We Don't Want To 'Risk' Salah, Says Egypt Coach After Uruguay Loss

16 June, 2018, 14:58 | Author: Anita Tucker
  • FIFA Launch Investigation Into Empty Seats During Egypt Uruguay Match

During Friday's match, Uruguay snatched a late win over Egypt as Jose Gimenez headed in the only goal in the 89th minute.

Russian Federation leads Group A on goal difference after beating Saudi Arabia 5-0 on Thursday in the tournament's first match.

Aside from Liverpool ace Salah failing to get off the bench with his shoulder injury, another major talking point was also off the pitch - large portions of empty seats in one main stand at the Yekaterinburg Arena were an embarrassing sight for Federation Internationale de Football Association and local organisers.

The Liverpool forward, who scored 44 goals last season, has had his fitness for the tournament in doubt since the showpiece match.

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The former Liverpool striker did, however, latch onto a through ball from strike partner Edinson Cavani at the start of the second half, shrugged off a challenge and forced a fine save from the inexperienced Mohamed El Shenawy. "I came here because of Salah", he said. "I don't think some of the players played as well as they can".

Egypt have failed to score in each of their last three World Cup matches. "We thought Salah would play".

Portugal sailed through the qualifiers, winning nine of their 10 games, but their long unbeaten run ended in March and they drew their next two matches before recovering to win a final warmup friendly with Algeria last week.

Cuper said that he had no complaint about his team's performance as they have done their best, but admitted that if Salah had been on the pitch, the outcome "might have been different".

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Egypt fans will be hoping to see Salah in their second match of the tournament, against hosts Russian Federation on Tuesday, 19 June. Tabarez called it "secondary statistics".

But Suarez has continued to be key for his country and is back with a chance to redeem himself in a strong Uruguay side, still with the core of the squad that finished fourth in South Africa eight years ago.

Friday's game was played a day after the end of Ramadan, the holy month that requires Muslims to fast and refrain from drinking or eating from sunrise to sunset. The Egyptian players are used to it.

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