Russia 2018: Egypt beat Ghana, top Group E

Egypt maintained their bright start in the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers with a 2-0 home win against Ghana in their Group E clash on Sunday.

Mohamed Salah broke the deadlock when he converted from the spot three minutes before the break.

Abdallah El-Said scored the second in the 85th minute as the former African champions made it two wins from two games following their 2-1 away victory against Congo on matchday- one.

The Black Stars who started their campaign with a disappointing 0-0 home draw against Uganda dominated the game despite the presence of over 80,000 fans rooting for the home side at the Borg El Arab Stadium, Alexandria.

Salah brilliantly tucked away the penalty for his 27th international goal in 45 appearances for Hector Cuper’s men.

The Pharaohs now top  Group E with six points from two games, while Uganda who beat Congo 1-0  in the other group game on Saturday sit in second place with four points.  Ghana are third with a point, Congo occupying last position without point.

The other matches, England-based Yannick Bolasie and Neeskens Kebano scored in the second half to give Congo DR a dramatic 2-1 come-back victory in Guinea, for whom Seydou Soumah opened the scoring with a penalty midway through the first half. The win sees the Leopards move to the top of Group A alongside Tunisia, who won a North African derby against Libya 1-0. Wahbi Khazri scored the only goal of the match from the spot shortly after the break.

Group B saw Zambia bounce back strongly after losing their opening game at home to Nigeria. The Chipolopolo took the lead in Cameroon through veteran Collins Mbesuma in the first half, but they gave away a penalty in first-half injury time. The Zambians held onto the draw after the break to keep their hopes of a trip to Russia alive. The results see Nigeria open a four-point lead at the top of the group from Cameroon, with Algeria and Zambia each on one point.

In Group C, both matches ended goalless as Herve Renard’s two last teams: Morocco and Côte d’Ivoire played each other. Rather diplomatically the game ended without a winner, which keeps the Elephants’ run of 25 games without a World Cup qualifying defeat alive. Gabon and Mali also failed to find the net, leaving the Ivorians atop the group with four points from Gabon and Morocco who both have two points.

In Polokwane, South Africa’s Thulani Hlatshwayo accepted the call of taking a penalty and opened the scoring from the spot. Thulani Serero added the second just three minutes later, and although Senegal pulled one back midway through the second half through substitute Cheikh Ndoye, it was too little too late. South Africa picked up the three points to see them top Group D with Burkina Faso, who won 2-0 in the Cape Verde Islands. Both teams have four points, while Senegal have three.

In other Group E game, Uganda are now second behind the Pharaohs, who have won both their matches. The Cranes secured a 1-0 win against Congo, with Farouk Miya scoring the only goal of the game. Uganda have four points, while Ghana have just one.

Group A: Guinea 1-2 Congo DR, Libya 0-1 Tunisia
Group B: Cameroon 1-1 Zambia, Nigeria 3-1 Algeria
Group C: Morocco 0-0 Côte d’Ivoire, Mali 0-0 Gabon
Group D: S/Africa 2-1 Senegal, Cape Verde Islands 0-2 Burkina Faso
Group E: Uganda 1-0 Congo, Egypt 2-0 Ghana


Aisha JM