Egypt have drawn their first game at AFCON 2-2 thanks to a goal and assist from Mohamed Salah.
Salah’s national side faced Mozambique in a game which they were expected to easily win.
However, a draw seems to have been a fair result as the clash was fairly even.
It took a last minute penalty from Salah to salvage a point for The Pharaohs.
Going into AFCON, Egypt were seemingly the favourites to come away with the trophy.
This comes after they narrowly lost to Senegal in the final of the 2021 tournament on penalties.
At the time, Sadio Mane was still plying his trade for Liverpool so fans were very conflicted about which of they stars they wished to triumph.
Inevitably, Mane’s side were too strong for The Pharaohs to overcome. However, in this years tournament, they will likely be out for vengeance.
As aforementioned, Salah had a part to play in each of his countries goals.
His assist, however, seemed accidental. The attacker was delivered an inch perfect pass and miskicked the ball when it came to him.
Fortunately for his country, Mostafa Mohamed was aware of what was happening and coolly managed to slot the ball into the back of the net.
Mohamed Salah assist for Mostafa Mohamed goal pic.twitter.com/o1EJWkna2X
— ™ (@vitor__210) January 14, 2024
However, following Egypt’s opener, at the start of the second half Mozambique managed to slot two past Mohamed El Shenawy thanks to goals from Witi and Clesio Bauaque.
Then, the 95th minute came and The Pharaohs were given a penalty and with Salah on the pitch, it was bound to go in.
— تابع حسابي الاساسي (@grainger_b93476) January 14, 2024
How Mohamed Salah showed his class
Throughout the game, Mohamed Salah was one of the standout players on the pitch.
Granted, his assist wasn’t the best of his career but it still counts towards his tally.
His statistics from the game are a much clearer representation of how well he did during the clash against Mozambique.
As rounded up by LFC Data, Salah managed to make 81% of his passes, create fives chances throughout the game (the most of any player on the pitch) and he also took the highest amount of shots.
Admittedly, it wasn’t the best game of the attackers career but he made the difference when it mattered.
Salah will likely look to add to his goalscoring tally in their next AFCON clash against Ghana on the 18th January.
The role Mohamed Salah has played whilst with Egypt
During his recent games with his national squad, Mohamed Salah hasn’t been used in his natural position of right-wing.
During the friendlies that Egypt participated in during the build-up to AFCON, it was noted by fans that Salah was being deployed in a central position.
From the glimpses that we saw of the attacker in this role, he seemed to own the centre of the park.
This is largely due to his passing range and clinical finishing ability.
As Lionel Messi got further into his career, his pace decreased but he was still an elite level attacker.
Much like The Egyptian King, Messi has played the majority of his career on the right side of the attack.
But, due to him losing his pace, he had to adopt a new role.
If the same thing happens to Salah, Egypt giving him the experience of playing centrally could be beneficial to Liverpool in the future.
It could even be of use to Jurgen Klopp upon Salah’s return if he chooses to use a 4231 formation this season.
Salah would be able to fill the attacking-midfielder role and create another attacking option on the field for Klopp’s men.
It would also allow one of the Reds’ best playmakers to be involves in the majority of attacks on the pitch.