Egypt head coach Hector Cuper has insisted that Mohamed Salah was not hundred perfect fit and that his absence in previous training sessions has been heavily felt at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The Liverpool star scored a penalty for the Pharoahs in the Group A clash against the hosts, but it was a disappointing evening as the North Americans were beaten 3-1.
Salah missed the opening contest against Uruguay, which ended in a 1-0 defeat as he continued recovery from a shoulder injury, which he suffered in Liverpool’s Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid.
When asked about Salah’s fitness after the match, Cuper told reporters:
“When we talk about 100%, we have to look at the medical side. I was told by the medical team he was fit,” Cuper reacted to questions on his star man’s fitness level at the end of the game.
“He could not prepare with us in the training sessions all the time, he had to train alone. I believe he was in good shape and optimal condition. If he did not get injured in the Champions League final then he would have had three weeks’ extra training with us as a group.
“Salah is crucial, a vital player for the squad. He is a point of reference. He suffered an injury and we have been worried. We knew if he recovered in time it would be a good thing. The only thing I can be sad for is I would have liked to have seen him present at the training ground with the team.”
Egypt’s final group match will be against Saudi Arabia.