Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Egypt coach ‘very optimistic’ Salah will play opener

Sports fans were saying anything but ‘yes’ to Optus Sport during the second tournament of the World Cup because of a streaming fail on Friday night Sports fans were saying anything but ‘yes’ to Optus Sport during the second tournament of the World Cup because of a streaming fail on Friday night
Frederick Owens | 15 June, 2018, 22:25

The Pharaohs of Egypt lost 1-0 to Uruguay in their opening group game at the Ekeratinburg Arena on Friday but the Argentine coach expects his talisman to be back ahead of their next game against hosts Russian Federation.

Salah nearly single-handedly led Egypt to its spot in the 32-team World Cup field.

Salah suffered an injury in the Champions League final in late May, and his status for the World Cup was questionable heading into the tournament.

Former USMNT star Landon Donovan broke down Egypt's downfall on Twitter. "And nothing prevents him from competing for the title of the Golden Boot", he said.

Salah's absence came as a surprise after coach Hector Cuper had said on Thursday he was nearly 100 percent certain to play.

Salah netted the decisive goals to fire Egypt to a first World Cup since 1990, as well scoring 44 times for Liverpool this season in all competitions. Many videos and photos have emerged from the team's practices showing Salah completing individual training. They will play their first 2018 World Cup match in Yekaterinburg on Friday, with the temperature expected to be around 57 degrees Fahrenheit.

Since the Argentine coach took charge in 2015, the Pharaohs, who can boast one of the world's top goalscorers Salah, have enjoyed success with a style that is more efficient than thrilling.

Uruguay's Jose Gimenez right celebrates with his teammates after scoring his side's opening goal during the group A match between Egypt and Uruguay at the 2018 soccer World Cup in Russia

"We have a young and focussed team and an ambitious team that is aiming high".

The next few days and weeks will be the time to prove it because Suarez will be past his prime or even retired by the time the next World Cup comes around, in Qatar in 2022.

"We have played against the likes of Messi, Neymar and others".

But he was also mindful of issues at the back, where Egypt were exposed in a 3-0 defeat by Belgium in a May 7 friendly.

"I think we do have good forwards and good players to do a good job here at the World Cup".

Hadary, the captain, said making it to the tournament was the culmination of 25 years of hard work.

"I put everything with physiotherapy, with doctors and treatments because I'm not thinking of leaving", he said.

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