World Cup kick-off! Egypt-Uruguay LIVEBLOG

World Cup kick-off! Egypt-Uruguay LIVEBLOG
Minute-by-minute updates from Egypt's opening game in its 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign, against South America titans Uruguay.
7 min read
15 June, 2018
15:00:43 That's it from me for today. Make sure you check out our liveblog for Morocco v Iran. It's two losses for two of the World Cup 2018's four Arab teams - Egypt and Saudi Arabia - so let's hope Morocco can get a result. Tunisia face England on Monday.

If you want to swat up before the games, check out our World Cup preview here which gives valuable insights into all the Arab teams.

14:55:33 FULL-TIME Egypt lost 1-0 and the odds will be stacked against the team qualifying after this loss.

Egypt made it hard work for Uruguay, but morale appeared to drop when it appeared Salah would not come on. There will be a big question mark over his fitness now, despite Egypt saying on Thursday he would be fit for the game.

What a heartbreaking way to lose. Hard luck Egypt

14:54:24 Hegazy booked after a tussle with Uruguay

14:53:22 Four minutes added time. Can Egypt find a goal? Probably not, a cynic would think

14:50:54 This is heartbreaking for Egypt. They have played heroically, holding play but now the absense of Salah is obvious. Trailing a goal down and there's nobody of Salah's caliber to score an equalizer for Egypt. The crowd and team look devastated.

14:48:15 GOAL: Gimenez score for Uruguay. 1-0. Salah looks heartbroken

14:47:09 Oh my! Cracking free-kick by Cavani. Hits the post and Egypt manage to kick the rebound out of the box

14:45:56 Uruguay get a free-kick in a very dangerous position

14:42:47 Salah fans will be disappointed with this. Egypt make their last substitution - Amr Warda off for Huddersfield's new signing Ramadan Sohby. It might be the end of Ramadan but it's the start of Sohby's World Cup campaign.

14:39:22 Morsy has probably been one of Egypt's best players on the pitch. English football fans will know that the UK-born player is a Wigan Athletic regular. He's also been key in helping Wigan in their promotion from division one to the Championship.

14:37:18 While we have a bit of a slow patch in the game, who wants to make some puns on Egypt sub Kahraba

14:32:17 Elshanawy making a crucial save when Suarez appeared to be set to make it 1-0 for Uruguay. The Egypt might have been injured when he collected the ball but he's carrying on with the game. Brave stuff

14:30:55 Great shot from by Egypt left-back Ahmed Fathi. Probably Egypt's best attempt on goal all game

14:27:34 The slow pace of the game definitely benefitting the Egyptians. Uruguay simply can't find the net, with every attempted shot being blocked by two or three Egypt defenders

14:24:31 Mo Salah warming up and Egypt fans take to their feet. If Salah can bring this much excitement to the stadium in his tracksuit, imagine what he could on the pitch.

14:21:54 Egypt make another substitution and no, it's not Mo Salah.

Marwan Mohsen being replaced by Kahraba. Egypt should benefit from his electric pace.

14:19:48 Are Egypt playing really well or are Uruguay just very poor? It's hard to decide which is the dominating factor behind this game. It's certainly different to Russia's 5-0 win against Saudi Arabia yesterday.

14:16:36 Uruguay making a change. Nandez being replaced by Shachez, a River Plate legend.

And another change: De Arrascaeta being replaced for Rodriguez

14:12:44 Despite Egypt's great tactical and holding play, they're not looking great up front. Clearly missing the "Egyptian king" Mo Salah.

14:09:13 Big blow for Egypt. Tarek Hamed in going off injured. He will be replaced by Wigan's Sam Morsy

14:05:45 Great save by Egypt keeper Elshenawy from a cracking Suarez shot

14:02:43 Kick-off for the second half. Here's what some of football's top bloggers think of the first 45 minutes:

13:47:45 HALF TIME: Uruguay are clearly the favourites to top Group A, but this game shows that unless they go out to win then that leading the group is not a given.

