Published: Wed, June 20, 2018
Sport | By Patty Hardy

No Salah, no party as Suarez sinks on World Cup return

No Salah, no party as Suarez sinks on World Cup return

Strike partner Edinson Cavani released him in the first minute after the restart, but Mohamed El-Shenawy blocked his effort from a testing angle.

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez was at a loss to explain how Luis Suarez missed three golden chances in his side's 1-0 win over Egypt in their opening World Cup Group A game but refused to blame his leading striker.

The defeat means that Egypt are still yet to win a World Cup match in five attempts, but they will probably have to take the three points against Russian Federation to stay in with a chance of going through.

Cuper's side haven't won in six games since Salah's double over the Congo saw them secure their place at the quadrennial competition.

Suarez was saved embarrassment by a late header from centre-back Jose Gimenez, earning Uruguay a victory in a World Cup opener for the first time.

Uruguay's deserved last-gasp victory leaves them and Russian Federation in early control in Group A after the hosts' 5-0 mauling of Saudi Arabia in the tournament opener on Thursday.

And, as he makes his way up them, one of the match ball boys reaches out to grab his left shoulder - which he injured in last month's Champions League final.

He said: "Sometimes we change our plans depending on the nature of the game, but we have achieved a lot and will not change the way we play".

This match will likely prove to be decisive in terms of which team wins the group if one team manages to pick up three points here, but it could be a close contest.

Uruguay as a team struggled, particularly in the first half, but this inability to live up to their potential was personified in the form of the attacker.

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.

"But we had matches in qualifying without Suarez and Cavani, and that's just how it is". With a victory, Uruguay could reach the next stage with a game in hand against host Russian Federation on June 25.

Cavani and Salah meet at the end of the game. "During the preparations (for the World Cup), we did everything possible to deal with the fasting".

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