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Salah sets up win for Egypt over Senegal

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) – Prolific Liverpool scorer Mohamed Salah was the architect of the only goal as Egypt edged Senegal 1-0 in Cairo early yesterday in a high-profile World Cup play-off first leg.

Salah turned inside the box and slammed the ball against the crossbar with the rebound hitting Senegal defender Saliou Ciss and rolling into the net for an own-goal.

The eagerly awaited clash was a repeat of the Africa Cup of Nations final last month, which Senegal won 4-2 on penalties in Cameroon after 120 goalless minutes.

Sadio Mane, a Liverpool teammate of Salah and scorer of the winning penalty in the African title decider, was closely guarded by Egypt.

He did have a chance soon after half-time off a Bouna Sarr cross, but a close-range header flew just wide of the post.

The Cairo clash was one of three first legs decided by a solitary goal with Algeria winning 1-0 against Cameroon in Douala and Tunisia achieving a similar result against Mali in Bamako.

Ghana and Nigeria played a 0-0 draw in Kumasi and Morocco came from behind to hold the Democratic Republic of Congo 1-1 in Kinshasa.

The five second legs are scheduled for Tuesday and the aggregate winners will represent Africa at the World Cup in Qatar from November 21.