CAIRO: Egypt won the most important match in their history after defeating Algeria 2-0 at home on Saturday, assistant coach Shawki Gharib said.
The Pharaohs kept alive their hopes of ending their World Cup jinx after overcoming Algeria at a packed Cairo Stadium to set up a playoff meeting with the Desert Foxes in Sudan on Wednesday.
It was the most important match in the history of Egyptian football, Gharib told the post-match press conference.
We had to score two goals to restore parity, it was very difficult. We dominated the game and wasted many goal-scoring opportunities but thankfully we settled the game in our favor.
Amr Zaki gave the Pharaohs the lead after two minutes with a follow-up effort to send the home fans into raptures.
Algeria were on the verge of booking a World Cup spot though due to better goal difference but were stunned when substitute Emad Meteb rose unmarked to head home deep into stoppage time.
The Ahly striker, who scored twice in Egypt s thrashing 5-0 victory over Tanzania in a warm-up for the Algeria clash, has just returned from a six-month injury layoff.
I have to thank Ahly coach Hossam Al-Badri for preparing Meteb for this crunch game, Gharib added.
I hope we will win on Wednesday and reach the World Cup.