Egypt suffered a surprise defeat in the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday night, meaning an exit from the competition for Mohamed Salah and his teammates.
Salah’s 2018/19 season ended on the day many of Liverpool’s squad returned for pre-season training for the 2019/20 season.
The Cairo International Stadium was stunned into silence when South Africa scored what proved to be the only goal of the game through Thembinkosi Lorch in the 85th minute.
It meant a shock exit for the host nation and the end of Salah’s dream of lifting the trophy in his homeland.
Liverpool’s only remaining player now at the tournament is Sadio Mane, whose Senegal side face Benin in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.
South Africa only just scraped through the group stage, and hosts Egypt were tournament favourites…
But it's Thembinkosi Lorch with the goal to send #BafanaBafana through to the quarters! #PraiseTheLorch #EGYRSA #TotalAFCON2019 pic.twitter.com/2FlF87MaU2
— James Nalton (@JDNalton) July 6, 2019
Salah’s exit at this stage means he will return to Liverpool somewhat sooner than it was expected. Had his Egypt side reached the final he would have missed the opening game of the season.
Players are afforded a minimum of three weeks off in the summer, meaning Salah will join up with his teammates at the end of July, possibly being involved in the Community Shield against Man City on August 4.