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Mohamed Salah and Egypt have the upper hand in their duel against Sadio Mane's Senegal in the African World Cup qualifiers.

The two teams faced off in the first match of their two-legged contest and it was a fluke goal in the fourth minute that made the difference. Salah hit the bar and the ball went in off Saliou Ciss.

Only one of these two teams can progress to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and at the moment, Egypt are in the driving seat.

At the same time, Ghana and Nigeria drew 0-0 in a game which — similarly to the other match — was short of chances. Nigeria thought they had been awarded a penalty in the second half but it was chalked off following a VAR review.

Next Tuesday is the day when Africa's representatives at the World Cup will be decided. Five teams will go to Qatar next winter and the other five teams will be left at home.

(Photo: KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images)
March 25, 2022 at 5:25 PM EDT
Safe to say that these two games will not go down in history books as classics.

Egypt 1 – 0 Senegal
Ghana 0 – 0 Nigeria

There were three other matches played in the African World Cup qualifiers today.

D.R. Congo 1 – 1 Morocco
Cameroon 0 – 1 Algeria
Mali 0 – 1 Tunisia

The second-leg of these ties will be played on Tuesday; all to play for.

(Photo: Mohamed Hossam/Getty Images)
March 25, 2022 at 5:21 PM EDT
Both games have gone into stoppage time. Goals are not looking likely at the moment, but you never know.
March 25, 2022 at 5:15 PM EDT
85 min Still nothing to separate the two teams. Will we get a goal in these final minutes?
March 25, 2022 at 5:12 PM EDT
82 min It's been a rather comfortable evening for Salah and company and it's looking like they will be taking a lead with them to Senegal for the second leg next Tuesday.

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(Photo: Mohamed Hossam/Getty Images)
March 25, 2022 at 5:10 PM EDT
The referee looks to VAR and then goes over to the sideline to check the replay on the monitor. After looking at the replay he changes his verdict. Baba was fouled prior to the incident and therefore Ghana gets a free-kick.
March 25, 2022 at 5:08 PM EDT
76 min The ball hits the hand of Iddrisu Baba and Nigeria gets a penalty.

VAR will have a look at this.
March 25, 2022 at 5:04 PM EDT
72 min Ghana gets a corner and it's a very dangerous ball. It falls to Afena-Gyan on the far post but the 19-year-old can't capitilise. He mishits the ball and it goes wide. That was the home side's best opportunity in this game.
March 25, 2022 at 5:02 PM EDT
68 min Nerves are undoubtedly playing their part in these two games. These aren't the two best football games in the history of the beautiful game. Kelechi Iheanacho just took a free-kick that went off a defender and back for a corner. The subsequent corner went over every single player and out for a throw-in.

In Egypt, the home side looks to be very happy with their 1-0 lead.
March 25, 2022 at 4:51 PM EDT
60 min Nigeria has started the second half well in Ghana and are looking more likely to score than they did in the first 45 minutes. Watford striker, Dennis, has been brought on to help his team get that ball over the line.
March 25, 2022 at 4:48 PM EDT
56 min Mane is so skilful. He goes past two defenders with ease and puts the ball into the box with the outside of his foot. His cross is cleared though.
March 25, 2022 at 4:39 PM EDT
The half-time break is over and we're back underway.

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(Photo: KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images)
March 25, 2022 at 4:37 PM EDT
There was an unexpected result – to say the least – in the World Cup qualification in Europe last night. North Macedonia won in dramatic fashion against reigning European Champions, Italy. Our James Horncastle wrote a feature after the game on this shock exit.

While waiting for the second part of these two games, we recommend taking a look at it below.

Senegal or Egypt and Nigeria or Ghana will also be out of World Cup contention next Tuesday.
‘Tired and destroyed’ – The night European champions Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup
March 25, 2022 at 4:26 PM EDT
An own goal in the first five minutes separates the two teams at the halfway point.

🇪🇬 Egypt 1-0 Senegal 🇸🇳

An early own goal puts Egypt in front after the opening 45 minutes. #WorldCup | #WCQ
March 25, 2022 at 4:25 PM EDT
Not many chances at all in this one.

🇬🇭 Ghana 0-0 Nigeria 🇳🇬

A battling first half between the 2 giants with no goals.

What are your predictions for the second half? #WorldCup | #WCQ
March 25, 2022 at 4:22 PM EDT
A very lively start in Egypt, but not much has happened after that. There is no risk being taken by the teams, maybe understandably.

Egypt 1 – 0 Senegal
Ghana 0 – 0 Nigeria

Hopefully, it will be action-packed after the break.
March 25, 2022 at 4:14 PM EDT
39 min Napoli striker, Victor Oshimen, aims to give Nigeria the lead as he tries his luck with a shot outside the target. The ball hits a Ghana defender and Oshimen can't believe his own eyes; he wants a penalty for a handball. The referee disagrees. It would have been harsh to give a penalty in that instance.
March 25, 2022 at 4:11 PM EDT
37 min Mane runs at the Egyptian defence and gets a good opportunity at the end of it. But as he shoots, he slips and the ball goes well wide of the target.
March 25, 2022 at 4:08 PM EDT
33 min Felix Afena-Gyan chests the ball down for the 18-year-old Abdul Fatawu Issahaku just outside the box. Issahaku hits the target with a strong effort, but Francis Uzoho is there to make the save. Two very promising players combining for Ghana.

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It's been a quiet affair and that was the best effort of the game so far.
March 25, 2022 at 4:01 PM EDT
26 min Nigeria tries to break, but the home side is well up for a battle. Alexander Djiku makes a great tackle to stop a counter-attack. The Ghana fans are loud and in good spirits; that will without a doubt help their team tonight.
March 25, 2022 at 3:53 PM EDT
18 min The Senegalese team is high up the pitch, patiently trying to break down the Egyptian defence. Mane then lost his patience and tried a pass over the defence. He overhits it and it ends up in the hands of Mohamed El Shenawy.


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