The Congolese almost ruined Egypt's World Cup hopes, after Boukah Moulou cancelled Mohammed Salah's 64th minute goal in the 87th minute.
The win sent hundreds of thousands of fans across the soccer-mad country celebrating, honking auto horns and waving Egypt's red, white and black flags.
Unused subs: Kifoueti, Kibamba, Bissiki, Dore, Illoy-Ayyet, Pambou, Avounou, Mafoumbi, Baudry.
However, the atmosphere was subdued and many fans shed tears when Congo's Arnold Bouka equalized with a half-volley after a defensive lapse with three minutes remaining.
But the Egyptians' World Cup hoodoo ended as Salah held his nerve late on.
Bradley was appointed as Egypt manager in September 2011, hoping to lead Egypt to their first World Cup appearance since 1990. Just after the hour mark, Salah latched on to a pass from Arsenal's Mohamed El Nenny before poking home from close range.
But Congo threatened to turn party-poopers as substitute Moutou, a France-based defender, beat 44-year-old goalkeeper Essam El Hadary from inside the box.
Egypt was arguably Africa's best team during the 1990s and 2000s, despite never making the World Cup.
But in the 95th minute, Egypt were awarded a penalty which Salah converted to send the whole nation into wild jubilation.
The desperation to qualify ahead of the game was so great that Egypt's Argentinian coach Hector Cuper admitted he was taking medication for high blood pressure.