The African Cup of Nations and the Asian Cup are officially under way, with both Mohamad Salah and Wataru Endo representing Egypt and Japan over the coming weeks.
Both nations are amongst the favourites to win their respective tournaments, but after the first round of matches, both players will be feeling very different emotions. Check out LFC - Back On Our Perch's round up of all the action.
Salah rescues Egypt, but old problems resurface
Egypt began their AFCON campain today against Mozambique. Whilst Egypt have won the tournament a record seven times, Mozambique are looking for their first ever win in the tournament. So when Egyptian striker Mustafa Mohamad scored after just 89 seconds, it looked like Egypt would stroll to victory. Mozambique had other ideas though, and not only equalised in the second half, but took a shock lead in the 56th minute.
Despite having a hand in Egypt's opener, Salah failed to have much impact on the game, with a sliced volley late in the second half summing up his frustrations. Indeed, it looked like Mozaombique would hold on for the victory, until, in the 7th minute of added time, VAR awarded Egypt a penaly. Salah duly stepped up and scored the penalty - off the inside of the post - to save Egypt's blushes and keep their title hopes on track.
Despite their relief at rescueing a point, Egypt, and Salah, know they will have to play much better in their upcoming matches, if they want to progress from Group B.
Endo Captains Japan to victory
Whilst Salah and Egypt were struggling in their opening match, Wataru Endo was helping Japan to a 4 - 2 victory over Vietnam in the Asian Cup. The combative midfielder was once again Captain of Japan, and will be happy to see his country off to a wining start in the tournament.
Not that Japan had it all their own way, as Vietnam threatened to stage their own upset, by taking the lead in the first half. However, Japan can all on numerous European based players, and their superior quality won through in the end.
Former Liverpool stiker - Takmi Minamino, scored two clinical goals, whilst Endo was his usual busy self in midfield, winning tackles and breaking up opposition attacks.
The win puts Japan in a great position with progress from the group stages, as they go in search of a fifth Asian Cup triumph.
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Peter Farrell - Editor and Chief Article Writer, LFC - Back On Our Perch
Articles written by Author :: 366
Lifelong fan with a passion for all things Liverpool. First memory of football is watching John Barnes score a dramatic last minute equaliser in the FA Cup when he was 4. Feels lucky to be a part of the 'Klopp' era.
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