WATCH - Mohamed Salah sends Egypt wild after last penalty qualifies them for first World Cup since Italia '90
Mohamed Salah sent Egypt into raptures on Sunday night after the Liverpool forward scored twice to send the north Africans to the World Cup finals for the first time for almost 30 years after beating Republic of Congo 2-1.
Salah scored both Egypt's goals, with the second from the penalty spot in the fourth minute of second-half injury time for a dramatic finish in front of a capacity crowd of 30,000 at a military stadium in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria.
Egypt finished top of Group E in African qualifying with a game to spare. A seven-time African champion and the continent's most successful team, Egypt last qualified for the World Cup in 1990 in Italy.
Salah broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute when he latched on to a through pass from midfielder Mohamed Elneny of Arsenal. Congo substitute Arnold Bouka Mouto drew level in the 86th minute with a ferocious left-footed volley that stunned Egypt's goalkeeper Essam el-Hadary.
Egypt substitute Mahmoud Hassan was brought down in the box two minutes into injury time and Salah restored Egypt's lead from the spot, using his left foot to find the back of the net and clinch Egypt's place in Russia next year.
After making his international debut in 1996, goalkeeper Essam El Hadary could make history in Russia next summer by becoming the oldest player to appear at a World Cup is he is selected by their Argentine coach Hector Cuper.
Colombia goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon is currently the oldest player to play at the World Cup – 43 in 2014 – but El Hadary, who turns 45 in the new year, appears poised to set a new record in Russia.
The win sent hundreds of thousands of fans across the country celebrating, honking car horns and waving Egypt's national flags.
So my dads soccer team won and this was the result.... pic.twitter.com/3zdHmf0E5P— صوفيا (@sdeezy_) October 8, 2017
Why I love football, politics & how it impacts society. Egypt this evening after qualifying to World Cup.pic.twitter.com/8Rv7NjCZPQ— Raphael Gellar (@Raphael_Gellar) October 8, 2017
Egypt supporters around the world, too, celebrated after Salah had ended their long wait to appear on the world's biggest stage.