Egypt climbed back into contention in 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying Saturday with a 6-0 shellacking of Niger, in new manager Javier Aguirre’s debut.
You would never know the coaching staff was new, as the Pharaohs dominated right from the opening kickoff, even winning a first-minute penalty.
That spot-kick was saved however, with Liverpool star Mohamed Salah on target but the goalkeeper equal to it.
The defending English Premier League Golden Boot winner was involved in nearly every one of his team’s goals today, however, feeding striker Marwan Mohsen for the opening score.
Left-back Ayman Ashraf made it 2-0 on 19 minutes, volleying home a rebound from a nearly impossible angle, the ball rounding the keeper and going in off the post.
Salah would then have yet another penalty saved, but atoned for it by knocking home the rebound to make it 3-0 by halftime.
The second-half start wasn’t quite as sharp, but Egypt would pick-up the pace again once Salah Mohsen came on for the hobbled Marwan Mohsen.
The Al Ahly wonderkid finished-off an assist from Mohamed Salah with a neat finish, to score in his competitive debut.
He had a chance to add another, but got too cute with the final touch after beating his marker with Salah by his side and just the keeper to beat.
The onslaught wasn’t finished however, as Salah would add a second via a header, thanks to a pin-point accurate cross from Aston Villa right-back Ahmed Elmohamady.
Arsenal’s Mohamed ElNeny would round-out the half-dozen with a deflected shot from outside the penalty area.
Egypt and Tunisia sit atop Group J on three points, though the Carthage Eagles have a game in hand. They’ll be in action Sunday against Swaziland.