Uruguay snatch late victory as Salah sits out

Mohamed Salah

GETTY Mohamed Salah could be fit to start Egypt's World Cup opener

However, in the first half, the Uruguayan stars nothing special did not show himself, and Egypt even without Salah (when the African national team last played at the world Cup in 1990, the striker was not born yet) looked decent.

In the second round in group A will play: Russia - Egypt (19 June) and Uruguay - Saudi Arabia (June 20).

"Perhaps if Mo had been on the pitch today the outcome would have been different but we can't know that". The 26-year-old often starts on the right for Egypt but is given the license to remain high upfield when his team are defending, with the centre-forward instead dropping back to help out defensively.

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 worldwide goals.

The Egyptians will start with Marwan Mohsen, who plays for domestic side Al Ahly, as the lone out-and-out striker.

Expected to dominate Group A, Uruguay made its first step toward the next round.

It is hard to overstate Salah's importance to this Egypt side, and his likely availability for next week's pivotal meeting with Russian Federation will make a huge difference.

It was not clear if he would come on as a substitute or whether Cuper would save him for the later group games against Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia.

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Suarez nearly propelled the Reds to the Premier League title in 2014 but his attempts to replicate that form at the World Cup ended in controversy after a biting incident involving Italy's Giorgio Chiellini. Tabarez called it "secondary statistics".

Uruguay have won their opening match at a World Cup tournament for the first time since 1970, when they beat Israel. That was followed by appearances in 2010 and 2014.

Uruguay were guilty of being overly pedestrian and pedestrian with their passing, though, while they were also hampered by a lack of natural width as Nahitan Nandes and Giorgian De Arrascaeta continually drifted infield.

Coach Oscar Tabarez says Suarez, 31, has learned from his past mistakes. "We've broken the spell".

Cavani and Salah meet at the end of the game.

"During this period, all the players observed Ramadan", Cuper said.

However, far from his usual role as the aggressor on the field, Ramos had to act as a peacemaker on Thursday as Spain tried to move on from a dramatic few days that have rocked their World Cup preparations. The Egyptian players are used to it.

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