ALEXANDRIA (Reuters) - Egypt beat Zimbabwe 2-1 with a late Mohamed Aboutrika penalty to open a five-point gap at the top of Group G in African World Cup qualifying on Tuesday to preserve their 100 percent record.
The result left Zimbabwe bottom with one point from three games halfway through the group phase and effectively out of the race for a place at next year's finals in Brazil.
Egypt, who played in front of a restricted 10,000 crowd at the Borg El Arab Stadium, took a 65th minute lead through Hosni Abd Rabo's curling free kick but Knowledge Musona equalised with a half-volley from the edge of the box in the 75th.
However, a foul three minutes from time by Mohamed Salah allowed Aboutrika to tuck home the winner and keep the seven-time African champions on target for their first World Cup appearance since the 1990 finals in Italy.
The 10 group winners from the second round of African qualifying will go through to the final playoff stage.
(Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Johannesburg; Editing by Ken Ferris; Editing by xx; firstname.lastname@example.org +27828257807 Messaging email@example.com)