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Egypt vs Senegal. FIFA World Cup African Qualifying Third Round.

Cairo International Stadium.

Egypt 1-0 Senegal: Mohamed Salah gets better of Sadio Mane to give Egypt World Cup playoff advantage

Senegal's Saliou Ciss scores unfortunate own goal to hand Egypt advantage ahead of World Cup playoff second leg in Dakar; Regional rivals Ghana and Nigeria play out a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their World Cup playoff; Giroud and Tchouameni strike in France win over Ivory Coast

Egypt's Mohamed Salah celebrates after the African Cup of Nations Group D soccer match between Egypt and Guinea-Bissau in Garoua, Cameroon, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022.
Image: Mohamed Salah and Egypt hold the advantage heading into second leg

Mohamed Salah got the better of Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane as Egypt edged Senegal 1-0 in the first leg of their World Cup playoff to take a slender lead to Dakar for Tuesday's return.

The rematch between the two Liverpool forwards, six weeks after Senegal beat Egypt on penalties to win their first Africa Cup of Nations title, saw Salah set up the only goal.

He beat the offside trap to get on the end of a ball over the top of the defence from Amr El Sulaya, hitting the bar before the rebound bounced off Senegal defender Saliou Ciss's knee and into the net for a dream start after four minutes.

But that was all Egypt managed despite a capacity 75,000 crowd at the Cairo International Stadium where Senegal proved more enterprising and will still feel confident about winning the tie on aggregate and advancing to the World Cup in Qatar.

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Watch highlights of the World Cup qualifier play-off match between Sweden and Czech Republic.

Mane was the heart of much of his teams attacks and had an excellent chance eight minutes before half-time as a mazy run at the defence saw him open up space to shoot, only to slip at the vital moment and see his shot balloon well wide.

He also had a chance at the back post early in the second half but failed to make contact with Egypt's defence stretched.

Senegal kept pressing until the final whistle in search of an equaliser, and a potentially vital away goal, but were kept at bay by some desperate defending.

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The away goals rule is still in use in African football despite being removed from competition in Europe this season.

Little spice in Jollof derby as Ghana and Nigeria draw

Regional rivals Ghana and Nigeria played out a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their World Cup playoff in Kumasi on Friday, leaving the tie wide open when they meet again in Abuja on Tuesday to decide a place at the World Cup.

The Jollof derby, so-called after the rice dish popular in both countries, failed to produce much spice and will have left fans unsatisfied after a myriad of mistakes and poor decision-making marked the game.

Home side Ghana had more of the possession and chances but proved sloppy in their finishing.

Only twice did they test goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, who made a stop from a stinging shot by Issahaku Fatawu in the 33rd minute and then again in the 71st minute from Mohammed Kudus.

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North Macedonia players and fans celebrate after beating European champions Italy in the World Cup play-off semi-final.

Nigeria's best opening fell to Moses Simon 10 minutes into the second half but he squandered the chance to score a vital away goal.

Nigeria were awarded a penalty with 15 minutes left when Idrissu Baba Mohamed handled the ball after being tripped in his own penalty area, but after a VAR check the referee changed his decision and handed Ghana a free-kick.

Ghana were playing their first game under new coach Otto Addo, who had former Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton as a consultant.

He handed debuts to AS Roma teenager Felix Ohene-Gyan and 33-year-old former Belgium defender Denis Odoi, who switched allegiance ahead of the two-legged playoff.

Leicester City's Ademola Lookman, who had previously played for England at U21 level, made his Nigeria debut as a substitute for the last 15 minutes.

Giroud on the spot in France comeback win over Ivory Coast

Olivier Giroud defied the doubters again as he marked his France comeback by scoring his 47th international goal when the world champions beat Ivory Coast 2-1 in a friendly on Friday.

Giroud, who had not been called up since his country were knocked out in the last 16 of the European Championship last year, cancelled out Nicolas Pepe's opener to move four goals shy of Thierry Henry's all-time scoring record for France before Aurelie Tchouameni wrapped up the win in stoppage time.

The AC Milan forward, who rarely disappointed coach Didier Deschamps despite limited playing time when he was at Chelsea, was included in the squad following Karim Benzema's injury.

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Olivier Giroud, Martin Tyler and Wayne Hennessey look back at the former Arsenal striker's stunning 'scorpion kick' finish from 2017.

He started alongside Christopher Nkunku as Kylian Mbappe sat on the bench after suffering from an ear, nose and throat infection earlier this week.

France got off to a shaky start but once they found their groove threatened more than their opponents as Paul Pogba and Tchouameni bossed the midfield at a packed Stade Velodrome.

Pepe burst into the area and fired a low cross-shot from the near post that beat goalkeeper Hugo Lloris after 19 minutes as the French defence was caught napping.

It took France three minutes to react with Giroud heading home from his club team-mate Theo Hernandez for the equaliser. Les Bleus continued to push and Nkunku came close in the opening half but his header went just too high.

They were, however, rewarded three minutes into added time when Tchouameni headed his first goal from eight appearances off Matteo Guendouzi's corner.

France next take on South Africa in Lille on Tuesday as they continue the build-up to this year's World Cup in Qatar.

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