AFCON 2021 unpredictable; we can only focus on the Cameroon game in the semis: Egypt’s Salah

Egypt star winger Mohamed Salah said on Sunday that the AFCON 2021 has been unpredictable, and the pharaohs have to only focus on preparing for the semi-final game against Cameroon on Thursday - not think past it at the moment.

Mahmoud Elassal , Monday 31 Jan 2022,
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Salah

“We can’t predict what will happen in each game in the tournament ... I think the tournament is difficult ... and all teams suffered [in different ways],” Salah was quoted as saying on the Egyptian Football Association’s (EFA) official Facebook page after the Pharaohs beat Morocco 2-1 in the quarterfinals of the African Cup of Nations.

“We watched Algeria eliminated from the first round, Senegal qualified from the group stage by scoring only one goal, while Nigeria were the better side in the group stage but left the tournament from the round of last 16,” Salah said.

“We have to concentrate only on [preparing for] the game against Cameroon.”

Salah, 29, scored and provided a superb assist in the comeback win after extra time against Morocco on Sunday, setting up a semi-final meet against AFCON 2021 hosts Cameroon on Thursday.

Egypt gave away a clumsy penalty in the fourth minute, which Sofiane Boufal dispatched, placing Morocco ahead for most of the game.

However, the Pharaohs roared back in style after Salah inspired a comeback to keep the team’s hopes of a record-extending eighth crown.

The Liverpool talisman fired home on the rebound after Morocco keeper Yassine Bounou parried a header eight minutes into the second half before setting up substitute Mahmoud Trezeguet for a precious winner in the 100th minute.

“The game against Morocco was difficult, but we achieved victory, as we have young players, and we will keep moving forward,” Salah added.

The Pharaohs will be squaring off against the Indomitable Lions, who beat Gambia 2-0 in the quarterfinals on Saturday to reach the semis, five years after a 1-2 heartbreaking loss in the AFCON 2017 finals.

“Our target is to please the Egyptian people and we are in good shape, but we have to mentally recover after the game.”

“The players did their best during every game in the tournament, and I hope to march on to winning ways,” the Liverpool star said.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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Group A W D L P
Cameroon
2 1 0 7
Burkina Faso
1 1 1 4
Cape Verde
1 1 1 4
Ethiopia
0 1 2 1
Group B W D L P
Senegal
1 2 0 5
Guinea
1 1 1 4
Malawi
1 1 1 4
Zimbabwe
1 0 2 3
Group C W D L P
Morocco
2 1 0 7
Gabon
1 2 0 5
Comoros
1 0 2 3
Ghana
0 1 2 1
Group D W D L P
Nigeria
3 0 0 9
Egypt
2 0 1 6
Sudan
0 1 2 1
Guinea Bissau
0 1 2 1
Group E W D L P
Cote d Ivoire
2 1 0 7
Equatorial Guinea
2 0 1 6
Sierra Leone
0 2 1 2
Algeria
0 1 2 1
Group F W D L P
Mali
2 1 0 7
Gambia
2 1 0 7
Tunisia
1 0 2 3
Mauritania
0 0 3 0