Having failed to reach a World Cup since Italia 1990, the euphoric relief was understandably palpable after Mohamed Salah’s tension-busting 94th-minute penalty hit the back of the Congolese net and assured The Pharaohs of a berth in Russia on Sunday evening.
The historic result in Alexandria sparked scenes of mass delirium in capital city Cairo, some 150 miles down the road, as fans took to the streets in droves to celebrate in unison.
For a people that lived under what was effectively martial law until just a few years ago, it was a long-overdue chance to go a little bit nutty…
Fans poured into Tahrir Square in the centre of Cairo, with the entire city very nearly grinding to a standstill as revellers celebrated en masse.
As you might expect, the jubilant din created by the thronging supporters was nigh-on Tinnitus-inducing as traffic crawled by…
— Ali Abdel-Rahman (@Ali98) October 8, 2017
One of the fans in Tahrir Square, 23-year-old Gamal Mohamed, assessed the scene for The Star newspaper:
It’s been 28 years and we’re finally going to enter the World Cup. Today is a day of celebration for the entire country.
You can look around and see how people are happy. This is something you never witness in Egypt.
Truly, truly ace.
Roll on Russia 2018.