Egypt is closing in on an historic World Cup place, an achievement that would wipe away two years of pain for the country’s football scene.
Leading Africa’s Group G, Egypt plays Zimbabwe on Sunday, when victory can just about sew up a place in the regional playoffs.
But Africa’s tricky qualifying process to reach Brazil next year can still spell trouble for the bigger teams.
The 10 group winners have to play those final two-legged playoffs before sealing their place at the World Cup, changes that mean the trip to football’s top tournament will ultimately hinge on one tie and not a prolonged group competition like last time.
Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Cameroon also lead their groups, while Ghana is under pressure.
Egypt closing in on history in football World Cup bid