Egypt's Salah still doubtful for World Cup opener


MOSCOW — Egypt forward Mohamed Salah remains a doubt to face Uruguay in its World Cup opener Friday, the country's football association has said.

The Liverpool player, who sustained a shoulder injury in the Champions League final against Real Madrid last month, took part in light training Monday but the Egyptian FA's Managing Director Ehab Lehita said it was too early to say whether he would play against the South Americans.

"He is gradually getting better. However, I cannot confirm today that he will play in the first match," Lehita said of the 25-year-old, who scored 44 goals for Liverpool last season.

"All I can say is that we hope he will play in this match."

Former Egypt international Mido said he expects Salah to play in the opening match in Yekaterinburg.

"We heard that he is doing alright so it's a question of whether he will start the game or whether he will be kept for the second half," Mido, who earned 51 caps, told Sky Sports.

"But anyway we have a good team, well-organized and hopefully if Salah is not there to start the game hopefully the boys will do well.

"We want him to be involved because he worked so hard to get this team, with his team mates of course, to come to this tournament."

Egypt also faces Saudi Arabia and host Russia in Group A.

Inui and Kagawa set up Japan win

Japan ended its World Cup warm-up on a high, coming from behind to defeat Paraguay 4-2 in Austria Tuesday in a game that burst into life in the dying minutes.

Akira Nishino's team managed just three shots at the Tivoli-Neu Stadium in Innsbruck, yet finished with four goals, courtesy of a brace from Takashi Inui, an own goal by Paraguay's Federico Santander and a stoppage-time effort from Shinji Kagawa.

Eibar's Inui had set up the victory with two second-half goals, both assisted by Borussia Dortmund's Kagawa, after Oscar Romero had given the South Americans a 32nd-minute lead.

Richard Ortiz pulled one back for Paraguay on 90 minutes before Kagawa crowned an influential performance with Japan's fourth a minute later.

The result ensured a bright finish to Japan's preparation for the World Cup in Russia, following 2-0 defeats to both Switzerland and Ghana.

It opens its campaign in Group H on June 19 against another South American side, Colombia, in Saransk before taking on Senegal and Poland. — agencies