2018 World Cup: Egypt ‘one step closer’ to Russia
Egypt midfielder Sam Morsy says the Pharaohs moved ‘one step closer’ to a first World Cup appearance since 1990 when beating Uganda 1-0 on Tuesday.
The result in Alexandria allowed the hosts to leapfrog their rivals at the top of Group E.
“We still have work to do but it’s one step closer,” Morsy told BBC Sport.
“We have two huge games left. If we can win the next game, we have a fantastic chance.”
Egypt next host Congo, who can no longer qualify following Monday’s 5-1 home thrashing by Ghana, on 8 October in Alexandria.
Their sixth and final qualifier takes place in Ghana in early November.
Following Egypt’s first competitive loss to Uganda on Friday, with the Cranes winning 1-0 in Kampala, Morsy says his team-mates were desperate to atone.
“We were disappointed with the previous game and we had to put it right for the people of Egypt – everybody has been supporting us in mass numbers,” added Morsy, who plays for Wigan Athletic in England.
“It’s a fantastic result, and was hard-earned. These games are never easy.”
Egypt have only been to the World Cup on two occasions – in 1934 and 1990.
Despite being record seven-time African champions, with four of those titles having come in the last twenty years, Egypt have not qualified for the World Cup since 1990.
“You only have to look at the last time the country qualified for the World Cup and Egypt has had some great players down the years, which tells you that each game is tough,” said Morsy, an unused substitute on Tuesday.
Egypt could have added to their tally in Alexandria but were denied on several occasions by Dennis Onyango, who was outstanding in Uganda’s goal.
“We played well, we were in total control and created lots of chances. If we had scored one or two more, it would have been the perfect performance,” said Morsy.
“I have to give special praise to our captain, Denis Onyango, who kept us in the game until the last minute when we had a set play but missed the chance,” said Uganda’s interim coach Moses Basena.
“That was a big chance for us and would have pulled it out of the fire.”
“We cannot lie low now, we must think forward and think positive.”