs at 30, was also guilty for allowing the header to slip between his hands.
Following a throw-in, the on-fire Salah completed his hat-trick scoring his 15th goal on his 21st international appearance with a simple finish past the onrushing Arubi after being played in again by the legendary Abou-Treika to put the game beyond doubt with a few minutes remaining.
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