Copy of Egypt_Guinea_Soccer_AFCON_51656.jpg-e4f4e-1654601318493
Egypt's Mohamed Salah (left) fights for the ball with Guinea's Issiaga Sylla during their Group D 2023 Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier at Cairo International stadium in Cairo, Egypt. Image Credit: AP

Johannesburg: Injured Liverpool star Mohamed Salah defied his club and captained Egypt to a 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying victory over Guinea in Cairo at the weekend, according to national coach Ehab Galal.

“Salah was hit by an injury, but played through it,” said Galal following his debut after Portuguese Carlos Queiroz quit because he could not agree terms for a new contract.

Galal told a press conference that Salah rejected a Liverpool request to have a pre-match scan on the undisclosed injury, but “that will be done now”.

Egypt face Ethiopia on Thursday in Malawi capital Lilongwe because their opponents do not have any international-standard stadiums.

Major disappointments

Two-time African Footballer of the Year Salah has experienced two major disappointments with record seven-time Cup of Nations winners Egypt this year.

They lost the Cup of Nations final to Senegal on penalties in February and the following month fell to Senegal again in a shootout, this time in a 2022 World Cup play-off.

Salah’s Liverpool future is still uncertain as he is yet to sign a new contract with the club, despite his current deal ending in June 2023.

The 2021-22 Golden Boot winner said before the Champions League final in May he would be at Anfield next season “for sure”, but would not be drawn further on his current situation.