The second day of the 2018 FIFA World Cup had a lot to live up to after host Russia’s dominating 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia on the first day. Thus Egypt and Uruguay, the teams expected to qualify from Group A were in pressure leading into the first match of their campaign, Egypt Vs Uruguay.
The headlines as always was on Mo Salah and his race to be fit for playing the Egypt Vs Uruguay match. However, he started on the bench and did not make an appearance on his 26th birthday as Jose Maria Gimenez, the Atletico Madrid centre-back stole the show with his late header grabbing the necessary three points for Uruguay.
Here are a few things that we learned from the match of Egypt Vs Uruguay.
Give-me Give-me Gimenez
Both Jose Maria Gimenez and Diego Godin represent the white and red stripes of Madrid. Hence, there is no denying that both understand and complement each other very well.
Both the centre-backs have been dominant while donning the Atletico Madrid jersey and likewise, they replicated they replicated the same for their national side as well. With the presence of two quality strikers in Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, one did not expect from the centre-backs to score the winner in Egypt Vs Uruguay game.
— Zack Hümmel (@zhummm) June 15, 2018
However, that’s exactly what happened as it was Jose Mario Gimenez who leaped the highest to score the late winner from a corner in the 89th minute and secure an important victory for his nation.
No Mo Salah For Egypt Vs Uruguay Game
It was reported on Thursday that Salah was fit after recovering from the shoulder injury sustained during the Champions League final in late May and will start the Egypt Vs Uruguay match. However, the Liverpool star was left on the bench during Egypt’s opening game of the FIFA World Cup 2018.
As many as three changes were made by Egypt with each time the camera focusing on Mohamed Salah, but head coach Hector Cuper deciding not to risk him with two more matches to go in the Group A against lower ranked opponents.
Egypt coach Hector Cuper says Mo Salah will have "an important role" in future #WorldCup matches.
— CNN Sport (@cnnsport) June 15, 2018
Having been rushed back from his injury, Egypt coach Hector Cuper left him on the bench for the Egypt Vs Uruguay game. Cuper later gave the reason of keeping Salah unused. The coach said after the game:
“He did not play today because we wanted to avoid risk or danger but I think that he will be fine for the next match,”
Suarez Lacking Bite In Egypt Vs Uruguay Fixture
Luis Suarez playing his first FIFA World Cup game since his biting ban in the last edition, lacked finishing touches and let go of some easy chances which he otherwise would have scored.
Many a time, both Cavani and Suarez made similar runs into the box thus overlapping each other in most cases. Thus, both the strikers failed to complement each other with the match almost ending towards a draw until, Gimenez saved the day for Uruguay.
Al-Shenawy, The Show Stopper
If Essam El-Hadary appeared in goal, the 45-year-old Egyptian would have taken Colombian ‘keeper Faryd Mondragon’s record as the oldest player to play in the tournament’s history.
Instead, Hector Cúper opted for Al-Shenawy, which definitely was the best decision seeing his performance in the match. Al-Shenawy pulled of a string of excellent saves against the South American side denying them goals until late.
— Daily News Egypt (@DailyNewsEgypt) June 15, 2018
He not only denied Cavani a half-volley goal, but also saved two one-on-one chances with Suarez. There is absolutely no doubt that the keeper of Egypt was the best player on the pitch for his side.