October 8th 2017 will be one of the most memorable moments in Egyptian football history. On this day, the Egyptian national football team managed to qualify for the FIFA World Cup, in a nail biting last minute win. The FIFA World Cup is arguably the most prestigious football event in the world in which 32 national teams compete to become world champions. Moreover this tournament is held once every four years. For the past 28 years and 6 world cups Egypt has come very close but missed out on their spot in the World Cup. Most recently in the 2010 qualifiers Egypt and Algeria were neck to neck for the qualifying spot which lead to an additional playoff game since the two teams were tied in all aspects. This resulted in a 1-0 loss for Egypt which was devastating considering how close they were to qualifying.
Eight years later however, the country of Egypt is proud to announce that they will be attending the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup after an extended absence. In this qualifying phase, Egypt and Uganda were battling for a spot in the tournament. After Uganda tied with Ghana on Saturday the 7th of October, Egypt only needed a win against Congo the following day. Prospects were positive for Egypt considering their good form, the local venue of the match, and the poor form of the opposing side. Congo had lost 3 out of 4 games and drew 1. Moreover Egypt had previously beaten Congo in an away fixture.
The first-half ended with a 0-0 stalemate with both teams creating good opportunities. The second half saw an early lead by Egypt around the hour mark which meant Egypt could easily secure their win. For most people the celebrating had already started but the the surprise of 90 million people, the out of form Congo national team scored a very late equaliser against the Pharaohs. With the win far from sight, this meant the Egyptian national team would have to battle for their spot in their final game against a very heavy Ghana side away from home which was considered an extremely risky fixture. The dream of qualification was still alive but much further away. With a few extra minutes to spare in the dying minutes of injury time, an unshaken and motivated Egyptian team with the support of 85,000 fans refused to give up which resulted in a crucial last minute penalty. The star of the Egyptian national team, Mohamed Salah, who scored the first goal of the game fired a shot which will send Egypt to Russia in 2018.
By: Hassan Amer