2018-06-15 10:39:12
World Cup Heartbreak for Egypt as Uruguay Heads in Winner

10:39, June 15 192 0

It took nearly 90 minutes, but Uruguay finally got a goal and defeated a stubborn Egypt team, 1-0, in Ekaterinburg on Friday. A header off a free kick by defender Jose Maria Giminez was the difference after Uruguay’s bigger stars, Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez, squandered several chances.

Egypt played without its own star, Mohamed Salah, who was nursing a shoulder injury yet had been expected to play.

From the opening whistle it was Uruguay that attacked, while Egypt sat back and seemed content with a possible 0-0 draw. The stingy defense frustrated Uruguay, but a few chances came in the first half, notably a shot by a close-in Suarez that went just wide.

In the second half as many eyes were on the substitute bench as the pitch, with Egypt fans looking longingly at Salah. But he was never sent in.

More chances came for Uruguay including several nice saves by Egypt keeper Mohamed El Shenawy on Suarez and Cavani.

Those 31-year-old attackers have 51 and 42 goals for Uruguay. But it was a defender, Jose Maria Giminez, who finally got the breakthrough. Carlos Sanchez curled in a free kick from near the sideline and it found Gimenez’s head, and then the back of the net.

Throughout the game Egypt occasionally got something going on a counterattack, but it seldom really put a scare into Uruguay’s defense. Still, after 90 minutes of energetic defensive, it was a hard way to lose.

Heartbreak for Egypt in the dying minutes. A free kick near the sidelines found the head of leaping defender Jose Maria Gimenez, and he found the back of the net. A tough break for Egypt, but Uruguay did have much the better chances all game long and just about deserves the victory. Five minutes of stoppage time will surely be entertaining.

Andrew Das: Super header off the ensuing free kick saves the day and crushes the Egyptians. Uruguay just needed to bring a defender forward, I guess. That goal was super important for Uruguay. And for the man the cameras just showed who came to the stadium with his entire head painted blue. Tough to walk home with a blue head having thrown away three points.

Edinson Cavani sold a fall hard and was awarded a free kick, fairly generously. He took it himself, and it hit the far post! Uruguay again with the near-miss.

The Suarez-Cavani combo finally hooked up with a nice move. It started with a Suarez header in the box that Cavani viciously one-timed on goal. A great diving one-handed save by El Shenawy kept the game tied.

Salah has a big smile on the sidelines. No sign of action from Egypt’s star man, and it is looking increasingly likely he will not play a part, unless perhaps Uruguay scores.

Another clear chance for Luis Suarez, this time for an easy touch finish. But he held on too long and stumbled into Egyptian goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy. Suarez can’t believe he didn’t pull the trigger.

Before Suarez’s run, Ahmed Fathy, who has really shone for Egypt, seized an opportunity and pounced on a loose ball, rocketing it toward the net and forcing a save.

Andrew Das: It goes without saying that Luis Suarez might want to convert one of these chances at some point. Uruguay is leaving the door wide open here for a single mistake that could cost them dearly.

Eight men behind the ball for Egypt as Uruguay got into the box again. But Edinson Cavani could not find a way through the forest of bodies and legs.

Egypt got some sustained possession in the box, but once again failed to get any kind of shot on net off. Even without a goal, Egypt seems happy to chew up some clock and perhaps leave the game with a point.

Carlos Sanchez and Cristian Rodriguez come on for Uruguay as it searches for the combination that will get the ball to Suarez or Cavani and give the team the lead.

Egypt turned to their substitute’s bench ... but brought Kahraba, a left winger, not Mo Salah. The bench is getting more eyes than the playing field in the last few minutes.

The first extended injury break of the game. Tarek Hamed of Egypt leapt for a header and seemed to land wrong. The physios are on the pitch for treatment. And that will be the end of his day. Sam Morsy checks in for him.

Big chance for Uruguay! Suarez was sprung free toward the goal, the ball at his feet, and ... Mohamed El Shenawy, the keeper, made a rare knee save. A near ideal start for Uruguay.

The second half kicks off. No changes to the teams, so no Salah. Yet.

