A recap of Egypt’s road to Russia 2018
A total of 26 teams (teams ranked 28–53) played home-and-away over two legs. The 13 winners advanced to the second round. Egypt bypassed this round as they were one of the top ranked African teams.
Second round: A total of 40 teams (teams ranked 1–27 and 13 first round winners) played home-and-away over two legs. The 20 winners advanced to the third round.
Egypt were seeded against Chad. While this should have been an easy match for the Pharaohs, they faced a scare in the first match but came through easily.
Match 1: Chad Vs Egypt-November 14 2015
They faced Chad at their home stadium in D’Jamena in November of 2015.
Cuper did not field a full strength lineup, as he did not include the likes of Mohamed Salah and Essam El-Hadary in the squad. Ezechiel N’Douassel scored the only goal to win the game 1-0 for Chad.
Match 2: Egypt Vs Chad- November 17 2015
Just days later the return leg was played at the Borg El Arab Stadium. Early goals from Mohamed Elneny and Abdallah El-Said gave Egypt a quick and important lead to make the game 2-0. A brace from Ahmed Hassan “Kouka” sealed the game as Egypt won 4-0 to qualify for the third and final round.
The 20 teams that advanced from the second round were divided into five groups of four teams to play home-and-away round-robin matches. The winners of each group were to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The draw for the third round was held on 24 June 2016, at the CAF headquarters in Cairo, Egypt.
Match 3: Congo vs Egypt – October 9 2016
Egypt performed well in their first match, defeating Congo in Brazzaville 2-1 thanks to goals from Mohamed Salah and Abdallah Said.
Match 4: Egypt vs Ghana – November 13 2016
The Pharoahs continued their winning start with a 2-0 win over Ghana in Alexandria. Mohamed Salah scored a penalty before halftime and Abdallah Said scored towards the end of the match.
Match 5: Uganda vs Egypt – August 31 2017
Egypt lost their second match in World Cup Qualifying in a 1-0 loss to Uganda in Kampala. Ugandan phenom Emmanuel Okwi scored the only goal.
Match 6: Egypt vs Uganda – September 5 2017
This match was crucial for the Egyptians as another loss would have put Uganda in prime position to win the group. Egypt won 1-0 thanks to a goal in the 6th minute from Mohamed Salah. Because of the win, Egypt leapfrogged Uganda in the standings. It is worth noting that on the same day Ghana destroyed Congo 5-1, eliminating Congo from winning the group.
Match 7: Egypt vs Congo – September 8 2017
The day before this match, Uganda drew 0-0 with Ghana. This result all but ended Ghana’s hopes of World Cup contention.
Egypt would win the group if they beat Congo. As we now know, Egypt did so, defeating Congo 2-1, thanks to a brace from Mohamed Salah.
Standings with one round of matches remaining
- Egypt – 12 points
- Uganda – 8 points
- Ghana – 6 points
- Congo – 1 point
Egypt play a final World Cup qualifier match against Ghana, in Kumasi, on 12th November, 2017. Mohamed Salah is leading the CAF World Cup qualification scorers chart with 5 goals.
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