MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

Mo Salah ‘misses’ another penalty – but assists 2 goals in Egypt warmup win

Mohamed Salah‘s penalty record took another blow during Egypt’s Africa Cup of Nations warmup win over Tanzania, but he assisted both goals in a 2-0 win.

Salah departed for AFCON duty with Egypt after two goals and an assist in Liverpool’s 4-2 win over Newcastle, though it could have been more for the No. 11.

Seeing the first of his two penalties saved by Martin Dubravka, the debate over whether Salah should be the Reds’ first-choice taker was raised again.

He did not help himself when Egypt were awarded a spot-kick in their friendly against Tanzania on Sunday, either, with the 31-year-old blasting his effort off the bar.

Fortunately, it bounced down and back into the goal via the goalkeeper’s backside, putting Egypt 2-0 up in a productive workout in Cairo.

It went down as an own goal for Aishi Manula, with Salah’s penalty record throughout his senior career now at 36 scored, 10 missed.

The Egypt captain was hugely influential as he completed the full 90 minutes in the warmup game, though, including a brilliant first-time assist for Trezeguet.

With Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny playing the ball forward from the base of the midfield, Salah quickly spotted Trezeguet’s run and lofted a left-footed pass over the defence for the Trabzonspor forward to score.

Later in the game, he was moved to an unlikely role in the centre of midfield, with manager Rui Vitoria utilising his ball-playing abilities due to injuries elsewhere.

Asked about the switch after the game, Vitoria said: “It was clear today that he can play that part and he doesn’t necessarily have to play on the wing at all times.”

Mohamed Salah of Egypt during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations group D match between Egypt and Sudan at Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo on January 19, 2022 in YAOUNDE, Cameroon. (Photo by SF)

Egypt kick off their group games at AFCON against Mozambique on January 14, followed by clashes with Ghana (Jan 18) and Cape Verde (Jan 22).

They are favourites to top Group B and progress to at least the last 16, and with Salah already missing three more games for Liverpool due to his involvement in the group stage, his time away could be extended further.

If Egypt reach the final, the latest Salah could be expected back is the trip to Brentford on February 17.