A last-gasp header from Jose Gimenez clinched a 1-0 victory for Uruguay over Egypt, as La Celeste got their World Cup campaign off to a winning start.
- Egypt 0 Uruguay 1
- Suarez (23′) hits the side-netting
- El Shenawy (46′, 73′) denies the Barcelona star
- Hamed (50′) forced off and replaced by Morsy
- Cavani (83′, 88′) narrowly denied
- Gimenez (90′) breaks the deadlock
The first half saw few opportunities for either side, as the teams went into the break deadlocked at 0-0. Uruguay enjoyed some more promising moments in the second period, but Egypt held firm until the dying moments, when Gimenez headed home the winner.
Egypt suffered a blow before kick-off as Mohamed Salah was left out of the starting XI despite previously having been declared fit.
Nevertheless, the Pharaohs took the game to Uruguay in the opening stages, although neither goalkeeper was severely tested early on.
Uruguay are notoriously dangerous at set pieces, and 23 minutes in Luis Suarez was presented with a chance at the far post following a corner from their right. However, he blasted the ball into the side-netting with his right foot from close range.
Despite being shaded in terms of possession and attempts at goal, Egypt did well to keep La Celeste at bay in the first half. Going forward, Trezeguet was a persistent threat on the left, but the North Africans looked somewhat toothless without Salah.
Oscar Tabarez’s half-time team-talk appeared to pay off, as Uruguay came flying out of the blocks after the break. In the opening minute of the second half, La Celeste picked the Egyptian defence apart. Edinson Cavani played Suarez through only for a fine save from Mohamed El Shenawy to deny the close-range effort.
Egypt suffered another injury blow five minutes into the second half, as Tarek Hamed was forced off. His place was taken by Sam Morsy.
All the momentum was with Uruguay at this point, but they were unable to capitalise, and opportunities dried up again.
Perhaps sensing that it was the ideal moment for something extraordinary, Ahmed Fathy smashed a long-range shot at goal in the 72nd minute, but Fernando Muslera was equal to the effort and held on.
A mere minute later, Suarez was presented with another glorious opportunity. Cavani was the provider once more, playing him through again. This time, the Barcelona star tried to take the ball round El Shenawy, who plucked it off his feet.
In the 83rd minute, Suarez turned provider, heading the ball into the path of Cavani, who smashed it at goal from distance with his right foot, but was denied by another flying El Shenawy save.
Five minutes afterwards, the Paris Saint-Germain star came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock again, rattling the right post from a free-kick.
However, there was to be one final twist as 89 minutes in, Jose Gimenez met an unnecessarily conceded Carlos Sanchez free-kick from the right and found the corner of the net with a pinpoint header.
Egypt scrambled to find a late equaliser, but it was too little, too late. In the cruelest fashion, the Pharaohs were denied a heroic draw.