Mohamed Salah ended a three-game barren run for Egypt with four goals as they thrashed Djibouti 6-0 on Thursday, breaking yet another record in the process.
Salah failed to find the back of the net in each of his country’s previous fixtures so far this season, misfiring against Tunisia, Zambia and Algeria.
But with Liverpool’s No. 11 in blistering form of late, there was no surprise as he struck four against lowly Djibouti in Egypt’s first qualifier for the 2026 World Cup.
Djibouti, a nation on the Horn of Africa with a population of under a million, have only won twice before in 22 World Cup qualifiers since they began participating in 2000.
Up against one of the best players in world football, they were put to the sword with ease.
Salah’s first goal came after 17 minutes, finishing from close range with his right foot, before converting a penalty after Omar Kamal was brought down five minutes later.
The Egypt captain had a chance to make it a hat-trick before the break, but eventually did so three minutes after the restart.
His fourth was the pick of the goals, touching down Ahmed Fotouh’s clipped ball in the box and firing into the far bottom corner with his left on the turn.
Having begun the day on 11 goals in World Cup qualifying, sitting third in Egypt’s all-time list, Salah has now scored more than any other player.
Salah’s 15 goals in qualifiers lifts him above Mohamed Aboutrika, who had held the record since 2013 – with Amr Zaki, the former Wigan and Hull loanee, now third with 12.
The 31-year-old has netted 53 times in 92 games for his country, meaning he is only 13 behind Egypt’s all-time record goalscorer, Hossam Hassan.
He was subject to a series of strong challenges from Djibouti players throughout, which eventually saw him square up to defender Moussa Araita, but thankfully he avoided any injury.
Egypt’s next game is away to Sierra Leone on Sunday, giving Salah another opportunity to extend his tally further.
Olivia Martin is a dedicated sports journalist based in the UK. With a passion for various athletic disciplines, she covers everything from major league championships to local sports events, delivering up-to-the-minute updates and in-depth analysis.