Salah misses two penalties, nets twice, as Egypt trounce Niger

Mohamed Salah had the hopes of a nation on his shoulders in Russia. Islam Safwat/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Mohamed Salah missed two penalties, scored twice and contributed two assists as Egypt demolished Niger 6-0 in Saturday's Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

The Liverpool forward returned to international action following an underwhelming World Cup, as he rushed to be fit after an injury suffered in the Reds' Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid, to deliver a memorable attacking display.

He won a penalty inside the opening minute, but saw his effort saved by Daouda Kassaly, before setting up striker Marwan Mohsen for the Pharaohs' 13th-minute opener.

Egypt were soon 2-0 up after Ayman Ashraf added a second to get Javier Aguirre's reign off to an ideal start, before Salah was again denied from the spot by Kassaly just before the half-hour mark.

On this occasion, however, he followed up his spurned effort to tap home the North Africans' third.

The in-form attacker, operating in a slightly deeper role than usual, then contributed the assist for Salah Mohsen's goal - Egypt's fourth - and then bagged a rare header in the 86th minute as the Pharaohs went 5-0 up.

Mohamed Elneny added a sixth as his side moved on from a disappointing World Cup and a painful post-tournament fallout, with Salah finding himself at odds with the Egyptian Football Association following a disagreement about the player's image rights.

The win takes Egypt up to second in Group J. They trail Tunisia on head-to-head record, with the Carthage Eagles set to face Swaziland - tied with Niger on one point - on Sunday.