Mohamed Salah to miss Egypt’s first game against Uruguay

Mohamed Salah Egypt 2018

Mo Salah 'almost 100%' certain to play in Egypt opener - coach.

Instead, Marwan Mohsen starts up front, with Huddersfield Town man Ramadan Sobhi also not in the starting lineup.

In the end their blushes were spared by Gimenez's superb late header, but Uruguay looked far from the finished article and could struggle against Russian Federation if they do not improve.

Salah carried Egypt to their first World Cup since 1990, scoring five of their eight goals in qualifying, including a dramatic stoppage-time penalty against Congo to seal their place in Russian Federation.

Salah got injured during the finals of the Champions League while playing against Real Madrid after a tackle with Sergio Ramos in Kiev.

No African team has played as many World Cup games without a win than the Pharaohs and while there was plenty of huffing and puffing against Uruguay, Egypt failed to blow the opposition house down and lacked the cutting edge that only Salah could have provided.

The star striker, who turned 26 on Friday, suffered the injury three weeks ago in Liverpool's Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid.

Uruguay will face Saudi Arabia in their second Group A game on Wednesday while Egypt face a decisive game against hosts Russian Federation on Tuesday night in which Salah will hope to feature. "But I think he will be OK for the next match".

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However, reports emerged that the former Stoke striker was not the one the Portuguese tactician had his eyes on - but rather watching Golovin.

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

Suarez was immobile for large parts of the game had three glorious opportunities, hitting the side netting in the first half and failing to beat Egypt goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawy twice in the second from close range.

With its traditional defensive tactics preferred by Cuper, Egypt badly needs Salah and his goals to succeed.

It is hard to overstate Salah's importance to this Egypt side, and his likely availability for next week's pivotal meeting with Russian Federation will make a huge difference.

To have any hopes of advancing, Egypt needs to avoid a loss against Russian Federation on Tuesday and probably beat Saudi Arabia on June 25 in its final group game.

Suarez nearly propelled the Reds to the Premier League title in 2014 but his attempts to replicate that form at the World Cup ended in controversy after a biting incident involving Italy's Giorgio Chiellini.

Finally, Uruguay broke the dead-lock from an unlikely source of defender Jose Gimenez who jumped to meet a cross from the right side of the pitch to sent the ball nestling in the net.

Friday's game was played a day after the end of Ramadan, the holy month that requires Muslims to fast and refrain from drinking or eating from sunrise to sunset.

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