Ekaterinburg, June 16: Egypt national football team coach Hector Cuper has lamented the absence of star forward Mohamed Salah from the Pharaohs’ 2018 World Cup opener against Uruguay which ended in a 0-1 loss for the North African side.
Cuper said he thought of the possibility of putting in the Liverpool striker, who hurt his shoulder in the English team’s 1-3 loss to Real Madrid in the UEFA Champion League final on May 26.
“Salah is very important for us, no one can deny that. But ... we have a good team and with Salah playing, things could have gone in different way. He certainly will contribute ... in the next matches,” Cuper said after the defeat.
The coaching staff, in consultation with team doctors, decided to keep Salah on the bench for Friday’s contest, Cuper said.
The Argentine also spoke of Egypt’s next opponent, Russia, who routed Saudi Arabia 5-0 on Thursday.
“If you analyse Russia’s first match, they scored a lot of goals. Always there are options to win. Whether Salah will play? He is very likely to play, almost definitely. He did not play in this match because there was a risk,” Cuper said. IANS