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Jose Gimenez leads Uruguay past Egypt 1-0 in WC Group A clash | Coastweek

YEKATERINBURG Russia (Xinhua) -- Egypt’s Amr Warda [left] tussles with Uruguay’s Martin Caceres during a group A match between Egypt and Uruguay at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Yekaterinburg, Russia, June 15, 2018. Uruguay won 1-0. XINHUA PHOTO - DU YU
Jose Gimenez leads Uruguay past Egypt 1-0 in WC Group A clash

YEKATERINBURG Russia (Xinhua) -- Jose Gimenez scored the only goal and lifted Uruguay 1-0 over Egypt in their World Cup group A match at the 35,000-seat Yekaterinburg Arena stadium here on Friday.

In the 89th minute, Uruguay snatched a late win when Gimenez headed powerfully past goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawy into the lower right corner of the net after meeting a free kick from replacement Carlos Sanchez.

The Egyptian side determinedly fought back in stoppage time but failed to create a good chance until the end.

It is the second game of the tournament. Last night, hosts Russia beat Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening match.

To the Egyptians’ disappointment, their national hero Mohamed Salah wasn’t able to make it to the starting line-up after suffering from a shoulder injury from Liverpool’s Champions League final loss to Real Madrid on May 26. Issam al-Hadary, the 45-year-old legendary goalkeeper of Egypt, didn’t enter the starting list either.

In the Uruguayan side, two ace strikers: Luis Suarez and Edison Cavani, were responsible for most of the attacks in the front, posing a major threat to their Egyptian opponents.

In the eighth minute, the highly-spirited Cavani took a speculative blast but was denied by the diving El-Shenawy who replaced al-Hadary in the starting lineup for Egypt. Two minutes later, Egypt’s Trezeget repaid by taking the blast low but was saved by the alert Fernando Muslera.

Both sides wasted a few chances for the rest of the time in the first half, and the most threatening moment came from Suarez in the 23rd minute when he took advantage of the chaos in front of the goalline after Uruguay opened a corner but sent the ball into the side net.

A few replacements were made in the second half, but the much-anticipated Salah didn’t come off the bench till the end.

In the 73rd minute, Suarez, who had not been in good form this match, missed what might be the best chance till this moment after meeting a pinpoint pass from Cavani, but the ball was confiscated by El-Shenawy.

Friday’s match marked the third appearance of Egypt at football’s showpiece event after a 28-year absence, while two-time World Cup winners Uruguay finished fourth in the 2010 tournament and exited at the Round of 16 in Brazil in 2014.

According to FIFA, Egypt is ranked 45th in the world, while Uruguay is ranked 14th.

The most recent encounter between the two sides was a friendly 12 years ago, in which Uruguay swept Egypt 2-0.

It was also the first time for Uruguay to have a victory in their opening match at a World Cup tournament.

A total of 27,015 spectators attended Friday’s match at the Yekaterinburg Arena stadium, which lies on the geographical border of Europe and Asia.
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EARLIER REPORTS:

FIFA probing empty seats for Uruguay-Egypt World Cup duel

MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua) -- FIFA has launched an investigation to determine why there were thousands of empty seats for the World Cup match between Egypt and Uruguay in Yekaterinburg on Friday.

Uruguay won the Group A clash at Ekaterinburg Stadium 1-0 after a 90th-minute header from Atletico Madrid defender Jose Jimenez.

More than 6,000 seats - around 20% of the venue’s capacity - were unoccupied.

"We can confirm that the official attendance for the match between Egypt and Uruguay in Ekaterinburg is 27,015. The Fifa World Cup stadium capacity is 33,061," a FIFA spokesman said.

"The fact that the actual attendance is lower than the number of allocated tickets can be due to different factors, including ‘no shows’ on match day, which Fifa is currently investigating."
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Egypt coach: Salah will be fine for next match

YEKATERINBURG Russia (Xinhua) -- Egypt coach Hector Cuper has explained that he kept star player Mohamed Salah on bench against Uruguay on Friday to keep him in good form for matches against Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Cuper made the remarks after a 1-0 loss to Uruguay in their World Cup group A match here.

Salah’s fitness for entering the game has been the target of much speculation since he suffered a shoulder injury in Liverpool’s Champions League final loss to Real Madrid on May 26.

Cuper had said earlier that Salah was "nearly 100 percent likely" to face Uruguay, but apparently changed his mind later.

"At the end of the training session we examined him and there was some doubt if he fell or was hit by another player, and we wanted to avoid a risk today," Cuper explained.

"We wanted to avoid risks in this match (with Salah), but I think he will be fine for the next game," he said.

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

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."

Without Salah, the Egyptian team seemed to lack the cutting edge.

"What we lacked was the finishing aspects, what we closed at the penalty box... I think at least four or five plays ended right there, we just lack the final touch to be able to score the goal," Cuper noted.

Egypt will face hosts Russia on Tuesday and Saudi Arabia on June 25.
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Uruguay coach defends Suarez after match against Egypt

YEKATERINBURG Russia (Xinhua) -- Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez defended Luis Suarez in front of the press after the Barcelona forward failed to capitalize on a few good opportunities in Friday’s World Cup match against Egypt.

"I’ve seen Messi and Pele and Maradona and other great players not playing to their full potential in matches. This is not a sin," the 71-year-old coach told a press conference after Friday’s 1-0 win in their Group A match when asked about Suarez’s performance.

"Even playing not as well as he (Suarez) normally does, he had three goal scoring opportunities.

"The Egyptian goalkeeper saved a couple of them, and that is to his merit.

"This doesn’t bother me at all. I’m not worried," he added.

"As long as Suarez keeps playing and trying to score, we know he has great potential, we are happy about that," said the coach.

Uruguay are to face Saudi Arabia on Wednesday and hosts Russia on June 25.

The two-time World Cup winners finished fourth in the 2010 tournament and exited at the Round of 16 in Brazil in 2014.

With the remarkable combination of Luis Suarez and Edison Cavani in the front, Uruguay have been tipped by some as dark horses of the tournament this year and hopeful for top spot of group A.

             

 

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