Egypt was given a bye to the second round.
Egypt started their qualifying campaign in November 2015 when they slumped to a stunning 0-1 defeat at minnows Chad in the first-leg of the preliminary round in N'Djaména.
Striker Ezechiel Ndousal scored the winner in the 74th minute, giving his side a first-leg advantage.
Few days later, the Pharaohs thrashed Chad 4-0 in the second leg in Alexandria to advance to the group stage with a 4-1 aggregate win.
Mohamed Elneny scored a rare goal to open the scoring in the fourth minute and Abdallah El-Said doubled the lead six minutes later. Striker Ahmed 'Kouka' Hassan netted twice to complete the rout before the halftime whistle.
Round 3 (groupstage):
Congo 1-2 Egypt
Egypt made a fine start to their group stage campaign in the final round, coming from behind to earn a 2-1 victory away to Congo in October 2016.
Ferebory Dore gave the hosts a surprise lead in the 24th minute but Egypt swiftly responded, equalising four minutes before the break before Ahly playmaker Abdallah El-Said netted a precious winner in the 58th minute.
Egypt 2-0 Ghana
Egypt made it two wins out of two with another valuable win, this time at the expense of heavyweights Ghana one month later in Alexandria.
The Black Stars, reeling from a surprise opening draw at home to Uganda, were undone by a penalty from Mohamed Salah three minutes before the interval and a clinical finish by Abdallah El-Said with three minutes remaining.
Uganda 1-0 Egypt
Despite looking well-equipped to maintain their winning start, Egypt were stunned by a 1-0 loss to Uganda in Kampala last August following a below-par performance on a muddy pitch.
Striker Emmanuel Okwi scored the winner for his side with a low shot from inside the area six minutes after the break after eluding a couple of defenders.
The win fired the Cranes to the top of the group at the expense of Egypt. This loss complicated Egypt's situation in the group but Congo held Ghana to a surprise draw in Kumasi to prevent the Black Stars from reviving their qualification hopes.
Egypt 1-0 Uganda
Egypt avenged the loss a few days later, securing a narrow 1-0 victory at home to Uganda to regain their position at the summit of the group.
Mohamed Salah notched what proved to be the winner in the sixth minute, firing home on the second attempt after his initial effort was parried by the keeper following a superb chipped pass from Abdallah El-Said.
The win put Egypt in a pole position to reach the World Cup, bringing the dream closer.
Egypt 2-1 Congo
Egypt secured a World Cup berth after a 28-year absence when a stoppage-time penalty from Mohamed Salah gave them a 2-1 win over Congo in a nerve-jangling affair on 8 October.
Salah opened the scoring in the 62 minute but Congo's substitute Arnold Bouka leveled the score with three minutes remaining. However, Mahmoud Trezeguet was hauled down and Salah dispatched the resulting penalty to fire Egypt to the Russia finals.
Game is due to be played on 6 November.
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