Egypt are doing what all smart teams do when facing a much stronger opponent: Get every man behind the ball, defend deep, slow the tempo of the game, concentrate at all times, and hope Uruguay make enough mistakes to give Egypt a change to get a goal.
Egypt are proving that even without Salah they can still play football.
13:41:22 Amir Warda briefly went down after attempting an overhead kick. Eyes will be on Warda to see if he can run off his injury or if he will have to be replaced... 

13:34:36 A thought by The New Arab's football correspondent Uri Levy who is at the game in Russia.

"While the majority of Egyptian fans are terrified at the prospect of their team playing without Liverpool's Egyptian king, the Pharaohs should have more confidence in some of their other players - including Mahmoud Trezeguet from Kasimpasa, Abdalla Said from Al-Ahli Jeddah, Mahmoud Kahraba and Marwan Mohsen. None are as big a name as Salah, but all are decent footballers."

You can read his review of yesterday's five goal thriller between Russia and Saudi Arabia here

13:32:42 What has happened to Suarez, Uruguay is probably thinking. Free-kick by the Barcelona star blasted at the Egypt wall. Off the ball he appears slow and sluggish. It's the World Cup mate!

13:31:08 Uruguay clearly getting frustrated with Egypt's tactics of slowing down play. The Uruguay ball isn't finding its way to the forwards, so the South Americans have the resort to long shots that aren't proving much of a threat to Egypt.

13:28:20 Let's have some stats to get us through what is a fairly uneventful first half.

Let's look at how Egypt and Uruguay's star strikers stand up to each other 

Salah: 56 games, 46 goals
Suarez: 54 games, 34 goals

Salah clearly the winner there, but not much use on the bench

13:24:16 Suarez misses another sitter for Uruguay. Hits the sidenet from the far post after a great corner. The South American is not as deadly as deadly today as Uruguay hoped.

13:22:39 Today is also Mo Salah's birthday. Egypt is hoping he will be presenting them with a present today... maybe a goal or two if he comes on the pitch

13:19:19 Egypt looking to breakdown the tempo play with solid defending and long balls. So far it's working
13:16:20 Egypt get a free kick in a promising position. Just outside the box... it comes to nothing

13:14:50 Luis Suarez shot goes wide. The Uruguay forward usually finds the net in those situations 

13:12:20 Egypt's Trezeguet just the first chance of the game but easily retrieved by Muslera

13:10:37 Egypt have not competed in a World Cup finals for 28 years. That's two years before Mo Salah was born and the tournament is something few on the Egypt team will be able to remember.

13:07:54 Appeals for handball against Egypt's Hegazy. So far Uruguay dominating play, but Egypt defending well and holding the South Americans back from the box.

13:06:38 Middle East political saratist Karl Sharro appears to have been right on this one.

13:04:18 Mo Salah was famously injured during the Champions League final playing for Liverpool last month. Egypt held its breath hoping Salah would be fit for the opening World Cup game. Unfortunately, he was not but still likely to play at some point... we hope

13:01:03 It's kick-off, Uruguay in white start play, before quickly losing possession.

12:58:58 Much of the talk has been about Egypt's team fasting during training for Ramadan. Now it's Eid al-Fitr, Egypt's team will not be fasting.

Eid Mubarak readers!

12:57:13 Egypt team: Elshenewy; Fathi, Gabr, Hegazi, Abdel Shafi; Hamed, Elneny; Trezeguet, Said, Warda; Mohsen

Mo Salah on the bench

Uruguay team: Muslera; Varela, Godín, Giménez, Cáceres; Nandez, Bentancur; Vecino, De Arrascaeta, Suárez; Cavani
12:50:27 Welcome to The New Arab liveblog for Egypt's opening match against Uruguay. The big news is that Egypt's star strike Mo Salah is not starting. It will be up to Marwan Mohsen to hit the net for Egypt.