After scoring a pair of goals for Egypt in their 3-0 victory over Niger on Friday, the Egyptian national team coaching staff has decided to give Mohamed Salah a little more rest, allowing the 30-year-old superstar to depart ahead of their game against Liberia.
Salah is joined by Nantes striker Mustafa Mohamed and Zamalek left back Ahmed Aboul Fotouh, with the trio fit but cleared to head back to their clubs early. Egypt’s next game is a friendly for them and World Cup warm-up for Belgium on November 18th.
Having failed to make the World Cup, set to kick off in Qatar two days later, their next competitive match will not come until March, when they resume the small matter of Africa Cup of Nations qualification with home-and-away games against Malawi.
Having played two of six games in a group including Ethiopia, Guinea, and Malawi, all four sides have a win and a loss and sit level on three points. The top two countries will head to the tournament, which is set to kick off in January 2024 from Ivory Coast.
Egypt will be favoured heavily to advance from that group despite the early logjam, and a fit and energized Salah will be key to both those hopes and, assuming they do make it as expected, to their chances when the tournament arrives early in 2024.