Mohamed Salah and the Egyptian national team failed to qualify for another edition of the FIFA World Cup after suffering a painful defeat to Senegal via a penalty shoot-out on Tuesday night. After 120 minutes of football, the 29-year-old Liverpool attacker - in front of fans of the host wielding laser pointers - skied his attempt from the spot as his side found themselves on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline.
In what was a replay of the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations final, Egypt entered the second-leg of their World Cup play-off fixture with the advantage, having won 1-0 when the Teranga Lions came to Cairo over the weekend. However, their lead did not last for long inside the new Diamniadio Olympic Stadium, with Boulaye Dia's strike deflecting off Hamdi Fathi to hand Senegal the lead in the fourth minute.
Not much was subsequently produced except the top saves by Egyptian keeper Mohamed El Shenawy that kept his side afloat as Senegal pushed for a winner. With the game failing to yield any more goals even after the 30 minutes of extra-time, it had to be decided via a penalty shoot-out. However, a problem that had formed during the game was amplified in the shootout as several Senegalese fans appeared to have snuck laser pointers inside the Stade Abdoulaye Wade and shone them in the faces of the Egyptian players whenever they could.
I mean, just look at this. Salah sails his penalty over… and surely anybody would, given the lasers.— Henry Bushnell (@HenryBushnell) March 29, 2022
Mane scores, Senegal wins the shootout, Egypt out of the World Cup pic.twitter.com/tgHmCmW8uu
Having been met with the same treatment in the run-in before taking his penalty, Mohamed Salah ended up blasting his effort over the bar after Kalidou Koulibaly had missed the first kick. Subsequent kickers Saliou Ciss and Zizo missed for the host and visitors respectively before Ismaila Sarr, Amir Al-Sulaya and Bamba Dieng scored in succession. In the end, Sadio Mane buried the decider after Mostafa Mohamed's miss.