A day after his 27th birthday, Africa’s most celebrated player and icon of Egyptian football, Mohamed Salah came off the bench to make all the difference as Egypt claimed a 3-1 friendly victory over Guinea in Alexandria on Sunday.

Guinea are the most tasking opponents Nigeria will face in the group stage of the Africa Cup of nations which begins on Friday.

When the Liverpool star was introduced on the hour mark to replace Walid Soliman, he barely had time to touch the ball before Guinea’s substitute player,  Sory Kaba leveled  up after Egypt had taken an 11th minute lead

But Salah burst life into Egypt’s lethargic attack, producing a brilliant piece of individual skill to help them restore their lead with 12 minutes remaining.

Running onto a through pass from Omar Gaber, who was at fault for Guinea’s equaliser, Salah turned keeper Aly Keita inside out on the right before sending a low shot from a tight angle that came back off the post, leaving striker Ahmed Ali with an easy tap-in.

He also set up Gaber for a third in the dying minutes as Egypt secured another win after beating Tanzania 1-0 on Thursday, although their form and signs of defensive weaknesses will be alarming before the tournament gets underway.

Nigeria will face Guinea on June 26.