HARARE, Zimbabwe — Mohamed Salah carried his goal-scoring spree from Liverpool to Cairo, netting four times Thursday in Egypt's 6-0 rout of Djibouti in World Cup qualifying.

Salah had a hat trick in the first half hour of the match at Cairo International Stadium. He added the fourth toward the end of play.

It was Egypt's first match in African qualifying for the expanded 2026 World Cup. The seven-time African Cup champions failed to qualify for last year's World Cup in Qatar after playing at the 2018 tournament in Russia.

With Liverpool, Salah has scored 12 goals in all competitions — including twice in the 3-0 win over Brentford in the Premier League. Salah is the first player in Liverpool history to score in the first six home games of a league season.

Mostafa Mohammed and Trézéguet scored the other goals for the Pharaohs.

In other matches, Nigeria was held to a 1-1 draw at home by Lesotho, Algeria beat Somalia 3-1, Burundi edged Gambia 3-2, Mozambique defeated Botswana 3-2, Gabon beat Kenya 2-1 and Sudan held Togo to a 1-1 draw.

Nine teams from Africa will qualify directly for the 48-team World Cup in the United States, Mexico and Canada. A 10th team could make the field through the playoffs.

The Nigerians were surprisingly held to a draw by one of the continent’s smallest countries. The host team controlled much of the possession at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, but Lesotho took the lead early in the second half when defender Motlomelo Mkhawanazi rose unmarked to put the Crocodiles ahead with a thumping header.

Victor Boniface, a forward who plays for Bayer Leverkusen, equalized with another free header from a cross by Kelechi Iheanacho.

Lesotho has never qualified for the African Cup of Nations, let alone the World Cup.

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