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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The Egypt international, who signed a new five-year deal in 2018, was the top scorer at the club this season with 17 Premier League goals as they secured a 19th top-flight title with seven games to spare.
The naming of the twins was never in doubt, said their dad, Walter Rotundo, who has a tattoo of Maradona on his back and proudly shows a photograph of the soccer star holding a picture of the two girls as infants.
A Doug Watson-trained Galvanize sprinted to a facile victory under jockey Nathan Crosse at the Dhs200,000 Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cup, a 1700m handicap and the only Thoroughbred race on the six-card meeting.
Al Ain coach Pedro Emanuel was delighted after a 1-0 victory against Al Wahda in their Arabian Gulf League (AGL) match on Friday. Rayan Yaslam was on target as Al Ain eked out a narrow victory against Al Wahda.