Mohamed Salah scored his second goal in three Africa Cup of Nations games on Sunday night as Egypt preserved their perfect record with a 2-0 win over Uganda.
The AFCON hosts headed into their final game of Group A having secured victories over Zimbabwe and DR Congo, with Salah netting his first of the tournament in the latter.
Javier Aguirre’s preparations were clouded in controversy after the dismissal, then reinstatement, of midfielder Amr Warda due to allegations of sexual harassment, but the 25-year-old was not available this time out.
Salah started in attack alongside Koka and Trezeguet, as the Pharoahs looked to maintain their 100 percent start to the campaign.
Liverpool’s No. 11 got his side off to a perfect start on 36 minutes, stepping up to send a 25-yard free-kick beyond Denis Onyango to make it 1-0, following a bright opening from Uganda.
Bend it like @MoSalah ?
The Egyptian King sends the home fans wild with a majestic free-kick ?? ? pic.twitter.com/fkM9mi2QIH
— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) 30 June 2019
Aston Villa right-back Ahmed Elmohamady doubled the lead before half-time, and though they were far from convincing, Egypt held on for a 2-0 win.
That result means Egypt head into the last 16 having won all of their AFCON games so far, and with Salah as their talisman can hope to lift the trophy on July 19.
Of course, their progress means Salah will miss the start of pre-season at Melwood, with Jurgen Klopp‘s squad set to report back for training on Saturday.
Alisson and Roberto Firmino are also absent due to Copa America, while Sadio Mane and Naby Keita are currently still at AFCON with Senegal and Guinea.
Keita can hope for a place in the last 16 following Guinea’s 2-0 victory over Burundi earlier on Sunday, while Mane and Senegal still need to go through Kenya on Monday to ensure they make it through.
After claims he could miss the game due to shin and thigh injuries, Keita was named on the substitutes’ bench for Guinea’s final clash of Group B in Cairo.
He remained unused, but the Reds’ No. 8 could now remain in Egypt until at least the end of the week if they advance as one of the four best third-placed sides.