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04th Feb 2022

Vincent Aboubakar in no mood to talk about Mo Salah again after AFCON defeat

Daniel Brown

Egypt defeated Cameroon on penalties to secure their place in the AFCON final

Mohamed Salah enjoyed the last laugh over Cameroon captain Vincent Aboubakar as Egypt secured their place in Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations final.

Egypt reached their first AFCON final since 2010 – a tournament they won – after beating the host nation 3-1 on penalties after 120 goalless minutes.

Despite seeing manager Carlos Queiroz sent off late into the second-half, the Pharaohs had goalkeeper Gabaski to thank after he made two saves in the shootout – denying Harold Moukoudi and James Lea Siliki – before former Tottenham attacker Clinton N’Jie blazed his effort wide.

Prior to the game, the Indomitable Lions’ talisman and captain Aboubakar criticised Salah with a number of surprising remarks.

“He doesn’t impress me much” Aboubakar told Than24. “I say it clearly because I’m an honest person and I have my way of seeing things.

“If he impressed me, I would say so. But he doesn’t impress me much.

“He’s a good player, he scores a lot but he doesn’t produce a lot of stuff in the game.”

The 30-year-old striker added: “Of course, he’s doing good stuff in the Premier League because he’s been in a team that’s been there for years. He’s a good player but not at the level of some like (Kylian) Mbappe.”

While the Liverpool forward was unable to get on the scoresheet during the match, and didn’t even get chance to take a spot-kick, Aboubakar’s comments certainly felt unnecessary, not to mention that they could’ve easily come back to haunt him.

With both forwards being the captains of their respective nations, the coin toss had the potential to be slightly awkward. Although the pair shook hands, it appeared that Salah was well aware of what had been said.

Regardless, it was most definitely Salah that had the last laugh as the Pharaohs’ sealed their place in this weekend’s final.

The former Roma man was unsurprisingly buzzing in the mixed zone after the match, while Aboubakar, in contrast, was in no mood to talk about Salah, or anything else at all.

While Salah – who quickly dashed through the mixed zone – also didn’t hang around to speak to journalists, he did say that it felt “unbelievable” to reach the AFCON final with his country.

Salah will now face-off against Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane in Yaounde, with Senegal looking for their first Africa Cup of Nations triumph and Egypt attempting to secure their eighth title.

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