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Word Cup: Uruguay 1-0 Egypt

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Uruguay waited until the closing minutes of the game, but eventually defeated the Egyptians by a score of 1-0.

Defender José Giménez headed in the decisive goal in the 89th minute off of a cross from substitute Carlos Sanchez.

Apart from the final 10 minutes, there was not much action to speak of. From Egypt’s perspective, this had heavily to do with Mohamed Salah’s absence from the starting line-up.

Egypt manager Hector Cuper had noted recently that Salah had an “almost 100%” chance to play in Friday’s match, so Salah’s non-inclusion in the squad seemed a bit puzzling.

Without Salah, Egypt kept an organized, stable defence and midfield that thwarted Uruguay for much of the game. What Egypt were not able to do was generate a consistent attack.

The Pharaohs attempted 8 shots, 3 on goal. Their closest attempt came in the 72nd minute when captain Ahmar Fathy’s long-range missile was snatched by goalkeeper Fernando Muslera.

While much of the first half was a slog, it did provide one clear-cut chance for the Uruguayans. After a corner kick was swung in, captain Diego Godin was able to flick the ball on past some defenders on to the left side of goal. All that stood was striker Luis Suarez and an open goal, as goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawy was sliding over from his near-post position.

Suarez swung his right foot toward the ball but missed horribly into the side netting. Superstar strikers like Suarez do not miss chances like those often.

After the slow first half, momentum picked up in the second.

One minute into the final 45, Suarez tracked down a lovely pass from forward Edinson Cavani and almost slotted the ball home past El-Shenawy, but the Egyptian keeper’s knee deflected it away. Suarez again was able to wiggle his way into the box in the 72 minute but was unable to untangle his legs in time to get a shot off on goal.

Cavani asserted his presence late in the contest by striking two fierce efforts in the 83rd and 88th minute. His first attempt was an impressive volley attempt from outside the box and his second was a splendid free kick that banged off the post. While Uruguay did not look their best, they can at least look at their second half chances as a positive sign going forward.

The tiebreaker came when Uruguay needed it most and came from an unlikely goal scorer. Atlético Madrid defender José Giménez scored just his sixth international goal, but none were as important as this one.

This victory for Uruguay catapults them to second in the group behind Russia due to goal difference, while Egypt drop to third in front of Saudi Arabia. For Egypt, this loss was particularly crushing because of the lateness of Uruguya's winner. Now they must fight to keep their knockout stage dreams alive.

Next match for Uruguay: 20 June vs. Saudi Arabia

Next match for Egypt: 19 June vs. Russia

 

               

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