2018 FIFA World Cup – Jubilation as Egypt qualify for the first time in 28 years
After Egypt scored a 95th-minute penalty to beat Congo 2-1 in the Russia 2018 Russia FIFA qualifying match, Egypt capital crackled with fireworks.
Mohamed Salah was the Egyptian hero, scoring both goals in a win, making it the first time the nation will make it to the world cup in 28 years.
The raucous mood spilling out on the streets marked a respite for Egyptians after years of hardship, from IMF-backed austerity reforms that have pushed inflation to record highs to a tough law on protests that has made public gatherings exceedingly rare after two presidents were toppled since a 2011 uprising.
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-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.
Just across the border in neighbouring Gaza, where Egypt has led a political reconciliation process, thousands of Palestinians poured into an open-air park to cheer on the second Arab country to qualify for the 2018 World Cup after Saudi Arabia.