Egypt striker Amr Gamal says that not having Mohamed Salah fit and firing in their World Cup opener against Uruguay damaged their chances of progression.

Many neutrals were backing Egypt to make it out of their group with Mohamed Salah up front after an incredible debut season with Liverpool. After signing for the Reds a year ago, the Egyptian scored a phenomenal 44 goals in 52 games.

His mind-boggling form last season catapulted him into the very highest bracket of players, being compared to the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

But when he was struck down by a shoulder injury after an incident involving the infamous Sergio Ramos, Egypt’s chances of making it out of Group A at the World Cup were significantly reduced.

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Egypt’s forward Amr Gamal went so far as to say Salah’s shoulder “killed” their campaign.

He said: “I think if Salah had started the first match things would have been different.

“Salah is a world-class player and, when he’s fit, he is capable of doing big things, his lack of fitness killed us.

“Luck was also not on our side. Conceding an own goal is a bad luck [Ahmed Fathy’s oggy against Russia]. The first game we were better, but they [Uruguay] stole the points with a late goal. I hope this is a big lesson going forward.”

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