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Egyptian National Team

Salah: Congo’s equalizer was the hardest moment of my life

Mohamed Salah

Egypt international recalled the team’s crucial match in the World Cup qualifiers against in which the young star guided Egypt to their first World Cup in almost three decades.

Three minutes before the game ended, Congo scored an equalizer that would have forced the Pharaohs to try and defeat Ghana in a tough match in the last round. However, Salah came to the rescue scoring a last-gasp penalty.

“It was the hardest moment of my life,” the winger said about Congo’s equalizer in an interview with ON Ent TV channel.

“I fell on the ground and looked to the referee as I was hoping that their goal would be an offside, but it wasn’t,” he said. “I couldn’t believe what was happening, I looked at the clock in Borg Al Arab Stadium and it pointed to 87 minutes.”

Egypt were drawn in Group A in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Their opening game will be against Uruguay on June 15, before facing Russia on June 19 and Saudi Arabia on June 24.

“I had a lot of thoughts in my head at this moment,” he added. “I was thinking if we were really cursed.”

The Liverpool goal-machine confessed that he wants to achieve more than what the previous national team generations reached. He is aiming for more World Cup qualifications and more African Cup of Nations titles.

READ | Jurgen Klopp pays tribute to ‘humble’ Mohamed Salah

As for the tense and most important penalty kick in his career so far, Salah said: “In the training session on Saturday before the match, I shot the same penalty kick on Essam El-Hadary three times and he blocked all three of them.

“It was a weird feeling when we were awarded a penalty. I was completely focused on the ball at that time.

“I didn’t know what was happening in the streets or on social media after we qualified. It took me two days to see Egyptians’ celebrations.”

Salah is having the best season of his professional career so far, has been prolific for both club and country as he already scored 43 goals for Liverpool, helping them reach the Champions League final for the first time in 11 years.

READ | Trezeguet talks World Cup, Group A and Mohamed Salah

The 25-year-old also defended Egypt head coach Hector Cuper after the latter received criticism for his style following two friendlies before the team heads to Russia.

“Results are the best way to reply our critics, especially after we managed to qualify to the final match of the 2017 African Cup of Nations and to the World Cup

“If we took into consideration the number of matches we’ve won and lost we’ll notice that we were pretty successful in the past period.”

Salah emphasized that numbers and results are more important than what people want to the national team to do.

“We performed well against Portugal and lost in the last two minutes of the game. It was a new experience in which we faced a European team,” he concluded.

In addition to being a hardcore football fan, Abdelrahman is a communications enthusiast who works in marketing, advertising, content creation and PR.

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