Egypt star Mohamed Salah described reaching the World Cup for the first time in 28 years as “a dream come true” after leading his side to a dramatic 2-1 qualifying victory over Congo in Alexandria on Sunday.
The Liverpool winger scored his side’s first goal in the 62nd minute, before Arnold Bouka leveled for the visitors with just three minutes remaining.
Salah, however, ensured the Pharaohs were to make it to the World Cup with one match to spare when he coolly converted a 94th -minute penalty to send the fans into raptures.
“I can’t really express how I feel, I don’t quite talk so much but I’m really proud. Today we realized a long-awaited dream,” Salah told Ahram Arabic website.
“That was to me a dream come true, whether as a footballer or an Egyptian citizen and fan. I’m proud I made the Egyptians happy today by scoring today twice against Congo.
“The game was a difficult one tonight and all the qualifiers were difficult games as well, today there is no big difference between every team and the other.
“When I stepped up to take the penalty, I didn’t think of anything but scoring and winning the game.
“The most difficult moment in my life was when the fans fell silent following Congo’s equalizer but thank God we finally realized a childhood dream of my own.”
Egypt, who last made it to the quadrennial tournament back in 1990, moved to 12 points to cement their position on top of Group E, gaining an unassailable four-point lead over second-placed Uganda.
They will now be heading to their last group fixture away to third-placed Ghana needing nothing from the game, which takes place next month.