AFC Asian Cup

In Salah's Nile delta village, the Egyptian is a super hero

NAGRIG, Egypt (AP) The cafe began to fill up more than two hours before kickoff. By the time the match began, some 200 men and boys - some as young as five - huddled around two large TV screens at a cafe Mohamed Salah frequents when he's back visiting his village deep in Egypt's Nile Delta.

Salah didn't score, but almost everyone at the cafe let out a joyous scream and clapped enthusiastically at the final whistle: Liverpool, the English club for which Salah has scored more than 40 goals since he joined this season, has reached the final of the Champions League for the first time since 2007. On the night, Liverpool lost 4-2 to Roma, but advanced 7-6 on aggregate to set up a clash with Real Madrid in the May 26 final in Kiev.

"We are victorious, we are victorious," screamed a boy at the end of a game that induced everyone in the cafe to carry a deeply anxious look as Roma kept on chipping away at Liverpool's first leg lead. "Come on Salah!" and "run, Salah!" they implored the 25-year-old every time he had the ball.