Bob Bradley, Egypt score wild World Cup qualifying win, take big step towards Brazil

Bob Bradley with the Egyptian national team

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Bob Bradley and his Egypt national team are within one win of the final round of World Cup qualifying in Africa after picking up a wild 4-2 win against Zimbabwe on Sunday.

The win allowed the Pharaohs to stay perfect in their qualifying group, and they could have even clinched a berth in the final round Sunday if not for Guinea's 6-1 win over Mozambique later in the day.

As it stands, Egypt have 12 points from four games, with second-placed Guinea trailing on seven points, giving Bradley's charges a five-point cushion heading into the final two games of Group G, where only the top team advances to the final round. If Egypt do advance, they will face another group winner for a spot in Brazil next summer.

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Mohamed Aboutrika got things going for Egypt in Zimbabwe, striking in the 7th minute, though the hosts equalized 15 minutes later. However, strikes on either side of halftime from 20-year-old FC Basel striker Mohamed Salah restored Egypt's cushion, and the youngster completed his hat-trick minutes after the home side cut the lead to 3-2.

The win leaves Bradley's team as the only one of 40 participants in the current stage of African qualifying to have a perfect 4-0-0 record through four games:

Egypt will remain on the road when they travel to already-eliminated Mozambique on June 16, where a win or any points dropped by Guinea will guarantee a berth in the final round. Otherwise, Bradley and his players will have to wait for a decisive home game against Guinea on September 6 to be sure of a spot in the playoff round.