By Victor Kanayo
Liverpool star Mohamed Salah was in a fascinating form while scoring four goals, for only first time in his international career as Egypt bundle Djibouti 6-0 in the opening 2026 World Cup qualifier on Thursday.
The goal-scoring feat by Salah was also second overall in his entire career, previous occasion being against Watford in the Premier League back in 2018.
With these four goals, Salah now ranks second on Egypt’s all-time top scorers list with 53 goals, behind the legendary retired striker Hossam Hassan, who amassed 68 goals.
Moreover, Salah became Egypt’s highest goal scorer in the history of World Cup qualifiers, surpassing retired midfielder Mohamed Abou Treika’s record of 15 goals.
Since his first international appearance in September 2011, the 31-year-old forward has made 92 appearances for the Pharaohs, solidifying his status as a key figure in Egyptian football.
Pharaohs Spectacular Performance
The Egypt’s Pharaohs showcased a dominant performance against their underdog opponents, who failed to mount a single attack during the entire 90 minutes of the match.
With this victory, Egypt now sits at the top of the Group with three points. They will face Sierra Leone away from home in their next match on Sunday.
Egypt were drawn into Group A alongside Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, and Djibouti for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.
Wingless Eagles Searching For Redemption
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Super Eagles kicked off their 2026 World Cup qualifiers Group C Match Day 1 game on a shaky note on Thursday evening as they were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw by Lesotho at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo.
The game saw Lesotho take the lead as Motlomelo Mkhwanazi beat goalkeeper Uzoho with the Crocodiles’ first shot on target in the 56th minute.
Nigeria needed a huge response, and it arrived in the 67th minute when Semi Ajayi powered home a header off another fine Iheanacho corner-kick to hand the home team the equaliser.
Both sides sought for a winner late on, but settled for a draw in the end. They now have one point each in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification group.
The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winners were the massive favourites against the Crocodiles.
While many thought Nigeria would collect an easy win, they have somewhat surprisingly dropped two points at home against world number 153 Lesotho.
Nigeria will fly to the city of Butare in Rwanda to trade tackles with the Warriors of Zimbabwe at the Huye Stadium on Sunday.