Gimenez scores to lift Uruguay over Egypt 1-0 in Group A

Hector Cuper

Fears that Russian Federation may become just the second host nation to fail to qualify from the group stages have been quashed for now, but their next opponents Egypt were given a huge boost by the return to fitness of Mohamed Salah ahead of their clash with Uruguay on Friday.

Salah was named among the substitutes for Egypt's opener but the team's experienced coach Hector Cuper decided not to risk him, even though the scores were locked at 0-0 heading into the closing stages of the game.

Instead, Marwan Mohsen starts up front, with Huddersfield Town man Ramadan Sobhi also not in the starting lineup.

A poor game looked likely to end in stalemate but with Uruguay cranking up the pressure late on, defender Gimenez rose to power a header into the top corner and break Egypt hearts.

And the national team of Uruguay was seen as a much more solid: Luis Suarez of Barcelona is 70 million euros, Edinson Cavani of PSG - 60, Jose Maria Gimenez from Atletico Madrid is 45, his teammate Diego Godin - 35.

Salah, who injured his shoulder in the Champions League final on May 26, came out with other players to inspect the pitch in Yekaterinburg.

Egypt will be making its first World Cup appearance in nearly three decades today, but will be a sizable underdog against a Uruguay squad with plenty of star power.

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Egypt forward Mohamed Salah was on the bench for his country's first World Cup match since 1990 after injuring his shoulder while playing for Liverpool in last month's Champions League final.

The first match of the group and the tournament saw World Cup host Russian Federation unexpectedly blast Saudi Arabia by a count of 5-0 on Thursday. "But I think he will be OK for the next match".

Defender Jose Maria Giminez headed home past goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy in the 90th minute of the second game of the tournament held every four years.

URUGUAY left it late to win their opening World Cup match. Salah's presence or absence will play a huge role in how the Egyptians manage to answer the challenge. Two saves from Suarez and a powerful volley from Cavani earned him Man of the Match award after the game.

Egypt are now in third place and Saudi Arabia are coming last.

From 1970 until Friday, Uruguay had lost three games and drawn another three in its opening World Cup games.

His participation at the World Cup was in doubt initially, but Salah recovered in time to make the squad.

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