Mohamed Salah’s introduction played a major role in Egypt defeating Guinea 3-1 in Alexandria in their final friendly before the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) on Sunday.
The forward came off the bench in the final 30 minutes but no sooner had the Liverpool forward been brought on than the West Africans equalized through Sory Kaba.
Kaba had taken advantage of an awful Omar Gaber back-pass, before finishing with aplomb to bring the visitors level in the 63rd minute, subsequently cancelling out Marwan Mohsen’s stunning effort in the 11th minute of the game.
However, Salah – who turned 27 on Saturday – was to have the final say by setting up two goals for the Afcon hosts in the final quarter of proceedings.
In the 78th minute, after latching onto a through pass from Gaber, the Reds attacker dribbled past Aly Keita in goal but his resulting effort hit the post. However, striker Ahmed Ali was on hand to tuck in the rebound from close range to send Javier Aguirre’s men back in front.
With four minutes of normal time remaining, Salah then played in Gaber who smashed the ball past Keita, thereby completing his villain-to-hero role in the encounter.
This was Guinea’s second preparatory fixture before the biennial showpiece, having been defeated 1-0 by Benin last Tuesday.
Paul Put’s side has been drawn in Group B where they will face Madagascar, Nigeria and Guinea.
Following Sunday’s win against the West African nation, and having defeated Tanzania 1-0 last Thursday, Aguirre’s side has now wrapped up preparations for the Afcon as they seek their eighth African crown.
The host nation begins their search for a first Afcon title since 2010 against Zimbabwe on June 21, before games against DR Congo and Uganda follow on June 26 and June 30, respectively.