(CNN) -- Algeria grabbed Africa's last qualification place for the 2010 World Cup by beating Egypt 1-0 in a tense deciding play off in Khartoum, Sudan on Wednesday, thanks to a first-half goal from Antar Yahia.
The Desert Foxes took the lead on 39 minutes when Yahia, who plays for German club VfL Bochum, fired a bullet-shot into the roof of Essam El Hadary's net from five meters, after latching onto a deep pass into the area from Karim Ziani.
Egypt piled on the pressure for much of the second half but the Algerian defense withstood the onslaught to progress to their first finals since 1986.
Pharaohs' striker Emad Motaeb came close to equalizing when he tested Faouzi Chaouchi after great set-up work from fellow forward Mohamed Zidan.
The Algerian shot-stopper saved brilliantly to keep his team on-course before Rafik Saifi failed to head his side into a 2-0 lead from close range shortly after.
Chaouchi again came to the rescue blocking Abdelzaher El Saqqa close- range effort to keep his side on course
A crowd of more than 30,000 packed the neutral ground in Khatoum's sister city of Omdurman, normally home to club side Al-Merreikh, to watch the decisive playoff, including Gamal and Alaa Mubarak, the sons of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
They watched as the Pharaohs, despite their African champion status, failed to qualify for their first World Cup in twenty years while Algeria booked their place to join hosts South Africa, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Nigeria at the first World Cup to be hosted by the African continent.
The all-or-nothing deciding game between the African arch-rivals came after both teams had finished with equal statistics in Africa's Group C.
The match was played without incident despite fears over security after Algerian players had been injured by stone-throwing fans in Cairo.