Everyone wanted to see Mohamed Salah, the lovable Liverpool winger. Héctor Cúper was just focused on trying to earn a point against the group favorite. Sadly, the Uruguay vs Egypt match really could’ve used the influx of speed, guile and grace Salah would have provided. Instead we got the first a late winner in a 1-0 victory for the group favorite.
Egypt manager Héctor Cúper opted to save his star Salah for later in the tournament despite Cúper saying on Thursday he was “almost 100 percent” certain his star would play after an injury in the Champions League final.
Without Salah, the Uruguay vs Egypt match was 89 minutes of La Celeste huffing and puffing, only scoring in the 90th minute off a free kick from the corner, with defender José Giménez rising high to head in the winner.
What. A. Header.#EGYURU pic.twitter.com/3tteXtWnfo— The18 (@the18com) June 15, 2018
Poor Salah. Just look at his reaction, which the FIFA video crew did a brilliant job of showing in slow motion near the end of the above clip.
Most of the match was a bit of a slog, with Egypt defending well and keeper Mohamed El-Shenawy repeatedly denying Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani. (El-Shenawy’s start was a bit of a disappointment as he kept 45-year-old keeper Essam El Hadary from becoming the oldest player to ever play in the World Cup.)
We kept waiting for Cúper to bring Salah on, but he used all his subs before the 90th-minute goal and the World Cup is Salah-less for at least another few days.
Hey Hector Cuper pic.twitter.com/bFdtykCSld— The18 (@the18com) June 15, 2018
Egypt nearly held off the Group A favorite and to secure its first point in a World Cup since a 0-0 draw with Ireland in 1990, but Giménez’s late winner means Cúper may regret leaving Salah on the bench.
But it could’ve been worse for Egypt if not for some poor finishing from Suarez and a great performance from El-Shenawy.
#MundialTelemundo ¡ La que se ha perdido @LuisSuarez9 ! @Melshenawy le impide el primero de #URU sobre #EGY pic.twitter.com/dz7mzBbk3A— Telemundo Deportes (@TelemundoSports) June 15, 2018
Luis Suarez with a golden opportunity to put Uruguay ahead but he misses wide! #EGYURU pic.twitter.com/XQ29ua9ykN— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 15, 2018
Cavani came so close to giving Uruguay the lead but El Shenawy comes up with the big save! pic.twitter.com/rkdVv9rgfc— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 15, 2018
Before the goal finally arrived, Uruguay was piling on the pressure late, with Cavani rattling the post with a free kick.
Ultimately, Giménez was be the hero and Cúper the villain of the Uruguay vs Egypt match. At least Salah will be fresh for the Russia match on June 19.