Saudi Arabia manager Juan Antonio Pizzi believes Egypt's Mohamed Salah was unable to play to his best at the World Cup due to the injury he sustained with Liverpool during the Champions League final.

Saudi Arabia beat Egypt on Monday as the Green Falcons snatched a 2-1 at the Volgograd Arena.


Salah did score the opening goal of the game but midfielder Salman Al-Faraj pulled one back from the penalty spot before half time, with Salem Al-Dawsari scoring the decisive goal with the last kick of the game.

"It stopped him even from preparing properly for this World Cup," Pizzi said after the game, quoted by Reuters.

"I think that psychologically his injury was also hard for his team, as it was for Liverpool. I think it had an impact both on the national team and on Liverpool."

Saudi Arabia secured their first win at the World Cup since 1994 on Monday, with Egypt still without a win at the finals in their history.

"You say there was nothing at stake," Pizzi continued, quoted by Arab News. "But you don’t know what it is to play at a World Cup. For me as a coach and my players, being at a World Cup is the most important thing. So there was a lot at stake for us.


"You really don’t understand what it means for Salem [Al-Dawsari] and Salman [Al-Faraj] to be able to score at a World Cup. They will be able to tell this to their children, to their grandchildren, in 30 years: ‘I scored during a World Cup’. This is amazing. So there was a lot at stake. Every single match is important."