Liverpool have been handed a major scare at the Africa Cup of Nations after Mohamed Salah was forced off through injury during Egypt’s chaotic clash with Ghana on Thursday night. The winger grimaced in pain as he sat down on the turf and he appeared to be suffering discomfort in his hamstring before he trudged off the pitch.
Salah headed to AFCON this year with hopes of going one better than last time out. The Pharaohs were the runners-up in 2022 in Algeria. However, the forward will be worried his tournament is now over in Ivory Coast.
During Egypt’s Group B clash with Ghana, Liverpool’s top goalscorer dropped to the ground off of the ball and appeared to have sustained a muscle injury. While on the ground, Salah leant over whilst looking at his legs and his face said it all.
The winger continued to stretch his leg whilst in obvious pain, with medical staff rushing onto the pitch to come to the aid of the Egypt captain. Salah wore a serious facial expression as he realised the severity of the issue. He was replaced by Mostafa Fathi.
The 31-year-old at least did not appear to be limping on his way off which will offer some relief to Liverpool supporters. But things got even worse for Egypt just minutes later, when West Ham’s Mohammed Kudus thumped Ghana into a 1-0 lead before the break.
Kudus hammered a strike from the edge of the area beyond Al Ahly goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawi which nestled into the far corner. Egypt later pulled level at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny on 69 minutes through Omar Marmoush who capitalised on a poor back pass from Inaki Williams to make it 1-1.
However, Ghana went straight up the other end and Hammers midfielder Kudus struck again to restore the lead for Chris Hughton’s team. The 23-year-old’s effort took a deflection off of Mohamed Abdelmonem to beat El Shenawi.
Yet in more AFCON chaos, Mostafa Mohamed turned in Trezeguet’s cross to make it 2-2 not long later. Mohamed’s close-range finish meant there had been three goals in just five manic minutes between the two teams.
Egypt drew their first Group B match against Mozambique 2-2 thanks to Salah’s 97th-minute penalty. Losing to Ghana would leave them on the brink of a group stage exit. Their final match is against Cape Verde on Monday (8pm UK time) at this same stadium.
The Egyptians will be desperately hoping Salah’s injury is nothing serious and that their skipper can return for the must-win final match of the group stage.
As Liverpool await updates on Salah meanwhile, the league leaders prepare for their return to Premier League action away at Bournemouth this Sunday (4.30pm).