By James Agberebi:
Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah has revealed that he was pleased Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe stopped him from scoring what would have been the winning goal against Nigeria in Friday's 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Kaduna.
Salah, who scored a late equaliser against Nigeria on Friday, had the chance to score the winning goal only for Sikazwe to signal the end of the game, a decision which angered some of the Egyptian players.
But according to ahram.org, Salah said he feared the fans in the stadium would react negatively if he had scored hence his relief when the referee blew the final whistle.
"I breathed a sigh of relief after the referee blew the final whistle," Salah said.
"I was afraid when I received the ball and was heading directly towards the goal to score what coud have been the winner.
"Had I been able to score, I wouldn't have been able to tell what exactly the fans' response would be, that's why I thanked God right after the final whistle."
Egypt will host the reverse leg against the Eagles on Tuesday.
The game will take place inside the Borg El-Arab Stadium in Alexandria.