Mohamed Salah scored twice in Egypt's 4-0 win against Comoros (Photo: Egyptian FA)
Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah scored twice to send Egypt to a convincing 4-0 victory against Comoros on Monday at Cairo Stadium, claiming the top of Group G with 12 points.
Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny and Mohamed Sherif completed the rout on minutes 15 and 17.
Salah's brace increases his tally of goals with the Pharaohs to 45, edging out late Tersana striker Hassan El-Shazli, who scored 44 goals, to second place behind Egypt’s all-time leading scorer Hossam Hassan, who bagged 69 goals.
However, not all of Salah's goals are counted as international goals, as he netted twice against Swaziland, 10-0, on 22 March 2013 in a game that has not been counted as a full international game.
The Pharaohs made amends for their poor display against Kenya last week 1-1 with an entertaining display, especially in the first half.
Coach Hossam El-Badry made six changes to the team that played in Nairobi, bringing in defenders Ali Gabr, Abdallah Gomaa and Omar Gaber, midfielders Elneny and Amr El-Sulaya, in addition to Mohamed Sherif as a lone striker.
The seven-time African champions had a blistering start of the game as they went 4-0 up in the first 25 minutes.
Elneny opened the scoring in the 15th minute with a beautiful curling strike from the edge of the area that went into the top corner.
Two minutes later, Afsha dispossessed midfielder Abdullah and sent Sherif clear on target to double the lead with a calm finish.
Sherif made a show of selflessness four minutes later, when he assisted Salah in front of the goal while in a scoring position, letting the Liverpool forward grab his first goal of the night.
Afsha completed his hat-trick of assists when he sent a through ball to Salah behind the defenders to round the keeper and score in the empty nets.
It was a complete first half masterclass for the hosts against their helpless opponents, who had their first attempt on target in the 40th minute when Chamed's shot was easily parried by keeper Mohamed El-Shennawi.
After the break, Comoros pressed forward in an attempt to get anything out of this game, while Egypt eased their tempo after securing the points of the game.
They had a few attempts throughout the second half but nothing to threaten substitute keeper Mahmoud "Gennesh" Abdel-Rehim.
El-Badry rested his key players and introduced fresh faces including striker Ahmed Yasser Rayan, who made his international debut tonight.
In the 71st minute, Salah wore Egypt's armband for the first time of his career as skipper El-Sulaya left the pitch.
He could have completed his hat-trick with a late attempt but keeper Ahamada denied him.
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