Home / Sports / Salah scores four, Lesotho shock Nigeria in World Cup qualifying

Salah scores four, Lesotho shock Nigeria in World Cup qualifying

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah scored four goals as Egypt trounced Djibouti 6-0, and minnows Lesotho pulled off a shock 1-1 draw in Nigeria in World Cup qualifying on Thursday.

After reaching the 200-goal mark in English football last Sunday, Salah netted twice in each half of a Group A matchday one romp in Cairo. Mostafa Mohamed and Trezeguet also scored, AFP reports.

Djibouti are ranked 154 places below Egypt and survived for only 17 minutes before a low cross eluded two defenders and Salah fired into the net at the far post.

He slammed a penalty over goalkeeper Sulait Luyima and into the roof of the net five minutes later to give record seven-time African champions Egypt a two-goal lead by half-time.

Salah completed his hat-trick with a tap over the line at the far post on 48 minutes and netted again on 69 minutes with a close-range shot into the far corner.

The two-time African Footballer of the Year has scored 52 goals for Egypt, who are seeking a fourth World Cup appearance, with Canada, Mexico and the United States hosting the 2026 finals.

Nigeria are 113 places above Lesotho in the world rankings and were expected to make a winning start in Group C despite the absence through injury of star forward Victor Osimhen.

But Lesotho stunned the nome crowd in the southeastern city of Uyo by taking a 56th-minute lead when Motlomelo Mkhwanazi rose at the far post to nod home after a corner.

Nigeria equalised 11 minutes later when Semi Ajayi, who plays for English second-tier club West Bromwich Albion, scored with a powerful header off a corner taken by captain Kelechi Iheanacho.

Aided by a second-minute own goal in Algiers, four-time World Cup qualifiers Algeria defeated lowly ranked Somalia 3-1 in Group G.

After a low cross struck Ahmed Abdi and entered the Somali net, Baghdad Bounedjah doubled the lead before half-time.

Yusuf Ahmed halved the deficit midway through the second half and Algeria had to wait until 10 minutes from time before restoring a two-goal lead through Islam Slimani.

Kenya, back in international football after a FIFA ban for political interference prevented them playing in 2024 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying, lost 2-1 away to Gabon in Group F.

Masoud Juma put Kenya ahead just before half-time in Franceville, Denis Bouanga levelled on the hour mark and Guelor Kanga snatched an 88th-minute winner for the home side.