Jose Gimenez broke Egyptian hearts when he powered in a header from a free-kick in the 89th-minute to win three points for Uruguay.
The last-gasp victory means Uruguay and Russia take control of the group after the hosts’ 5-0 mauling of Saudi Arabia in the opener.
Here’s a look at the tactical battle between managers Oscar Tabarez and Hector Cuper.
Goals – 1
Shots – 15
Possession – 58%
Tackles – 18
Dribbles – 13
Goals – 0
Shots – 8
Possession – 42%
Tackles – 22
Dribbles – 5
The wily old Uruguayan set his side up in their traditional 4-4-2 formation with the famed front two of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani leading the line. However, they didn’t show the kind of guile necessary to split open Egypt’s defence.
They eventually turned up the heat by overloading the flanks and getting more balls into the box and were rescued by a great header from Jose Gimenez.
Salah was named on the bench so there was no question of whether he would play up front or out wide. Marwan Mohsen led the line instead in a 4-2-3-1 system but was unable to hold up the ball when Egypt broke forward. He was dispossessed three times, as was another potential outlet in Trezeguet.
The Pharaohs tried to capitalise on the break but the execution of their forward passes was below par while Salah’s absence made for a blunt attack.
TACTICAL TALKING POINTS
Tabarez – More width
It hardly came as a surprise but Uruguay struggled to create much through the middle. The lack of innovation in possession was staggering and Rodrigo Bentancur was tipped to dictate play in midfield but the 20-year-old’s inexperience showed as he tended to hold onto possession for far too long.
As a result, Tabarez looked to concentrate play down the flanks in the second half. Carlos Sanchez in particular bombed down the right side with great impetus while Cristian Rodriguez’s introduction on the left wing provided more width as well. With play in the final third stretched, Uruguay began to create more chances though the winner came from a set-piece.
Cuper – Salah void
Egypt gave a good account of themselves as far as their set-up and approach goes at least. They restricted a Uruguay side which boasted a far superior attacking line. Cuper’s side was able to remain compact, soak up the pressure and had plenty of opportunities to break.
The problem though was that when they did counter, they didn’t have the pace and penetration of Salah to give their attacks purpose and direction. They largely wound up running down blind alleys and giving the ball away. If the Liverpool star was fit to play, one of those attacks could well have come to fruition.
Injected a bit of urgency into his side after half-time with Cavani and Suarez both being denied by El-Shenawy. Added more width to the attack after a very sluggish first half.
Rating – 6/10
Will be questioned for not playing Salah at some point. Fitness issues understandable but what’s the point of having him on the bench then? Must be credited for setting his side up well at least.
Rating – 5/10
The 2018 World Cup is underway and the teams have finalised where they’ll be staying during the duration of the tournament.
While a few teams have named training centres of some of Russia’s premier football clubs as their base, some have even reserved top luxurious resorts in the country.
Find out where the top teams are staying, below!
Bronnitsy Training Centre, Moscow Region
Lionel Messi and co are based in the town of Bronnitsy, on the banks of the Moskva River and Lake Belskoye 40 kms southeast of Moscow.
Swissotel Resort Sochi Camellia, Sochi
Tite’s squad is based in Kurortny Prospekt, and their hotel has a lot of greenery – shrubs, trees, with the sea and beach on the opposite side. The Neymar-led side will be training at the Yug Sport training centre on the bank of River Bzugu.
Forrest Mix Sport & Relax, Leningrad Region
Gareth Southgate’s side is staying in the resort community of Repino, on the coast of the Finnish Gulf, 40 kms from downtown Saint Petersburg. They will be training in Zelenogorsk, three kilometres from Repino, in a sports complex built as a replacement to the old Spartak Stadium.
Hilton Garden Inn New Riga, Moscow Region
Didier Deschamps’ squad are staying in a hotel which is a 30-minute drive northwest of Moscow. They’ve been training at the Glebovets Stadium. Although they trained at the Kazan Arena on Friday.
Vatutinki Health Complex, New Moscow
The defending champions are staying at Vatutinki, a health complex on the bank of the Desna River 16 km southwest of Moscow. Joachim Loew’s squad are currently training at the CSKA Moscow base.
FC Krasnodar Academy
The 2010 winners have their base at FC Krasnodar. The Academy has two indoor pitches with artificial grass, twelve standard pitches with natural grass, and another three outdoor pitches with synthetic covering.
Uruguay scraped through with a 1-0 win in their World Cup opener on Friday, getting a last-gasp goal from defender Jose Gimenez to beat Egypt.
The goal came after 90 minutes of toil from the Uruguayans, giving them a well-earned win.
Here’s how the players fared.
Fernando Muslera 7 – Had little to do, but the few times he was called upon, his handling and reading of the situation was solid.
Guillermo Varela 6 – A constant threat down the right flank, but, equally, showed why he was deemed surplus to requirements at Manchester United and Real Madrid.
Jose Gimenez 8 – A towering header to give Uruguay a hard-fought win. Was solid defensively as well, although looked a little slow on occasion.
Diego Godin 8 – Typically combative and imposing display from the centre-back. Godin would have been proud with Gimenez’s game-winning header, as well.
Martin Caceres 6 – Found wanting in attack, which was his primary role on Friday given how Egypt were set up.
Nahitan Nandez 6 – Part of the young brigade in Uruguay’s midfield, the 22-year-old was composed, but unthreatening.
Matias Vecino 6 – More is expected of Vecino, who showed why he’s still not trusted with more responsibility at Inter Milan.
Rodrigo Bentancur 6 – Had a lot of possession, but wasted it. Was unable to find a telling pass.
I believe Luis Suarez completed the process of the dive here pic.twitter.com/JMnHtOz4Ai— Nick Bromberg (@NickBromberg) June 15, 2018
Giorgian de Arrascaeta 6 – Failed to impact the game, despite getting on the ball in promising positions.
Luis Suarez 5 – An utterly disappointing game from the Barcelona man. Had two excellent chances to score, but failed to convert.
Edinson Cavani 7 – Would have had a hat-trick another day, but he lost his duel with Egypt’s keeper. Saw a fierce volley well saved, and hit the post with a late free-kick.
Carlos Sanchez 7 – His delivery hadn’t been up to scratch, but then he found the perfect free-kick to set up Uruguay’s winner.
Cristian Rodriguez 6 – Brought on to add more cut and thrust to Uruguay’s attacked, but toiled against Egypt’s well-drilled defence.
Lucas Torreira N/A – Came in too late to make an impact and show Arsenal fans what they’re getting.