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Mo Salah produces stunning assist as Andy Robertson savours weighty win

Mo Salah pulled off another brilliant outside-of-the-boot assist as he featured for Egypt on Friday, while Andy Robertson led Scotland to a place in the World Cup playoffs.

With Egypt chasing a spot in the third round of CAF’s World Cup qualifiers, Salah started for Carlos Queiroz’s side as they visited Angola on Friday.

It was a rough start for the Pharaohs, however, as goals from Helder Costa and M’Bala Nzola gave the hosts a 2-0 lead, while elsewhere in Group F, Gabon were chasing a win against Libya.

Salah was central to Egypt’s comeback, though, with Liverpool’s No. 11 recording two assists as they sealed a 2-2 draw and progress to the next stage.

His first assist, for ex-Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny, was particularly impressive, racing into the box from his place on the right wing before cutting the ball back with the outside of his foot.

The equaliser came through another outside-of-the-boot pass from Salah, though it was less decisive in the move as he found Akram Tawfik 25 yards out and the midfielder powered home.

While it was not the most convincing result for Egypt, they are now through to the third round of qualifiers along with Mali, Morocco and Sadio Mane‘s Senegal so far.

The third round will put 10 sides against each other in two-legged ties, with the five winners reaching the World Cup.

Scotland find themselves in a similar position after their 2-0 win in Moldova on Friday evening, with Robertson playing the full 90 minutes.

The 27-year-old played as a left wing-back, with goals from Nathan Patterson and Che Adams clinching the victory, which puts Scotland through to the playoff semi-finals.

Those ties will take place in March, with Scotland seeded for the draw which could pit them against the likes of Norway, North Macedonia, Ukraine or the Czech Republic.

Scotland have not qualified for a World Cup since 1998, when they finished bottom of a group topped by finalists Brazil.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Friday, November 12, 2021: England's captain Jordan Henderson (R) and Liverpool team-mate Trent Alexander­Arnold after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifying Group I match between England and Albania at Wembley Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Elsewhere, Jordan Henderson scored one and assisted another in England’s 5-0 win over Albania, with Trent Alexander-Arnold coming off the bench in a victory that edges the Three Lions closer to a World Cup spot.

Young left-back Owen Beck scored his first goal for the Wales under-21s in their record 7-0 victory over Gibraltar, as Morgan Boyes played the final 31 minutes.

Sepp van den Berg made his maiden start for the Netherlands under-21s, playing the full 90 minutes in a 3-1 Euro qualifier win over Bulgaria.

Liam Hughes kept a clean sheet as the Northern Ireland under-21s sealed a 4-0 win over Lithuania in their qualifier.

Conor Bradley and Melkamu Frauendorf were the only Liverpool players unused in their internationals on Friday, with Tom Clayton playing the final stages of the Scotland under-21s’ 2-1 victory against Kazakhstan.

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