The national team of Uruguay snatched a last-minute 1-0 win over Egypt in their opening Group A stage match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup held in the Russian Urals city of Yekaterinburg on Friday.
The match in Yekaterinburg kicked off at 5:00 p.m. local time amid the temperatures hovering at low 11-14 degrees Celsius (over 57 Fahrenheit) and the over 49,000-seat capacity stadium saw an attendance of only 27,000.
The lineup for the Uruguayan team featured their prolific players such as Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani who posed a danger for their opponents in today’s match.
Egypt’s leading scorer Mohamed Salah, who also plays for England’s Liverpool football club, was lined up for this match, but appeared as a bench player following a shoulder injury, which he sustained last month in UEFA Champions League’s final game.
Head Coach of the Egyptian national team Hector Cuper announced to journalists on Thursday that there was a “100% guarantee” that Salah would play at this championship, but the match to start with was up to be determined by Salah himself.
With Suarez on the pitch for Uruguay and no Salah for Egypt today, both teams threatened each other with various offensive combinations, but they turned out to be inefficient until the last minute of the match, when Uruguay’s Jose Maria Gimenez put a bullet header into the Egyptian net.
Egypt is scheduled to play its next Group A stage match against hosts Russia on June 19 in St. Petersburg, while Uruguay is set to meet with the national squad from Saudi Arabia on June 20 in Rostov-on-Don.
A total of 32 national football teams are participating in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, held in 11 cities across Russia between June 14 and July 15.
The teams were divided into eight groups, with four in each, and the top two from their relevant groups will proceed to the next round, known as the playoffs or the knockout stage, to keep vying for the much-coveted FIFA World Cup Trophy.
Russia is holding its first time ever edition of the FIFA World Cup, which kicked off in Moscow with a spectacular opening show at the Luzhniki Stadium on the night of June 14.
Russia selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.