Published: Wed, June 20, 2018
Sport | By Ashley Hunter

Egypt forward Mohamed Salah ‘ready to play against Russia’

Egypt forward Mohamed Salah ‘ready to play against Russia’

The game was expected to be a clash between two of the finest finishers in modern day football, but Mohamed Salah was kept on the bench and watched on from the sidelines as an unutilised substitute.

Cuper will hope it is not a decision that becomes the story of Egypt's World Cup adventure, but Salah is nearly guaranteed to start in their second game with hosts Russian Federation.

The 25-year-old was a doubt leading up to the match with a shoulder injury he picked up in the Champions League final with Real Madrid last month.

Uruguay now places second in Group A with three points behind the leader and the host nation, Russia, with three points but with five goals in their bank.

The win gave the group favourites a serious boost after Russia's shock 5-0 win against Saudi Arabia in the opening match.

The Barcelona player was making his first World Cup appearance since leaving Brazil in disgrace following his bite on Italy's Giorgio Chiellini but endured a frustrating afternoon.

Cuper went on to say that team doctors will let Salah decide whether he can play.

Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah is likely to play in Egypt's World Cup opener

Without Mohamed Salah in the starting XI, it was seemingly unlikely Hector Cuper's men would end the unwanted record of not scoring in a FIFA World Cup fixture - but their opponents were equally frustrated by their lack of clear-cut chances. The work we do all the time is precisely to make our players understand that they have to work harder.

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.

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

He said: "Sometimes we change our plans depending on the nature of the game, but we have achieved a lot and will not change the way we play".

Suarez did better with his next chance just after half-time. Moments earlier, a matter of inches denied Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani a goal of the tournament contender when his long-range free kick rattled the post.

The two soaring temporary seating sections at either end of the pitch appeared to be nearly completely full, with one dominated by Egyptian fans and the other by the Uruguayans.

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