Mo Salah unused sub as Uruguay seal late win over Egypt

Gimenez scores on the brink of full-time as Uruguay get their World Cup 2018 campaign off to a winning start.

    Egypt face Russia next in St Petersburg on Tuesday [Andrew Couldridge/Reuters]
    Egypt face Russia next in St Petersburg on Tuesday [Andrew Couldridge/Reuters]

    Follow Al Jazeera's World Cup 2018 coverage.

    Uruguay's Jose Gimenez cannoned in an 89th-minute header to hand Egypt a 1-0 defeat in their World Cup opener, just as the North Africans appeared to have escaped with a point despite missing key striker Mohamed Salah.

    Gimenez rose perfectly to meet a Carlos Sanchez free kick and score the goal that broke a 48-year Uruguayan 'curse' of failing to win in the opening game of the World Cup.

    Egypt came within minutes of surviving, largely thanks to the heroics of goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawy, who bravely dived to snatch the ball from Luis Suarez's feet and then flung himself through the air to tip an Edinson Cavani volley wide.

    Uruguay gained in strength and purpose as the game progressed and it became clear that Salah, who injured his shoulder last month, was going to stay on the bench.

     

    Before that, Egypt had rarely looked in trouble in a scrappy match at the less-than-packed Yekaterinburg Arena, though without Salah they also did little to threaten the Uruguay goal.

    Salah's absence came as a surprise after coach Hector Cuper had said on Thursday he was almost 100 percent certain to play.

    The Liverpool striker, who turned 26 on Friday, injured his shoulder in the Champions League final against Real Madrid, and millions of Egyptians had been on tenterhooks to see if he would recover in time for the tournament.

    He now has four more days to work on his fitness before Egypt face Russia in St Petersburg next Tuesday, while Uruguay will play Saudi Arabia the next day in Rostov.

    SOURCE: News agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.