Egypt have suffered a major setback ahead of their crucial 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) final group game against Cape Verde, with talismanic captain Mohamed Salah ruled out due to a hamstring injury.
According to the Egyptian Federation, Salah sustained the injury during the team’s 2-2 draw against Ghana on Thursday, and will not be available for selection in the upcoming match. The federation released a statement confirming that the Liverpool forward has a hamstring strain, which will keep him sidelined for at least two matches.
“The injury of Mo Salah with a strain in the hamstring muscle will cause him to miss two matches in the Africa Cup of Nations against Cape Verde and in the Round of 16 in the case of qualification,” the statement read.
— Nana Bamfi (@Nana_Bamfi) January 19, 2024
Salah, who has been in excellent form this season, scoring 14 Premier League goals and providing eight assists, was expected to lead Egypt’s charge towards the title. However, his absence will be a blow to the team’s chances, especially considering their underwhelming performance in the group stages so far.
With only two points from their first two games, Egypt need a win against Cape Verde to progress to the knockout stages. The task becomes even more daunting without their star player, who scored a penalty against Mozambique to salvage a late point in their opening game.
The loss of Salah comes at a critical time for Egypt, who are seeking to regain their status as African football powerhouses. The Pharaohs have won the AFCON title a record seven times, but their last triumph dates back to 2010.
In the meantime, fans across Egypt and beyond have taken to social media to express their disappointment and support for Salah. Many have wished him a speedy recovery, while others have called for the team to rally around his absence and secure a victory in his honour.
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