Salah suffered injury before Guinea game, says Egypt coach

Karim Farouk , Monday 6 Jun 2022

Egypt coach Ehab Galal revealed that Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah has been struggling with an injury ahead of Sunday's 1-0 victory over Guinea in the African Cup of Nations qualifiers and is set to undergo scans.

Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah led Egypt to a 1-0 win against Guinea (Photo: Ahram)


The Liverpool talisman, who started on the right of a three-pronged attack, looked isolated throughout as Egypt struggled for openings upfront.

"Salah was suffering from an injury and he insisted on playing. He refused to undergo scans before the game but now he will have all his tests," Galal told the post-game press conference.

"Salah's presence is very important for the team on and off the pitch. The players have a lot of confidence in him and he gives them assurances and confidence."

Egypt claimed a narrow and late win over Guinea, with Salah making little impact. Substitute Mostafa Mohamed scored with three minutes remaining via a wicked deflection as Galal enjoyed a winning start after replacing veteran Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz last month.

"I was not worried about the result; I was confident we would win. We made some changes in the second half, bringing in players like Ibrahim Adel, whom I had a lot of confidence in, and Magdi Afsha, who helped us improve and score," Galal added.

"I said that I would not make a lot of changes in the beginning as I wanted to preserve the system that the players are used to.

"I just made a few changes in our system and kept our experienced players on the pitch like Amr El Sulaya and Hamdi Fathi, whom I want to thank for all their efforts as they had just returned from injuries."

Galal had to do without two key players -- Mahmoud Trezeguet, who picked up a knock while warming up for the game, and Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny, who was ruled out with an injury.

It's still not clear whether both will be available for Egypt's second Group D qualifier against Ethiopia on Thursday and a friendly against South Korea on 14 June.

Egypt found it hard to circumvent Guinea's high-pressing in the early stages of the game, with their three-man midfield lacking spark and imagination.

Galal said that he would pick midfielders who suit his attacking-minded strategy in the future but that he can hardly take any risks as he begins his tenure.

"We will improve in the future. I want to develop our game, especially offensively, but we will need more time to achieve our goal," he said.

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