Egypt forward Mohamed Salah fit to face Russian Federation

Mohamed Salah on the bench during Egypt's defeat by Uruguay

Mohamed Salah was kept on the bench in Egypt's opening World Cup defeat against Uruguay on Friday because the team did not want to risk further injury to the Liverpool star.

José Giménez's 89th minute header breaks Egyptian hearts.

It was a cagey opening to the match, with both sides knowing how important a positive result would be after the marker was set down by Group A rivals Russian Federation, who beat Saudi Arabia Thursday 5-0.

Cavani also underlined that he felt Uruguay were good value for the three points, despite needing a late victor from Jose Maria Gimenez.

Luis Suarez will be chasing redemption on Friday when Uruguay face Egypt in his first World Cup appearance since being thrown out of the tournament in 2014 for biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini. Suarez failed to beat goalkeeper Mohamed El Shennawy in two one-on-one situations and Cavani hit the post from a free kick with two minutes left.

Uruguay snatched a late victory against a resilient Egyptian side, as defender Jose Gimenez headed in a victor at the death.


The Pharaohs performed admirably in their first World Cup match in almost 30 years, especially considering that their star player, Mohamed Salah, failed to enter the game.

"Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, he said: "[I'd rather have] Salah in my team.

The Uruguayan forward is regarded as one of Liverpool FC's greatest players of all time alongside the likes of Kenny Dalglish, Steven Gerrard, John Barnes and Graeme Souness following a four and a half year spell at Anfield. "We tried to do that by creating frustration and blocking all their creative players", said Iran's coach Carlos Queiroz, the former assistant to Alex Ferguson at Manchester United and ex-Real Madrid coach.

Egypt next play Russian Federation in St Petersburg on Tuesday, giving Salah four more days to work on his fitness while Uruguay take on Saudi Arabia on Wednesday in Rostov.

A video clip showed a cake coated in the colors of the Egyptian and Chechnya flags sitting on a table in the team's hotel lobby in the Chechen capital of Grozny, the Pharaohs' base. "We've broken the spell".

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