Egypt went on top of Group F of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers after a 1-0 win over second placed Libya in Alexandria on Friday.
Debutant Omar Marmoush scored the solitary goal with a belter of a strike in the second half as The Pharaohs remained on course to push on their journey to Qatar next year. They sit top with seven points, one ahead of second placed Libya.
The Egyptians enjoyed a fair share of chances. In the 15th minute, a mistake from the back by Libya gifted Abdalla Bekhit of the ball but the midfielder’s shot was deflected wide for a corner.
Two minutes later, Mohamed Salah did well on the right to find some space, but his teasing cross delivered into the box rolled just wide with Mostafa Mohamed arriving a few seconds late in an attempt to slide in and score.
The Libyans weren’t taking the pressure lying down and had a chance of their own in the 23rd minute when Sanad Al Warfali rose to connect to a corner inside the box but his header went straight to the keeper’s arms.
Five minutes to the break they almost got the opener when Mohamed Zubya was denied by the upright after striking a low shot off a cross on the right.
At the stroke of halftime, Salah had his first effort at goal from a freekick, his curling shot going beyond the wall but well collected by the keeper.
Three minutes after the break though, Egypt finally broke the deadlock when Marmoush found space from distance before releasing a pilediver that beat the keeper hands down.
The Libyans dug in for some effort to get back but couldn’t. The closest they came was via an Al Musrati shot from distance but it was wide.
Angola 3-1 Gabon
Earlier on at the 11 de Novembro stadium in Luanda, hosts Angola picked up their first win of the qualifiers with a 3-1 victory over Gabon.
Zini Ambrosini gave the Angolans the lead in the 25th minute of the game after a commanding start to the match. They had to wait till the second half to cushion their lead with a second goal, this time Ary Papel finding the back of the net in the 56th minute.
Gabon fought back to try and get their feet in the match and halved the deficit in the 83rd minute through Axel Meye. This was the ingredient of some nervous end to the game.
However, the home side relieved all the pressure in the first minute of added time when Jonathan Buatu scored the third goal to kill off the match.