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Egypt Qualifies For The 2018 World Cup After 27 Years And This Happens

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Egyptians celebrate in Gamet El-Dewal Al-Arabia Street in Cairo. Photo Credit: Aly Fahim

Twelve hours after the final whistle, much of Cairo’s population still hasn’t slept. Egypt’s Pharoahs qualified for the 2018 World Cup on Sunday after beating Congo Brazaville’s Red Devils in a dramatic 2-1 win. The Pharoahs will be making it to the World Cup for the first time since Italia 1990 where they failed to advance beyond a group that also featured England, Netherlands and Republic of Ireland. 

Here’s how much it means to Egyptian fans 

In Cairo, an army helicopter dropped hundreds of Egyptian flags on thousands of fans gathered at the city’s iconic Tahrir square.

After such a long wait, it is no wonder there is such an outpour of joy and, most likely, relief.  

The Moment That Changed Everything

Egypt manager Héctor Cúper had already been taking medication for high blood pressure to deal with the stress before the game.

Now, with just 60 seconds of added time remaining, star player Mohamed Salah stepped up to take the penalty that could make or break his country’s World Cup dream. Time seemed to slow as Egypt’s 27-year wait to reach football’s showpiece event came down to a single left-footed strike.

Egypt’s Mohamed Salah vies for the ball against Congo’s Tobias Badila during their World Cup 2018 Africa qualifying match between Egypt and Congo at the Borg el-Arab stadium in Alexandria on October 8, 2017. / AFP / TAREK ABDEL HAMID

But Salah calmly dispatched the spot kick into the bottom-right corner and, at last, Cúper could relax — the Pharaohs had qualified for the FIFA World Cup for the first time since Italia ’90, topping Group E ahead of Uganda, Ghana and Congo with a game to spare. 
 

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi Responds

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi congratulated the Egyptian people after the match as tireless fans draped in flags turned the streets into an impromptu parade of red, white and black.

The national team will be meeting with the President and all players are set to receive 1.5 million Egyptian pounds (approximately $85,000). 

Egypt’s team players celebrate wining against Congo’s team during their World Cup 2018 Africa qualifying match between Egypt and Congo at the Borg el-Arab stadium in Alexandria on October 8, 2017. Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah converted a stoppage-time penalty to give Egypt a dramatic 2-1 win over Congo Brazzaville Sunday and a place at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. / AFP / TAREK ABDEL HAMID

Egypt is the second African country to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Nigeria took the lead as the first to qualify after a 1-0 win against Zambia. There are 3 remaining spots for Africa, to be decided this November.

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Egypt Is Confirmed As Host for The 2019 African Cup Of Nations After Cameroon Loses Its Spot

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Egypt beat South Africa, the only other nation to bid, by 16 votes to one with one abstention at a CAF executive committee vote in Senegal to become the 2019 hosts of the tournament in Cameroon’s place.

Cameroon team players hold up the winner’s trophy as they celebrate beating Egypt 2-1 to win the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations final football match between Egypt and Cameroon at the Stade de l’Amitie Sino-Gabonaise in Libreville on February 5, 2017. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)

ALSO READ: Egypt Lands Top Spot For Where To Invest In Africa

Since stripping Cameroon of this year’s event, Caf has offered the country the chance to stage the finals in two years’ time, which has meant that the original hosts for both the 2021 and 2023 finals have been asked to delay their tournaments.

Ivory Coast, which was set to host the 2021, has protested against the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Guinea’s football federation announced on Monday that it has agreed to move its staging of the Nations Cup from 2023 to 2025.

The Cup of Nations will take place from June 15 to July 13 and Egypt is hosting the competition for a fifth time, having also done so in 1957, 1974, 1986 and 2006.

Egypt has just six months to prepare for the expanded 24-team finals, which kick off in June.

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👌🏾Kenyan Shatters Marathon World Record By 78 Seconds

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Kenya’s Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge pulverized the marathon world record with a blistering run on Sunday, slicing a staggering 78 seconds off the previous best to land the one major running crown that had eluded him.

The 33-year-old, widely seen as the greatest marathon runner of the modern era, ran an official time of two hours, one minute and 39 seconds on a sunny day along the flat inner-city course, smashing Dennis Kimetto’s previous record that had stood since 2014.

Fellow Kenyan Gladys Cherono won the women’s race with a course record and best time of the year of 2:18:11, leaving Ethiopians Ruti Aga and pre-race favorite Tirunesh Dibaba in second and third place respectively.

Kipchoge’s run was the biggest improvement on the marathon mark since Australian Derek Clayton took almost two and a half minutes off the record in 1967.

“I lack words to describe this day,” said a beaming Kipchoge, a former world champion over 5,000 meters and marathon gold medalist at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016. “I am really grateful, happy to smash the world record.”

“They say you can miss it twice but not a third time. So I want to thank everyone who has helped me,” said Kipchoge, who had won in Berlin in 2015 and 2017.

“I am just so incredibly happy to have finally run the world record as I never stopped having belief in myself. Running a sub two hours two minutes was simply amazing and I believe I can still go below that with such good conditions.”

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Egypt Wins Six New Medals in Africa Fencing Championship in Lagos

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Egypt’s fencing team continued securing more medals in the 8th Cadet and Junior African Fencing Championship, which kicked off on March 1.

On the fourth day of the contest, the Egyptian fencers won six new medals; two gold, three bronze and one silver.

Fencer Mohamed Hamza won a gold medal after beating his South African rival in the final while fencers Youssef Sanaa and Yahia Madi secured two bronze medals.

Also, female fencer Lama Yasser secured a gold medal after defeating her Algerian contender in the final match while fencers Sherwet Gaber got a bronze and Yassmin Ali won a silver.

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