Strangely, Mohamed Salah has admitted that he was glad he didn’t score a last-minute winner against Nigeria in Kaduna on Saturday.
The on-loan Chelsea forward—who is currently enjoying a season-long stay at AS Roma in Serie A—found the net in the 90th minute to rescue a point for Egypt, who had fallen behind in the 60th minute.
However, Salah could have doubled his tally moments later after finding himself one on one with Nigeria and Wolves keeper Carl Ikeme.
Bizarrely, the referee opted to blow the full time whistle before Salah had a chance to get his shot off, and with the forward having broken through the defensive line, and bursting through on goal, he surely should have been given the opportunity to finish the move.
Speaking to Al-Ahram Daily via their website, Salah has admitted that he was somewhat relieved not to have found the net.
“I breathed a sigh of relief after the ref blew the final whistle,” the 23-year-old began. “I was afraid when I received the ball and was heading directly towards the goal to score what could have been the winner,” he continued.
“Had I been able to score, I wouldn’t have been able to tell what exactly the fans’ response would be, that’s why I thanked God right after the final whistle.”
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While this may still appear to be an odd position to take, it’s important to understand the context of Salah’s comments, with fans at the stadium in Kaduna almost spilling onto the pitch after security at the ground allowed 40,000 people into a stadium with a capacity of only 16,000 [via The Guardian].
Considering the feverish atmosphere, and the multitudes in attendance, it’s understandable that Salah was concerned about the consequences of bagging a late winner.