Egypt sealed their passage to the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations thanks to a straightforward 2-0 win over the Democratic Republic of Congo, as Mohamed Salah got off the mark in the competition.
Although DR Congo had their moments and certainly threatened the tournament hosts, Javier Aguirre's side were well worth the win that sends them through and leaves the Congolese in danger of an early exit.
Marcel Tisserand and Jonathan Bolingi hit the frame of the goal for DR Congo either side of Ahmed Elmohamady's opener in the first half, before Salah doubled the lead just before the break.
The Leopards looked the more threatening for much of the second period, though Egypt held firm to claim the victory, meaning the best DR Congo can hope for now is to qualify as one of the best third-placed sides.
DR Congo started brightly and should have scored in the 10th minute, but Tisserand hit the crossbar a few yards out following a corner.
Egypt took advantage 15 minutes later – DR Congo failing to clear Salah's cross as Elmohamady flicked in from seven yards.
The bar saved Egypt again late in the half as Bolingi's header hit the woodwork.
Egypt made them pay for a second time soon after, as Trezeguet brilliantly evaded three opponents in his half, drove forward and fed Salah, who placed a disguised finish into the bottom-right corner.
DR Congo attacked with greater emphasis after the break and went close just past the hour – Bolingi shooting across the face of goal and agonisingly wide.
Christian Luyindama then saw a header cleared just in front of goal 11 minutes from time, before a Yannick Bolasie free-kick flew inches wide of the post.
Key Opta Facts
- Egypt have lost only one of their last 27 games at the Africa Cup of Nations (W20 D6), against Cameroon in the 2017 final.
- DR Congo have won only one of their last 11 games in all competitions (D6 L4).
- Salah has been involved in five of Egypt’s last eight goals at the Africa Cup of Nations (three goals, two assists).