Egypt Wait For Salah Lift-off After Poor AFCON Start
Zeeshan Mehtab Published January 14, 2022 | 08:50 AM
Garoua, Cameroon, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 14th Jan, 2022 ) :Egypt will expect more from star man Mohamed Salah against Guinea-Bissau as the record seven-time champions attempt to bounce back from an opening loss to Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Dreams of an eighth Cup of Nations crown quickly turned into a nightmare three years ago as Egypt were bundled out in the last 16 by South Africa in front of 80,000 disbelieving fans in Cairo -- and millions more around the country.
While the 24-team format affords sides more leeway, Egypt now face the very realistic prospect of drawing reigning champions Algeria or Ivory Coast in the next round -- assuming they advance from Group D.
"We lost this match but there are six points we must get against Sudan and Guinea-Bissau to qualify." The odds will be heavily in Egypt's favour against Saturday's opponents, Guinea-Bissau, who are making their third consecutive finals appearance but have yet to win a game at Africa's flagship competition.
"I don't think we are the first candidate (to win) this tournament, but we do our best to win it," Salah said earlier this week.
"We have a good coach. We have a good team. We have a very good group and they've played for the national team for 10, 11, years now so I know we have (a) very good team.
"So, we give our best and hopefully we win it." Liverpool will be keeping a close eye on Egypt's fortunes, along with those of Sadio Mane's Senegal, with contract talks involving Salah a key topic of conversation around Anfield.
Salah has fewer than 18 months left on his current deal and in a recent interview with GQ magazine said he wanted to be rewarded for his huge contribution.
"I want to stay, but it's not in my hands," he said. "It's in their hands. They know what I want. I'm not asking for crazy stuff.
"The thing is when you ask for something and they show you they can give you something (they should) because they appreciate what you did for the club."