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Salah blow leaves Liverpool fans waiting anxiously for word on goal scoring star

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18th January, 2024
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Liverpool fans will be holding their breath with news that Mohamed Salah suffered a potentially serious injury in Egypt’s 2-2 draw with Ghana at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Salah limped out of the game just before half-time with what appeared to be a muscle injury as he grabbed the back of his leg following a bursting run. It is bound to set off alarm bells at Anfield, home to the title-chasing Reds. There were unconfirmed reports that he had suffered a hamstring injury.

Both teams still have work to do to qualify for the knockout rounds. Record seven-time winners Egypt, who had Omar Marmoush and Mostafa Mohamed on the scoresheet, have two points from two games and face pool leaders Cape Verde next on Monday.

Ghana have gone a team record six games without a win at the Cup of Nations and have a single point from their two matches.

They will likely have to beat Mozambique in their final pool fixture to book a knockout place.

Salah sat on the field after pulling up lame before half-time and then indicated he couldn’t continue when the team’s medical staff went to treat him. He seemed to hold the back of his left thigh.

Some Ghana fans cheered as Salah, the most high-profile player in the tournament, left the field to be replaced by Mostafa Fathi in the second minute of first-half injury time. He handed the captain’s armband to defender Ahmed Hegazi.

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Earlier, Nigeria handed Africa Cup of Nations hosts Ivory Coast a 1-0 defeat in their Group A clash at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium with a second-half penalty settling the encounter.

Captain William Troost-Ekong struck home the 55th minute spot kick after a VAR review showed young Ivorian defender Ousmane Diomande had impeded Victor Osimhen.

The result means Nigeria move above the Ivorians in the standings on four points along with Equatorial Guinea, who beat Guinea Bissau 4-2 earlier. The hosts have three.

The clash of the west African heavyweights was a largely languid affair, dominated by physical battles and with few clear-cut chances created.

But Diomande, 20, was found to have caught Osimhen on the knee as the two tussled for the ball in the penalty area and Troost-Ekong blasted the ball straight down the middle to settle the clash.

Nigeria offered their hosts few chances in a strong defensive performance, playing five across the back and keeping the tricky home attack at bay. They also looked more dangerous up front with Osimhen squandering a good opportunity for an early lead.

“We put together a good strategy and my team did it well. I think we deserved the win,” Nigeria coach Jose Peseiro said.

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Christian Kouame came closest for the hosts in the first half but had his effort blocked by Nigeria goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali.

The Ivorians ran out of energy early and despite nine minutes of stoppage time, never looked likely to break down the Super Eagles, who won in the Ivory Coast for the first time in 10 attempts.

“We could not impose ourselves physically but it was the small details that favoured Nigeria,” said Ivorian coach Jean Louis Gasset.

© AAP

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