Salah scored a 95th-minute penalty to down Congo 2-1, shortly before fans inside the stadium raced onto the streets in scenes of sheer joy and jubilation.
It was far from plain sailing for Egypt, however, as Congo – who’d only collected one point from their first four matches – cancelled out Salah’s opener in the 87th minute.
That leveller made for a pulsating finish in which Egypt substitute Mahmoud Hassan was brought down in the area, meaning it was up to Salah to convert a winning penalty that would have guaranteed World Cup qualification – for the first time since 1990 – with a game to spare. No pressure, then.
Egypt’s star man duly delivered by beating goalkeeper Barel Mouko, sending commentator and fans alike into a frenzy.