A fourth-minute own goal by Senegal’s Saliou Ciss was enough to give Egypt a 1-0 win in the first leg of their World Cup play-off in Cairo.
Ciss was incredibly unlucky when a shot from Mohamed Salah was pushed on to the bar by Edouard Mendy before striking the defender and going into the net.
The game was billed as a rerun of the recent Africa Cup of Nations final – won by Senegal on penalties after the match ended 0-0 – and to an extent it captured the cagey nature of that occasion back in February, with few chances of significance created by either side.
The game featured Liverpool’s two star strikers Salah and Sadio Mane, but neither of them had stellar games.
Nevertheless, on a day dominated by north African teams – Algeria and Tunisia also won 1-0, albeit away, and Morocco got an away goal in a draw in DR Congo – Ciss’s unfortunate moment meant Egypt matched the achievements of their continental neighbours.
The teams meet again in the second leg on Tuesday, with the winner qualifying for November’s tournament in Qatar.
Analysis – Riham Eldeeb, BBC Arabic in Cairo
In this repeat of the African Cup of Nations final, Egypt beat Senegal by the narrowest of margins to take the lead in the first leg of the qualifiers for Qatar.
Both sides had a number of attempts, but the size of the occasion meant a lot were half-chances and deflected efforts.
It made for a nervy last few minutes, but the Pharaohs held out.
They will now be out for revenge in the second leg after the heartbreaking penalty defeat last month which stopped them from adding a record eighth Afcon title.
But Senegal coach Aliou Cisse may be cheered by knowing that his team surely won’t play as badly in front of their home fans – and they’re only down by a single goal.