Sportswriter Paul Giblin MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua) --
Egypt striker Mohamed
Salah looks set to finally make his World Cup bow when
his side faces hosts Russia on Tuesday.
Gimenez’s injury time goal for Uruguay broke Egyptian
hearts in their opening game on Friday, and with Uruguay
set to play a Saudi Arabia team who lost their opener
5-0 to Russia, defeat against the hosts will probably
mean the end of Egypt’s World Cup adventure almost
before it has begun.
Salah, who scored 44 goals in all competitions for
Liverpool last season and netted 70 percent of all
Egypt’s goals in qualifying, watched the Russia game
from the dugout as he completed his recovery from the
shoulder injury he suffered in the Champions League
final just over three weeks ago, but Egypt’s team
manager Ihab Leheta confirmed on Sunday that Salah would
face the hosts.
"Salah participated in training with his teammates
for the entire session and he is ready to play against
Russia, according to technical staff," he said.
Leheta added that Salah had not asked to play against
Uruguay, but stressed the importance of Tuesday’s game.
"The Russia game will be difficult because of our
defeat against Uruguay.
"Winning is our only option."
These words may have to be taken with a note of
caution, however, as just before the game against
Uruguay, Egypt coach Hector Cuper told the press his
star player was "almost 100 percent certain of playing"
in that game as well.
One player who will certainly miss out on Tuesday is
Russian midfielder Alan Dzagoev, who limped out of his
team’s thrashing of Saudi Arabia with a hamstring injury
that will also keep him out of Russia’s final group game
calls Nike withdrawal "disrespectful"
By Sportswriter Hassan
Rouhvand TEHRAN Iran (Xinhua) --
Iran international Alireza
Jahanbakhsh criticized American brand Nike following his
team’s 1-0 win against Morocco in their World Cup Group
B opener on Friday.
The sportswear company withdrew the Iranian squad’s
supply of boots earlier this week owing to U.S.-led
sanctions against Iran ahead of the tournament in
"To be honest, we didn’t care actually. What they
have done is a little bit disrespectful," Jahanbakhsh
told Iranian media.
"In my opinion, and we spoke with the other players
in the team as we had a meeting about this, politics has
nothing to do with sport and with football, such a
"You don’t have to involve this kind of thing with
this game," he added.
"That is something that unfortunately this brand did
and it’s their responsibility to do such a thing, but
the image they have projected, at least for 80 million
people in Iran, is not a really nice image."
Iran won their opening match after Morocco’s Aziz
Bouhaddouz scored an own goal shortly before the final
whistle to give Carlos Queiroz’s team three points and
top spot in Group B, after Portugal and Spain played out
a 3-3 draw later on Friday.