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Hazard: I'll support Egypt at World Cup for Salah

Omnisport
NEWS
News
4.64K   //    07 Jun 2018, 06:13 IST
Mohamed Salah - cropped
Egypt forward Mohamed Salah.

Belgium star Eden Hazard said he will support Egypt at the World Cup for his friend Mohamed Salah following Wednesday's international friendly.

Egyptian sensation Salah is recovering from a shoulder injury sustained in the Champions League final last month and the Liverpool forward missed Belgium's dominant 3-0 victory in Brussels.

Egypt are optimistic Salah will be fit for their World Cup Group A campaign against Uruguay (June 14), hosts Russia (June 19) and Saudi Arabia (June 25).

Hazard was on target in the first half at Stade Roi Baudouin after Romelu Lukaku opened the scoring against Egypt midweek before Marouane Fellaini completed the win in the second minute of stoppage time.

Speaking afterwards, Hazard praised Egypt's performance in the absence of Premier League Golden Boot winner Salah, who he hopes will take part at the showpiece tournament.

"Egypt have good players. We managed to take control of the match and scored an early goal which made things easier for ourselves," Hazard told ON Sport.

"We are glad about defeating Egypt 3-0. I wish Salah the best and hope he returns. I will support Egypt in the World Cup for him.

"Egypt are so different without Salah but they still performed well with compact lines. Their playing style is close to that of Tunisia.

"I spoke with Salah after the Champions League final and sent him a message, as I said he is my friend and I want to see him in the World Cup."

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez also hopes to see Salah at the World Cup, adding: "Mo Salah is not just a good player, he's an outstanding footballer, he's a world class footballer after what he's done this season.

"Any team is going to miss the goal scoring threat of Mo Salah. We all wish him a speedy recovery and we want to see him in the World Cup."

Belgium led 2-0 at half-time thanks to Lukaku and Hazard following a comfortable opening 45 minutes against Egypt.

Martinez made a host of changes at the break and it impacted Belgium's fluency, though substitute Fellaini added a third in the 92nd minute.

"I don't think we are physically, tactically and mentally ready ... and that's why the Costa Rica game will be important," said Martinez, whose Belgium will face Panama (June 18), Tunisia (June 23) and England (June 28) in Group G after Monday's friendly against Costa Rica.

"I don't think our performance was perfect, far from it. There are many aspects that we need to improve. But what I like is that when we make mistakes we've got the togetherness to try to overcome them and I don't think we had that before and that's very pleasing."

 
Omnisport
NEWS
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