Egypt need Salah to kick-on in AFCON

19 January 2022

Seven-time winners of the Africa Cup of Nations, Egypt, lost their first game of AFCON 2022 to Nigeria 1-0. The loss was a wake-up call for the team. “We have a new coach and a new generation. After the defeat against Nigeria, we had to rearrange ourselves,” the captain Mohamed Salah said.

This attitude paid off. In the second game against Guinea– Bissau Salah converted a chipped ball into the box to score the only goal, giving the Pharaohs their first points of the tournament and Salah the Man-of-the-Match title. Egypt battled to beat the West African team, provoking criticism from pundits and supporters at home.

AFCON 2022 includes some of the wolds top players, and Egypt has one of the best three players of this season in Mohamed Salah. Salah came to the African football showpiece as the most in-form player in the world, and currently, he’s the third-best player in the world.

The dynamic forward was expected to set this year’s AFCON edition on fire, and Pharaohs head coach Carlos Queiroz will look to unlock the team’s full potential in future games. Salah remains central to Egypt’s success in the tournament. The likes of Galatasaray striker Mostafa Mohamed and Omar Marmoush will also have to come to the party. If they can chip in with goals, they will relieve the pressure on Salah, and that may, in turn, allow him to blossom.

The Pharoes remain in the running to qualify for the knockout rounds. Egypt’s is currently second in Group D with three points. Nigeria leads with six points, while Sudan and Guinea–Bissau both have one point. Group D games at the African Cup of Nations will be concluded on Wednesday when Egypt take on Sudan and Nigeria confront Guinea Bissau simultaneously.

Egypt faces Sudan in their final group game on Wednesday (19:00 GMT). Egypt needs a draw or win to get a place in the last 16, while Guinea-Bissau must beat Nigeria for a chance of advance to the last 16.

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