Bob Bradley’s Egypt is still the only perfect team in the world going through World Cup qualifying following a 4-2 victory over Guinea behind closed doors at El-Gouna Stadium in El-Gouna, Egypt, on Tuesday.
Egypt, which already had cemented its place in the final round of African World Cup qualifying prior to the Group G finale, finished off the semifinal round with a 6-0-0 mark in group play, as Mohamed Salah broke a 2-2 draw with an 83rd-minute goal, his African-best sixth goal in the round.
Egypt had fallen behind early, with Pharaohs defender Adam El-Abd tallying into his own goal in the fourth minute after miscommunication with goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy at the edge of the 6-yard box.
Bradley’s side fought back, though, as the former U.S. national team coach saw Hossam Ghaly net the equalizer in the 38th minute by being the beneficiary of a misplaced defensive header and finishing from the center of the box. Mohamed Aboutrika scored a go-ahead penalty kick in the 51st minute to give Egypt its first lead.
Guinea’s Seydouba Souma tied things six minutes later before Salah, who plays at FC Basel, put Egypt ahead to stay. Salah latched onto a back-heel pass in the box, took a touch to round the keeper and fired home from close range. An own goal by Mohamed Sakho finished off the scoring and sent Egypt into next Monday’s final playoff round draw with an unblemished mark.
The Egyptians will be drawn against one of nine other teams for a two-legged, aggregate playoff tie, with the winner sealing one of Africa’s five places at next summer’s World Cup. Egypt has not qualified for the World Cup since 1990.