World Cup: Salah-less Egypt crash to Uruguay

Mohamed Salah

Egypt was superb but the absence of talismanic forward, Mohamed Salah, counted against the Pharaohs against Uruguay on Friday.

A late Jose Gimenez header broke Egypt hearts as the South Americans won their opening match 1-0 in Ekaterinburg.

Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani both had great chances to score in a flat match, while Ahmed Fathy came closest for Egypt.

But with time running out, Gimenez outrose Ahmed Hegazi to bullet a header into the net in the 89th minute and claim the three points for Oscar Tabarez’s men.

The win gave the group favourites a serious boost after Russia’s shock 5-0 win against Saudi Arabia in the opening match.

Egypt was dealt a blow before kick-off when Salah was only deemed fit enough for the bench.

An obvious tactic might well have been to keep Uruguay at bay until the Liverpool star could make an impact.

And indeed, the match started very much in that fashion with the first telling shot of the match coming from Cavani after seven minutes, who scuffed an effort towards goal from the edge of the box.

Egypt striker Trezeguet gave Héctor Cúper’s men their first shot on target from a tight angle when he acrobatically released a strike, but it was another which failed to test Fernando Muslera in goal.

Barcelona forward Suarez, never shy of a headline, endured a lethargic opening half which began with a series of poor first touches and attempts.

Cavani also came close just as the Africans threatened.

But ultimately, Egypt was made to rue Salah’s injury, as Gimenez headed home from a wide delivery to seal the win