Cape Town - Goals from Mohamed Elneny and Mohamed Salah powered Egypt to a 2-0 away win over Botswana in a 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Friday night.
The Pharaohs, who lost their first two Group G qualifiers against Senegal and Tunisia last month, have put themselves on the board in the standings and will be hoping that the top two play to a draw when they meet reports the supersport website.
The Zebras, in contrast, have now suffered three straight defeats and look to be out of the running to appear at the Afcon finals in Morocco next year.
After a goalless first half at the National Stadium in Gaborone, Egypt broke the deadlock 10 minutes into the second stanza when midfielder Mohamed Elneny smashed a long-range shot into the top corner.
And just past the hour mark it was 2-0 to the North Africans, with Mohamed Salah shooting low into the net from the edge of the penalty area.
Such was the Pharaohs’ dominance of the match that they could have easily added to their advantage, but opted instead to take their foot of the pedal and cruise to full time.
The teams will meet again for the return match on Wednesday evening in Cairo.