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‘Too early to say’ as Egypt sweat on Salah injury

Egypt coach Rui Vitoria said it was “too early to say” whether Mohamed Salah would play again at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations after he sustained an injury in Thursday’s 2-2 draw with Ghana.

The Liverpool striker went off late in the first half of the Group B game in Abidjan after appearing to clutch the back of his left leg. 

“We don’t know yet what is the problem. I hope not a big problem…It is too early to say something,” said Vitoria after his team’s second successive 2-2 draw in the tournament.

“Salah is an amazing player, one of the best players in the world, so we want to have this kind of player always with us.”

Salah’s penalty in stoppage time spared Egypt from a shock loss to Mozambique in their opening game, and the Pharaohs were up against it once more against a much-improved Ghana side.

The Black Stars, who were stunned 2-1 by Cape Verde to begin the competition, took the lead after Salah’s injury when Mohammed Kudus hammered in a long-range shot in first-half stoppage time.

Omar Marmoush equalised before Kudus struck again, but Mostafa Mohamed ensured Egypt came away with a point as the Nantes forward netted for the second game in a row.

“The players were upset after conceding at the end of the first half…but it’s football, we changed the mindset in the second half, we went for the game with positive energy,” said Vitoria. 

“Not because of Salah, but because the result was not good. The reaction and commitment of the team were good, but Salah is an amazing player and we cannot forget that.”

Vitoria insisted that regardless of the nature of Salah’s injury his team is still capable of winning a record-extending eighth AFCON title.

“Nobody wins the title without coming through difficult games…today we showed, mainly in the second half, the courage and quality of this team.”

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