Egypt and Liverpool fans face an anxious wait to discover the extent of the problem after the 31-year-old was forced off in the last minute of the first half of a thrilling Group B contest.
Salah slumped dejectedly to the ground with an apparent muscle injury and, after briefly being attended to by Egypt’s medical staff, handed over the armband to defender Ahmed Hegazi as he was replaced by Mostafa Fathi.
"A massive blow for Egypt" 😲
Mo Salah is OFF with an apparent injury ❌ pic.twitter.com/jULPnsKeuj
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) January 18, 2024
To add insult to injury, moments later West Ham forward Mohammed Kudus broke the deadlock in brilliant fashion as he held off the attentions of three defenders before drilling a left-footed shot into the bottom corner.
Salah, who scored a stoppage-time equaliser from the penalty spot as Egypt drew 2-2 with Mozambique in their first group game, had earlier been involved in a furious row with referee Pierre Atcho after Omar Marmoush went down in the area.
Salah appeared to be appealing for a penalty despite a free-kick being given against Marmoush and the former was perhaps fortunate not to be shown a yellow card for his vehement protests.
Despite the loss of Salah, Egypt started the second half well and had a goal disallowed for offside in the 51st minute before the impressive Marmoush was gifted the chance to equalise.
Parity lasted just two minutes however, Kudus receiving a pass from Denis Odoi in the area and seeing his left-footed shot take a slight deflection off the unfortunate Mohamed Abdelmonem and beyond goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy.
The breathless action showed no signs of slowing and Egypt equalised for the second time just three minutes later, with Ghana again guilty of contributing to their own downfall.
Osman Bukari was dispossessed by Trezeguet on the right-hand side of his own area and the Trabzonspor midfielder drove to the byline before pulling the ball back for Mostafa Mohamed to stab home.