Belfast Telegraph

Egypt left to rue Salah's injury, admits Cuper

Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah

By Brian Morrin

Already-eliminated Egypt face Saudi Arabia in a dead rubber today, with boss Hector Cuper left to reflect on what might have been had Mohamed Salah been fully fit in Russia.

The two Group A nations were the first to be eliminated after collecting zero points from their opening two games against Uruguay and Russia.

Liverpool forward Salah, whose goal in qualifying sent Egypt to their first World Cup since 1990, missed the 1-0 loss to Uruguay as he had not recovered from the shoulder injury he sustained in the Champions League final.

And though he played in the 3-1 loss to Russia, it was still clearly hindering him.

Salah is undoubtedly the star name in Cuper's squad, and Egypt's campaign may have been different had the winger been at full fitness.

"Had he been fully up to speed in the first match it would have been important for us. But I've always said I don't want to focus too much on a single player," he said.

"If he hadn't been hurt that could certainly have been an advantage for us but he was hurt."

Saudi Arabia


Group A:

Volgograd Arena, Today, 3.00 pm

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