Mohamed Salah scores again as Egypt maintain perfect Cup of Nations record with Uganda win

Egypt's Mohamed Salah scores during his country's African Cup of Nations group A match against Uganda in Cairo, Egypt. (AP)
Updated 01 July 2019

Mohamed Salah scores again as Egypt maintain perfect Cup of Nations record with Uganda win

  • Pre-tournament favorites Egypt will remain in Cairo for the round of 16
  • Prolific Liverpool scorer Salah put Egypt ahead against the run of play on 36 minutes

CAIRO: Mohamed Salah scored from a free-kick as host nation Egypt defeated Uganda 2-0 in Cairo Sunday to win Group A at the Africa Cup of Nations with a perfect three-win record.
Pre-tournament favorites Egypt will remain in Cairo for the round of 16 and play one of the best four third-place finishers next Saturday.
After prolific Liverpool scorer Salah put Egypt ahead against the run of play on 36 minutes, captain Ahmed Elmohamady added a second just before half-time.
Uganda had plenty of possession in both halves and often threatened to score without managing to put the ball in the net.
Egypt topped the final standings with nine points and Uganda came next with four to also qualify automatically for the knockout phase.

The Democratic Republic of Congo came third with three points after trouncing Zimbabwe 4-0 in another Cairo stadium.
Elmohamady said: “Nine points out of three games is something Egypt is used to — the difficult part is what comes next.
“As of tomorrow, we will start to prepare, regardless of the team we will meet in the last 16.
“We scored five goals in three matches and kept three clean sheets. For me these are good numbers.”
Uganda were more impressive than Egypt for the first 30 minutes on a hot night at a packed 75,000-capacity Cairo International Stadium.
Goalkeeper Mohamed Elshenawy did well to push a sizzling, long-range Allan Kyambadde drive over at the expense of a corner.
Abdu Lumala was a constant threat for the Cranes and had a shot and a header saved in quick succession with the Pharaohs defense not its normal assured self.
Salah then turned the tide toward the record seven-time African champions by lifting a free-kick over a defensive wall and past goalkeeper Denis Onyango into the corner of the net.
It was the second goal of the tournament for the Egyptian idol and Elmohamady notched his second in first-half stoppage time.
A low cross eluded two Egyptians, including Salah, but fell to Elmohamady, who unleashed a low shot that took a slight deflection en route to the far corner of the net.
It was a massive blow for the Ugandans, who did not deserve to be two goals behind as they walked to the changerooms.
The pace of Salah gave him a chance to score his second goal soon after the break, but Onyango made a superb one-hand block to foil the 2018 African Footballer of the Year.
Uganda regained their composure to cause constant problems for the home team, but lacked a clinical finisher like Salah.
Earlier, Africa Cup of Nations newcomers Madagascar pulled off a stunning upset of powerhouses Nigeria with a 2-0 win over the three-time former champions to clinch a place in the last 16.
Lalaina Nomenjanahary gave Madagascar a shock 12th-minute lead in Alexandria and Charles Andriamatsinoro sealed the victory.
At the 30 June Stadium in Cairo, the Democratic Republic of Congo put a two-loss start to the tournament behind them with a 4-0 triumph over Zimbabwe, the biggest of the competition so far.
Jonathan Bolingi punished a blunder by goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze to head the Congolese Leopards in front on four minutes and Cedric Bakambu added a second before half-time.
China-based Bakambu netted again midway through the second half and Britt Assombalonga added a fourth.
The Congolese will know only Tuesday night after the final group matches whether they are among the best four third-place finishers and remain in the competition.


Fernando Alonso ramps up Dakar Rally preparations with podium finish at AlUla-Neom cross-country rally

Updated 14 November 2019

Fernando Alonso ramps up Dakar Rally preparations with podium finish at AlUla-Neom cross-country rally

  • The result comes at perfect timing less than two months before two-time Formula 1 world champion tackles Dakar
  • Saudi driver Yazeed Al-Rajhi took first place

JEDDAH: Fernando Alonso continued his preparations for his Dakar Rally debut in Saudi Arabia by taking third place in AlUla-Neom Cross-Country Rally and secure his inaugural rally podium finish in the process this week.
The result comes at perfect timing less than two months before two-time Formula 1 world champion Alonso takes the wheel for Dakar Saudi Arabia 2020, the Middle East’s first-ever edition of Dakar Rally, which is hosted by the kingdom from 5 to 17 January.
“It was an ideal preparation for Dakar as we discovered new terrain that we will come across again at Dakar,” Alonso said.
“It is a great feeling to finish third and get the first rally podium in my life. The fact that it happened here in Saudi Arabia at this time gives us a lot of confidence going into Dakar,” Alonso added.
Starting in AlUla and extending over 765km before the finale in Neom, AlUla-Neom Cross-Country Rally was contested across four stages over five days, and the former Formula 1 champion said it was an “excellent training” for him on a similar terrain and in close weather conditions to what would be expected at Dakar.
Saudi driver Yazeed Al-Rajhi took first place at Al Ula-Neom Cross-Country Rally, while compatriot Yasir Seaidan finished second, with Alonso rounding off the podium places.
Alonso, who made his desert rally debut in Morocco last month, was co-driven by five-time Dakar bike winner Marc Coma, and the Spanish duo will be together again at Dakar Saudi Arabia as part of the Toyota Gazoo Racing team.
The 2005 and 2006 Formula 1 champion got his campaign at Al Ula-Neom Cross-Country Rally underway to a good start on Day 1 before taking the pace up a notch on the second and third days to set his team up for a podium finish on the last day. “We continue with our plan and preparations, step by step and adapting as fast as we can,” Alonso said of his plans ahead of Dakar.
Dakar Saudi Arabia 2020 will consist of 12 stages, allowing pilots coming from across six continents to discover Saudi Arabia’s rich past, live its modernized present, and meet its future as they race through the Kingdom.
The pilots will kick off Rally Dakar from Jeddah, the bride of the Red Sea, through to Neom, a fully sustainable city of the future, then pass by the historical sites of Riyadh to face the Empty Quarter, a huge desert of unbroken sand, to end in Qiddiya, a future entertainment, sports and cultural destination.
A criminal investigation was been launched after an armed man intercepted a vehicle taking part in the rally.