Mohamed Salah targeted by laser pointers during penalty shootout defeat to Senegal

Sadio Mane's Senegal seal World Cup berth after tense win over Egypt

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The penalty shootout between Egypt and Senegal in their World Cup 2022 play-off second leg was mired in controversy after Liverpool star Mohamed Salah was targeted by laser pointers as he stepped up to take his team’s first kick in Dakar on Tuesday.

Salah's club teammate Sadio Mane scored the winner from the spot for a 3-1 victory in the penalty shootout at the Abdoulaye Wade Stadium after their playoff ended 1-1 on aggregate.

Senegal’s win was a repeat of the Africa Cup of Nations final last month when Mane clinched a first major title for his country after also scoring the winning penalty in a shootout.

However, it was a tough game for Salah and Egypt.

After Senegal captain Kalidou Koulibaly hit the crossbar with the first penalty of the shootout, Salah blasted his attempt over the crossbar while he had green-coloured laser pointers shone on his face and body from the moment he came near the spot.

The entire game was marked by lasers being constantly shone at Egypt players. Senegal players also had the same problem in the first leg in Cairo last week.

There was more controversy before the game had even started. The Egyptian FA lodged a complaint after claiming offensive banners against its players were displayed in the stands and that the team bus was targeted as it approached the match venue.

A statement from the Egypt FA said: "The Egypt national team have been exposed to racism with offensive signs in the stands against the Egyptian players in general, and Mohamed Salah in particular.

"The crowd also intimidated the players by throwing bottles and rocks on them during the warm-up.

"The Egyptian group's bus has also been exposed to assaults that led to broken windows and injuries; filed with pictures and videos as proof in the complaint submitted."

Senegal celebrate winning at the Diamniadio Olympic Stadium in Dakar, March 29, 2022. EPA
Updated: March 30, 2022, 5:21 AM
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