Mohamed Salah injury ‘not serious’, says Egypt assistant coach

The Egyptian ace picked up a knock with just minutes remaining of Egypt's clash against Swaziland. (Reuters)
Updated 13 October 2018
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Mohamed Salah injury ‘not serious’, says Egypt assistant coach

  • Salah scores for first time in four matches as Egypt beat Swaziland 4-1.
  • Egyptian ace's match marred by picking up an injury towards the end of the match.

Hany Ramzy insisted Mohamed Salah’s injury, suffered during Egypt’s 4-1 win over Swaziland, is not serious and that the Liverpool player will be fit soon.
Salah ended his four-game goal drought by finding the back of the net direct from a corner in the African Cup of Nations qualifier in Cairo. It
was the side’s fourth in an easy victory, but was overshadowed as the 26-year-old limped off toward the end of the match.
But any fears Egypt and Liverpool fans had were quickly laid to rest the the Pharaohs’ assistant coach.
“It doesn’t look serious. I think it is only a muscle strain but he will undergo medical scans to determine the length of the injury” Ramzy told Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram.
It was his fifth goal in his past four matches for the Pharaohs, but while he has been in brilliant form for his country, he has struggled for his club. Before the clash against Swaziland Salah was without a goal for Liverpool since Sept. 22 something of a slump after his 44 goals in a blistering debut season at Anfield last season.
The 26-year-old is expected to sit out a return match for Swaziland on Tuesday and the next up for Liverpool is a Premier League game away at Huddersfield next Saturday. The Reds will certainly be hoping he takes his record-breaking scoring form for Egypt — Salah’s goal was his 13th in African Cup of Nations qualifying, overtaking the previous Egyptian record by Hossam Hassan — back to Britain.


Mahrez and Mane duel in rematch for Africa Cup of Nations glory

Updated 18 July 2019
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Mahrez and Mane duel in rematch for Africa Cup of Nations glory

  • Algerian star Mahrez was part of the Manchester City team that edged out Mane’s Liverpool for the English title last season
CAIRO: Riyad Mahrez and Sadio Mane will renew their Premier League rivalry for a second time in Egypt, with Africa Cup of Nations immortality awaiting the victor of Friday’s final between Algeria and Senegal.
Algerian star Mahrez was part of the Manchester City team that edged out Mane’s Liverpool for the English title last season, grabbing a pivotal goal on the final day of the campaign.
Liverpool standout Mane, however, is attempting to fulfill his “wildest dream” as one of just a handful of Africans to win both the UEFA Champions League and Cup of Nations.
For the marquee name in a Senegalese side ranked top of the continent, and a surprising 46 places above Algeria, the ride to the final for Mane and the Teranga Lions has encountered its share of roadbumps.
Two missed Mane spot-kicks, a group stage loss to Algeria, and the loss of goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to a broken finger have tested Senegal’s resolve in their quest for the Holy Grail of African football.
Coach Aliou Cisse is on a mission for personal redemption. He was the skipper of the side beaten on penalties in the 2002 final, with his missed kick handing the title to Cameroon.
“Having lost that final, I still have it on my mind,” said former Paris Saint-Germain and Birmingham City midfielder Cisse.
“What motivated me to become a coach was to be able to take Senegal to the final. My players told me they would do better than my generation.”
A maiden Cup of Nations for his country is a prize for which Mane readily admitted he would trade in last month’s Champions League title.
“I’m ready to even swap a Champions League for a Cup of Nations. Going to Dakar with the trophy would be extraordinary. It would be my wildest dream,” Mane told France Football ahead of the competition.
Standing in the way, however, is an Algerian outfit that has undergone a remarkable transformation since the arrival of Djamel Belmadi as coach a year ago.
The Desert Foxes failed miserably in World Cup qualifying, but the steely Belmadi has healed divisions in the squad to lead them to the brink of a first Cup of Nations triumph since 1990.
“To the Algerian people, I want to say I’m not a politician, not a miracle worker or a wizard, but that we will fight like we have fought to this point,” Belmadi said after the semifinal win over Nigeria.
Algeria are the leading scorers in Egypt with 12 goals, including Mahrez’s spectacular last-gasp free-kick against Nigeria, and haven’t trailed at all in the tournament.
“Algeria are so well organized, so compact, so ‘Guardiolaesque’ in the way they recover the ball,” opined experienced international coach Claude Le Roy. “Perhaps it is the influence of Mahrez.”
The Algeria captain has been in fine form for his country here, brimming with confidence after helping City to the domestic treble.
“We are very happy to be in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations because it is something very special,” said Mahrez.
“It was our goal to do it for the people and for our families. We know they are behind us all the way. It’s my dream to win the Cup of Nations.”
“It’s going to be another battle against Senegal,” he added. “We’ve been very good in this competition. The (Nigeria) match has given us more confidence for the final and we’re capable of winning it.”
Their hopes will boosted by the absence of Senegal’s defensive rock Kalidou Koulibaly, whose yellow card in the semifinal victory over Tunisia cruelly ruled the Napoli star out of the final.
“It hurts to not be able to play. But I will be beside my brothers to write history,” tweeted Koulibaly, the cornerstone of a defense breached just once so far.