Dean Furman (right) vies for the ball with Mohamed Salah during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday. AFP
After his tale of redemption with Liverpool this season, Mohamed Salah was instead left in disbelief once more as Egypt crashed out of their own Africa Cup of Nations, an exit that triggered an immediate clearout within the country's football association.
While Salah helped lead his club to a sixth European Cup triumph in June, a year on from an injury forcing him out of the final, he was powerless to stop the Pharaohs suffering humiliation on the international stage for the second time in 12 months.
The forward arrived here full of promise — his mood and fitness in sharp contrast to this time last June when his shoulder was injured as he was wrestled to the ground by Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos in the 3-1 loss in the 2018 Champions League final in Kiev.
He scored twice in four matches in Cairo, both goals struck with unerring precision, but rarely looked at his peak surrounded by an Egyptian supporting cast far more limited than he is accustomed to at club level.
Shouldering the weight of expectation of nearly 100 million Egyptians, hoping for a fourth title in five editions as hosts, Salah found himself a capable ally in Mahmoud 'Trezeguet' Hassan, the team's standout performer in the group stage.
But he too wilted as the pressure intensified once the tournament moved into the knockout phase, spurning Egypt's best chance in a bitter defeat that provoked widespread dismay throughout the football-mad nation.
Bounedjah gave Algeria a dream start in the second minute when his deflected shot looped over Senegal goalkeeper Alfred Gomis, and it proved enough for the 1990 champions to lift the trophy on foreign soil for the first time.
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European football's governing body said Ronaldo was facing charges of "improper conduct" after he mimicked Diego Simeone's crotch-grabbing 'cojones' gesture in last Tuesday's 3-0 win that sent Juventus through 3-2 on aggregate.
Goalkeeper Rui Patricio was the hero for Wolves, saving three spot-kicks after their Asia Trophy final against Manchester City went to penalties on Saturday in Shanghai. Wolves won the exhibition tournament 3-2 on penalties after the game against the Premier League champions ended 0-0 after 90 minutes.
“To all my friends in Dubai and the UAE, this is a really difficult moment and we need to take care of us and others as well,” said Figo.
“It was a great relief to see him deliver last start after the trouble he’d encountered at his previous two,” said trainer James Cummings.
The Premier League has been postponed until at least April 30 because of the pandemic and it is feared the season will be delayed again when English football’s stakeholders meet to discuss the crisis on Friday.