Egypt on Sunday became the second African country to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, joining the continent’s contingent to Russia, flagged off by Nigeria on Saturday.
The qualification could be of great benefit to goalkeeper El Hadary who could become the oldest player at a World Cup ever if he plays next year, says news agency Reuters.
The record was set by Colombian goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon who played at the age of 43 at the 2014 World Cup, while El Hadary turns 45 next year.
In the three decades since their last World Cup appearance, Egypt have won four Africa Cup of Nations titles, and these were in 1998, 2006, 2008 and 2010.
But they have never taken that form into World Cup qualifying.
They had suffered repeated heart-break instead, with one of the most painful defeats coming in 2009 when they lost a bitterly-contested play-off against Algeria.
The desperation to qualify ahead of the game was so great that Egypt’s Argentinian coach Hector Cuper admitted he was taking medication for high blood pressure.
The victory gives Egypt an unassailable four-point lead over Uganda in Group E, with one round of fixtures left, while Ghana’s dreams also ended.
Africa’s remaining three places are to be decided in November.