Salah looking very good for Egypt’s World Cup opener

Saturday, 16 Jun, 2018

This was Oscar Tabarez's 16th World Cup match in charge of Uruguay - only one manager has managed more matches for a South American country at the World Cup (Mario Zagallo for Brazil, 20 games).

"I don't know what happened but I will not speculate", Tabarez said in a postgame news conference.

The result leaves Russian Federation atop the group with three points after they routed Saudi Arabia 5-0 on Thursday.

The man who scored 44 goals for Liverpool last season would be fine for the next match against Russia, Cuper said, but he had decided after training on the eve of the Uruguay game not to take a risk with his talisman.

Salah, who celebrates his 26th birthday today, has been nursing a shoulder injury from the UEFA Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid last month.

"We have played against the likes of Messi, Neymar and others". I don't think anyone has bad will or tries to deliberately injure a player.

Egypt's decision to bench Salah for the biggest game in decades was baffling to supporters excited to see his spark on the pitch, but it was not unfounded. It managed two draws at the 1990 tournament and lost its only match in 1934.

Gimenez's goal came after multiple missed opportunities by Uruguay to score in the first and second half. "If Salah plays, we will just have to control his many strengths", the 71-year-old coach said.

The official attendance was given at 27,015 while according to Federation Internationale de Football Association 32,278 tickets were sold for the Group A match which Uruguay won 1-0 on a cool afternoon.

Cavani and Suarez didn't receive the support they needed and at times dropped back to midfield as playmakers, not a role for a duo that has combined for 93 global goals.

Speculation over Salah's fitness had dominated the buildup, and Cuper was left second-guessing his decision not to involve his star player. Marwan Mohsen as a lone striker is not likely to be enough for the team at this year's tournament.

Anything but a win against Saudi Arabia on Wednesday would be a surprise.

The controversial Barcelona striker, 31, was described on the eve of their first game in Russian Federation as "more mature" by Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez.

Salah is crucial to Egypt's hopes of making it out of a weak-looking group also featuring hosts Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia.

The next few days and weeks will be the time to prove it because Suarez will be past his prime or even retired by the time the next World Cup comes around, in Qatar in 2022.

"He's prepared a lot, he's got the right mindset for this World Cup, and I do believe he's meeting all my expectations", added the Uruguay boss. That was followed by appearances in 2010 and 2014.