Egypt went on top of Group F of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers after a 1-0 win over second placed Libya in Alexandria on Friday.
Debutant Omar Marmoush scored the solitary goal with a sumptuous strike in the second half as The Pharaohs remained on course to push on their journey to Qatar next year. They sit top with seven points, one ahead of second placed Libya.
The Egyptians enjoyed a fair share of chances. In the 15th minute, a mistake from the back by Libya gifted Abdalla Bekhit of the ball but the midfielder’s shot was deflected wide for a corner.
Two minutes later, Mohamed Salah did well on the right to find some space, but his teasing cross delivered into the box rolled just wide with Mostafa Mohamed arriving a few seconds late in an attempt to slide in and score.
The Libyans weren’t taking the pressure lying down and had a chance of their own in the 23rd minute when Sanad Al Warfali rose to connect to a corner inside the box but his header went straight to the keeper’s arms.
Five minutes to the break they almost got the opener when Mohamed Zubya was denied by the upright after striking a low shot off a cross on the right.
At the stroke of halftime, Salah had his first effort at goal from a freekick, his curling shot going beyond the wall but well collected by the keeper.
Three minutes after the break though, Egypt finally broke the deadlock when Marmoush found space from distance before releasing a pilediver that beat the keeper hands down.
The Libyans dug in for some effort to get back but couldn’t. The closest they came was via an Al Musrati shot from distance but it was wide.
The two will meet again in Tripoli