Cefn Druids star Alec Mudimu (pictured wearing No. 6) managed to keep Mo Salah quiet last night – but it was not enough to give the Welsh Premier League player a winning start at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Mudimu – who plays in midfield for the Druids, but is a central defender for Zimbabwe – did what so many others have failed to do for the past two seasons, when he denied Salah a goal in 90-minute combat.
The 24-year-old played the whole game against Salah, but although the Liverpool striker was shut out from scoring his 76th goal inside two years, the Egyptians edged the opening game of the tournament, 1-0 in Cario.
Mudimu, who left Harare as a small child and grew up in Hertfordshire, began his career at Sheffield Wednesday, before moving on to Stalybridge and Northwich Victoria before joining the Druids in 2017.
He scored eight goals in 12 appearances last season as they finished a modest 10th in the table in front of average crowds of 285. Last night, he marked local hero Sala in front of 75,000 screaming Egyptians.
Salah, on a redemption mission with Egypt after injury derailed a miserable World Cup campaign last year, looked sharp although the hosts needed a 41st-minute goal by Mahmoud ‘Trezeguet’ Hassan to get off to a winning start in Group A.
Man of the match Mahmoud Alaa said after the victory: “I congratulate all the Egyptian people on the first win.”
The defender added: “We should be better in the upcoming matches. Our aim in this competition is to win the title.”