Mohamed Salah's hat-trick saw Egypt upstage Zimbabwe 4-2 in Harare, as the Pharaohs 2014 Fifa World Cup hopes are on trackOn an afternoon where Salah stole the show, the Egyptian provided an assist to Mohamed Abou-Treika who opened the scoring for Egypt. Knowledge Musona and Lincoln Zvasiya were on target for Zimbabwe in either half.
Five minutes into the match, Salah dispatched a cross to veteran Abou-Treika who connected first time past Washington Arubi in goal for the hosts. But Musona restored parity 16 minutes later by capitalising on a defensive lapse between the Pharaoh's twin centre backs Mahmoud Fathallah and Ahmed Hegazy at the end of a long ball from Tafadzwa Rusike.
The Augsburg forward was precise to beat advancing Egypt goalie Sherif Ekramy. While Musona was a constant threat to the Egyptians, Salah was also a menace at the other end as he came close to put his side into the lead when his well-dispatched shot forced a save from Arubi in the 32nd minute.
Two minutes later Musona sensationaly dribbled past two Egypt defenders but Ekramy did well to deny him. Some dreadful defending by the hosts saw Salah reclaiming the lead for the Pharaohs when he got to the end of Ekramy's goalkick to beat Felix Chindungwe before finishing past Arubi.
The 20-year-old further thrust Egypt ahead in the 76th minute following comical defending again by Zimbabwe as substitute Denver Mukamba lost possesion in the midfield to allow Salah to clinicaly beat Zvasiya enroute to firing past Arubi.
Zimbabwe reduced arrears eight minutes from time to give themselves hope of at least an equaliser when the goal was headed in from an Ocean Mushure cross from the far right. But a minute later Salah sealed his hat-trick when Abou-Treika turned to be the provider of a cross that the FC Basel forward cooly finished.
For coach Bob Bradley and his Pharaohs, it was a step toward making it to the next round of qualification where 10 group toppers are paired and play in two-legged matches. Egypt now have 12 points and just need three points to sail past the group stages as they now travel to Mozambique whom they face on Sunday.
With a 100% Group C record, Egypt consolidated their five-point lead over Guinea who hammered Mozambique 6-1 later away in Maputo.