Joy Sports will be covering the 2018 Fifa World Cup, and one of the African teams to hope for is Egypt!For decades, they have failed to turn their dominance of the African game into World Cup qualification – until a last-gasp penalty ensured their place in the field for the 2018 event.They last participated at the finals in 1990 and since then they have suffered the agony of several close misses, including a rare play-off game after finishing level with Algeria in the 2010 preliminaries. Over the years a myriad of coaches – including Ruud Krol, Marco Tardelli and Bob Bradley – have tried to take them to the promised land, but it was Hector Cuper who finally got them over the line.Key Moments in Qualifying Nov 2015A 1-0 loss away to Chad in the first leg of a preliminary game held out the possibility that the 2018 campaign might again be another Egyptian flop. However, it takes just 10 minutes in the return for the deficit to be cancelled out and they go on to win 4-1 on aggregate.Nov 2016Ghana had hammered Egypt 6-1 to qualify for the 2014 finals but revenge is extracted with a 2-0 win for the Pharaohs, who suddenly find themselves five points clear in Group E.Sep 2017Having lost 1-0 in Kampala just days earlier, Egypt host Uganda in Alexandria and win a nervy encounter with an early goal from Mohamed Salah in a less than convincing performance.Oct 2017Needing a win to make sure that they qualify with a game still to play, a last-gasp Salah penalty ends the agony for Egyptian supporters as they edge bottom-placed Congo 2-1 at the Borg El Arab Stadium.Egypt World Cup GroupEgypt are placed in Group A alongside the hosts Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Uruguay. Egypt World Cup FriendliesThe World Cup friendlies have not gone well for Egypt. First they lost to Portugal, and then Greece four days later. Then they had two draws against Colombia and Kuwait, before a final 3-0 loss to Belgium on the 6th of June.23rd March – Portugal (lost 2-1)27th March – Greece (lost 1-0)26th May – Kuwait (drew 1-1)1st June – Colombia (drew 0-0)6th June – Belgium (lost 3-0)Egypt World Cup FixturesEgypt will play their first World Cup Fixture on the 15th of June against arguably the toughest team in the group, Uruguay. On the 19th they will play the hosts Russia, and will then finish their group stage against Saudi Arabia on the 25th.15th June – Uruguay19th June – Russia25th June – Saudi ArabiaRelated: Mohamed Salah June 2013The Coach Hector Cuper, age 61 (16.11.55)Appointed in March 2015 on a three-year contract, the Argentinian took Mallorca to the European Cup-winners Cup Final and Valencia to two successive Champions League Finals.The PlayersStarMohamed Salah is very much the talisman of the team.StalwartsKeeper Essam El Hadary, who is 45 in January, could become the oldest player ever at the World Cup. Ahmed Fathy has won 122 caps, while mercurial midfield talent Shikabala has recently returned to the national set-up after a three-year absence.MissingBasem Morsy has not played since being punished for leaving the stadium after being substituted when Egypt beat Ghana in November 2016.Debuts Amr Marey, a striker who plays for Etoile Sahel in Tunisia, received his first call-up.Egypt World Cup SquadFinal 23-man squad – GOALKEEPERS: Essam El Hadary (Al Taawoun), Mohamed El-Shennawy (Al Ahly), Sherif Ekramy (Al Ahly). DEFENDERS: Ahmed Fathi, Saad Samir, Ayman Ashraf (all Al Ahly), Mahmoud Hamdy (Zamalek), Mohamed Abdel-Shafy (Al Fateh), Ahmed Hegazi (West Brom), Ali Gabr (Zamalek), Ahmed Elmohamady (Aston Villa), Omar Gaber (Los Angeles FC).MIDFIELDERS: Tarek Hamed, (Zamalek), Shikabala (Zamalek), Abdallah Said (Al Ahli), Sam Morsy (Wigan Athletic), Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal), Mahmoud Kahraba (Al Ittihad), Ramadan Sobhi (Stoke City), Mahmoud Hassan (Kasimpasa), Amr Warda (Atromitos Athens).FORWARDS: Marwan Mohsen (Al Ahly), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool).Egypt World Cup InjuriesMohamed Salah injured his shoulder during the champions League Final after a challenge by Sergio Ramos. Time will tell if he is fit enough to play.The Unanswered Questions What sights will Egypt be setting themselves at the tournament?Hector Cuper says a place in the last 16 is the ambition, but a lack of experience may count against them. Egypt, however, will point to the fact that they reached the Final of the Nations Cup after missing three successive African championships.Will Essam El Hadary become the oldest player at the World Cup?After keeping goal in five of the six group games he was left out of Cuper’s last squad and has now moved to Saudi Arabia, where he might not get as much competitive action as the coach desires to keep him in shape for Russia.Will Mohamed Salah rise to the challenge on the world stage?Since he joined Liverpool, Mohamed Salah has upped his reputation and became a major star, not only in Africa but worldwide. These days he is under immense pressure to deliver every time he plays for Egypt and he might find the pressure too much to deliver consistently in the finals.— Follow the World Cup with the Multimedia Group! With live English radio commentary on Joy 99.7 FM radio, Akan radio commentary on Asempa 94.7 FM and livestreaming on Myjoyonline.com, we’ve got you covered all-tournament long.