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Mohamed Salah Realises “Childhood Dream” with Egypt

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The speedy winger has fired his country to the World Cup for the first time since 1990.

Olympics Day 2 - Men's Football - Egypt v New Zealand Photo by Francis Bompard/Getty Images

Egypt are in the World Cup today and it’s thanks in large part to Mohamed Salah, whose two goals against Congo—including one from the penalty spot on the 94th minute—were the difference in a 2-1 victory to clinch qualification. For the player, it’s a dream come true.

“I can’t really express how I feel, I don’t quite talk so much but I’m really proud,” he said following the game on Sunday evening. “Today we realized a long-awaited dream. That was to me a dream come true, whether as a footballer or an Egyptian citizen and fan.

“The game was a difficult one tonight and all the qualifiers were difficult games as well. The most difficult moment in my life was when the fans fell silent following Congo’s equaliser, but thank God and we finally realised a childhood dream of my own.”

Salah’s high quality evening went well past his two goals, with the speedy winger registering six shots and creating two clear cut chances for teammates. His hard work and first goal, though, briefly looked for nought when Arnold Bouka Moutou scored in the 87th minute.

But then, deep into stoppage time, Egypt was given their chance, a penalty. Salah took it unerringly, confirming his country’s place in a World Cup finals for the first time since 1990—and for the third time overall, with their only other appearance having been the 1934 World Cup.

“I’m proud I made the Egyptians happy today by scoring today twice,” he added. “When I stepped up to take the penalty, I didn’t think of anything but scoring and winning the game.”