Gimenez' late goal wins it for Uruguay

"Salah is certainly one of them". Maybe he loses his level, maybe he has an injury, we don't hope so.

After Salah came off worse in a collision with Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos, his shoulder injury has severely hampered his preparations for the tournament.

The win puts Uruguay on three points in the group, while Egypt has zero points and is facing a must-win against Russian Federation in their second match.

After being forced off against Real Madrid in the Champions League final, there were major concerns about the forward's chances of being fit to play in Russian Federation.

Egypt winger Mohamed Salah is not in team's starting XI as his side lines-up to take on Uruguay in World Cup group A second match.

Salah trained on the Ekaterinburg Arena pitch with his teammates as planned half an hour later; he was noticeably reluctant to join in with a series of "windmill" arm movement exercises early on in the session. The twin acts of unleashing the Liverpool star and Cuper himself releasing the handbrakes should make Egypt a handful for their opponents.

Uruguay have a more balanced side with the likes of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani in attack followed by a enthusiastic midfield.

Uruguay have won their opening match at a World Cup tournament for the first time since 1970, when they beat Israel. If they are to propel Uruguay to something extraordinary, then their time is now. "Also that all the world can see that Egypt has talent".

The 62-year-old Argentine added: "Salah is very good and he's recovered very quickly".

Traditional World Cup broadcaster SBS has a much-reduced role at this year's event, further angering fans.

Salah's presence would be crucial to an Egypt side that is so dependent on the maverick forward to finish off their breakaways and make a fine start to their World Cup campaign before meeting hosts Russian Federation and Arab Gulf side Saudi Arabia.

Asked about Salah's chances of starring at the tournament, Cuper said: "Why not?"

The Russians and Saudis will watch this one with great interest.

Cuper's team were defensively rigid in a 4-2-3-1 set-up and anyone who knows the ex-Valencia manager will know that the wily old fox prefers the art of defence over everything else.

Egypt's Mohamed Salah was kept on the bench throughout the Group A encounter, which was uneventful before a late surge from Uruguay. It is normal to have other favourites given all they have achieved.

  • Julie Sanders