Mohamed Salah (R) of Egypt celebrates with team mate Marwan Mohsen (L) after scoring the 1-0 lead during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group A preliminary round soccer match between Saudi Arabia and Egypt in Volgograd, Russia, 25 June 2018. EPA/Zurab Kurtsikidze
Saturday Sep 08, 2018. 22:06
Egypt have returned to form in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers with a 6-0 thrashing of Group J rivals Niger at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria on Saturday night.
The result sees the Pharaohs move to second place on the log on three points, while the Menas drop to fourth on one point. The other Group J game between leaders Tunisia (three points) and third-placed Swaziland (one point) will take place in Mazini on Sunday.
Egypt, in their first game under new manager Javier Aguirre, were on top from the early minutes and had a penalty within the first 60 seconds after kick-off, with Mohamed Salah fouled in the box. The Liverpool forward took the spot kick himself, but was denied by the Niger goalkeeper Kassaly Daouda.
In the fourth minute Ahmed Hegazy almost gave the hosts the lead, sending a header from a corner kick just over the crossbar, while Salah and Marwan Mohsen missed further clear chances within the opening period.
Yet the Pharaohs didn’t have to wait long for their opener, as Salah assisted Mohsen to make it 1-0 in the 13th minute. The striker controlled a fine pass from the right flank before steering a shot beyond the ‘keeper’s right-hand.
Seven minutes later it was 2-0, with left-back Ayman Ashraf taking advantage of some poor defending from Mahamadou Souley to roll a low shot into the back of the net.
Just before the half-hour mark Egypt increased their goal tally through Salah, who was again denied from the penalty spot by the Niger ‘keeper, but reacted quickly to score on the rebound. The spot kick was earned by Mahmoud Trezeguet.
The tempo dropped in the second half, with Egypt taking their foot off the pedal somewhat, though they still racked up a fourth goal through substitute Salah Mohsen in the 73rd minute, as he played a one-two before sending an angled drive into the bottom corner.
Mo Salah racked up his second goal of the night the 85th minute, heading home from a pinpoint cross by Ahmed Elmohamady, before the scoring was completed in injury time with a deflected strike from Mohamed Elneny.
The teams will return to 2019 AFCON qualifying action next month, with Egypt facing Swaziland in a double-header and Niger twice battling another North African giant in the shape of Tunisia.
Egypt (3) 6 (M. Mohsen 13’, Ashraf 20’, Salah 29’ 85’, S. Mohsen 73’, Elneny 90+2’)
Egypt: El-Shennawy, Elmohamady, Baher, Hegazi, Ashraf, Ghazal (Warda 57’), Hamed, Elneny, Salah, Trezeguet (El Shahat 74’), M. Mohsen (S. Mohen 57’)
Niger: Daouda; Katakore, Fatoukouma, Aliou, Boubacar, Sacko, Diabate, Souley, Cisse, Sidibe, Maazou