Uruguay was the aggressor, and had the best chance, the miss by Luis Suarez. Egypt played strong defense and occasionally mounted a counterattack. But it’s 0-0 and always felt like a 0-0 game. Egypt is in dire need of a Mohamed Salah appearance; Uruguay needs Suarez to convert one of his chances.

Uruguay had 6 shots to Egypt’s 2, led 2-0 in corners, led in possession and passes and pass accuracy. But it will be the more frustrated team, surely feeling that it should lead this game. Egypt, the underdogs going in, played tenacious defense and will be much happier with the 0-0 scoreline.

Andrew Das: Uruguay 0, Egypt 0 means Russia won the first half in Yekaterinburg. They’ll like what they have seen: wasteful finishing by the Uruguayans and no Salah for the Egyptians. Expect that latter one to change at some point today.

Andrew Keh: Egypt and Uruguay seem like two teams still getting warmed-up for the tournament — and the game. Uruguay had the only decent chances of the half. Cavani shot low and on target early on, but the ball lost speed as it skipped across the grass and was saved. Saurez knew he should have scored minutes later, when a corner kick bounced onto his foot. But he shanked it into the side netting, before covering his mouth in shock. It went this way for both teams. Passes sputtered just wide of their targets. Players’ first-touches looked clunky. You have to wonder what Salah would bring to this game — and how much longer coach Egypt coach Hector Cuper is willing to wait to find out.

Egypt countered and tried to get a little something going, ending in a bad effort at a bicycle kick by Ahmed Fathy. Uruguay fans just can’t be too worried about giving up a goal so far.

The camera picks up Mo Salah sitting on the bench opening up some shin guards. All over Egypt, and probably Liverpool too, there is a sudden surge of excitement. But still no concrete signs of his arrival into the game.

Egypt is not really putting together sustained offensive attacks. They are looking for a quick steal or to capitalize on an error and then shoot quickly. The latest effort came from Marwan Mohsen, but like the others it was half-hearted and not from a particularly good location. Egypt seems to lack the confidence to go for a few more passes and get a better shot.

Suarez got the ball down the side somewhat dangerously, but Ahmed Fathy, part of the hard-nosed Egypt defense, battled him off the ball. Then two dangerous corners followed, and Suarez missed a great chance going just wide. Uruguay is turning up the heat.

A first chance for the great Luis Suarez, who has 51 goals in a Uruguay uniform. He went wide, failing to get No. 52, but you would expect him to continue to be a danger to Egypt.

Andrew Keh: For all the crazed Egyptian and Uruguayan fans here in Yekaterinburg, the atmosphere out here has been a bit subdued. For starters, the seats along the sideline in the lower bowl seem less than half full. Then there are the two towering temporary stands behind each goal. Those are mostly full, with 12,000 or so brave souls. But their positioning — literally outside the stadium walls and beyond the reach of the roof — has made the atmosphere here feel a bit disjointed. It’s chilly, too, with temperatures in in the mid 50s. A journalist at the news conference yesterday tried to present a pair of traditional Russian felt boots, known as valenki, to Mohamed Salah of Egypt. I wouldn’t mind a pair right now as I sit in this press box.

Egypt string a few passes together, and it ends with Trezguet, the one-named midfielder, getting off a shot. But like Uruguay’s first effort, it is easily saved.

Uruguay has been the offensive engine so far, with Egypt settling back and waiting,. And Uruguay got the first shot, a speculative effort from Edinson Cavani from outside the box. Saved.

For Egypt, there has been a long wait for this moment: 28 years to be exact, since a 1-0 loss to England in the 1990 World Cup. Egypt’s cameos in Cups have included no wins at all.

Egypt is in red and Uruguay in white, With Salah limited to the bench, we may see a defensive Egypt today. 0-0 draw anyone? Or will Cavani and Suarez break through for Uruguay?

Andrew Keh: Egypt’s coach, Hector Cuper, said Thursday that it was “100 percent” that Salah would play, but he left the decision to the player. He is on the bench, and the sense is that he will get about 30 minutes as a substitute.

Uruguay is known for rugged defending, so it makes sense for Egypt and Cuper to take it carefully with Salah. Losing a star, as Russia did with Alan Dzagoev yesterday, could be a brutal blow to their hopes of advancing.