Egypt star Salah rested for Russia & Saudi Arabia admits Cuper

Hector Cuper

Hector Cuper Dpa

Egypt have been drawn in Group A alongside Uruguay, Saudi Arabia and hosts Russian Federation.

Egypt goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shennawy has expressed his regret over failing to maintain a clean sheet against Uruguay in Group A's first round of the 2018 World Cup.

Jose Gimenez was the unlikely 89th-minute match victor as Uruguay defeated an Egypt side shorn of star man Mohamed Salah 1-0 in their World Cup opener on Friday.

Cuper has attempted to dismiss the notion that Egypt are a one-man side, but with 44 goals in all competitions this season for Liverpool, Salah's badly timed injury became a national obsession back home and made global headlines.

The former Liverpool striker did, however, latch onto a through ball from strike partner Edinson Cavani at the start of the second half, shrugged off a challenge and forced a fine save from the inexperienced Mohamed El Shenawy.

The usually ruthless Barcelona forward was saved embarrassment for his profligacy by a late header from centre back Jose Gimenez which earned the twice world champions a first ever victory in a World Cup opener. "I'm very proud of the team and the attitude they played with throughout the match". I don't think anyone has bad will or tries to deliberately injure a player. "Perhaps if Mo had been on the pitch today the outcome could have been different, but we'll never know that".

Egypt have failed to score in each of their last three World Cup matches.

"Salah will participate in tomorrow's match by 100% unless there is a radical change today or tomorrow", Egypt Coach Hector Cuper told the press.

Egypt, which had zero corner kicks in the match, has yet to win a World Cup game.

Uruguay won but doubts about the team's attacking qualities remain.

FC's Shaka Hislop is shocked Egypt's Mohamed Salah didn't feature against Uruguay, who capitalised late to keep pace with Russian Federation in Group A. Tabarez called it "secondary statistics".

"He's prepared a lot, he's got the right mindset for this World Cup, and I do believe he's meeting all my expectations", added the Uruguay boss. In 1970, Uruguay also reached the semifinals. The Russian Football Union confirmed the hamstring injury during the game, and said the length of time he will miss will be determined after a scan. "We've broken the spell". Cuper didn't use it as an excuse.

"I don't like to practise at the World Cup with things we haven't done before".

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