Egypt's Salah is our number one penalty taker, says Liverpool coach Klopp

Ahram Online , Friday 13 Oct 2017

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp talks to Philippe Coutinho and Mohamed Salah during the warm up before the match (Photo: Reuters)

Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp said on Friday Mohamed Salah would be his first penalty taker after his stoppage-time spot kick fired Egypt to their first World Cup finals since 1990.

The in-form winger netted a brace, including a last-gasp penalty, to help Egypt beat Congo 2-1 in a dramatic and nerve-jangling World Cup qualifier in Alexandria last Sunday to reach next year's Russia finals with one match to spare in Group E.

The win sparked wild celebrations among more than 80,000 fans at the Borg El-Arab Stadium in Egypt's second biggest city, with Salah earning plaudits for another match-winning performance, having also scored the only goal which gave the Pharaohs a 1-0 victory over Uganda in the previous qualifier.

Liverpool's spot-kicks are usually taken by Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino but Klopp said he has decided to pick Salah as his penalty taker.

"I nearly had a heart attack, I thought I had to go down there and take the situation. But he did it and I would say in this moment he is our No.1 penalty taker," Klopp told a news conference previewing Saturday's anticipated Premier League clash against Manchester United.

The German coach said he was proud of Salah following his double salvo, saying Egypt had deserved to book a World Cup ticket.

"Very proud. Did anybody see the six-minute video summary of the game?" he added when asked about how felt when Salah converted the penalty.

"I never saw a celebration like this for 1-0 after 60 minutes - I thought it was a Golden Goal in a World Cup final! Then, after 87 minutes they made the equaliser, obviously not a nice moment. Then, 94 minutes, I never saw a celebration of a penalty like this until someone said, 'by the way, we still have to score'.

"That pressure was unbelievable, he did really well, and after 27 years it’s fantastic news for Egypt.

"That's a really good generation that they have there and they should go to the World Cup but, how it always is, first you have to be qualified. Now they are there it's obviously a good moment."

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