Published: Sun, June 17, 2018
Sport | By Fredrick Flores

Egypt star Salah rested for Russia & Saudi Arabia admits Cuper

Egypt star Salah rested for Russia & Saudi Arabia admits Cuper

African representation at the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup got off to an underwhelming start on Friday, as seven-time African champions Egypt lost to South American powerhouse Uruguay.

After recovering and returning to training, Liverpool's No.11 was an unused substitute during Egypt's 1-0 defeat to Uruguay in their opening World Cup clash on Friday.

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But given Russian Federation got off to a flying start with a 5-0 win over the Saudi's in the tournament's opening game, Egypt are now playing catch up and even the pace and skills of Salah might not be enough. Yet, for many Egyptians, missing out on the three points was not a defeat.

Egypt goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawy had produced two fine saves to stop Luis Suarez and another from Edinson Cavani before he was beaten by Gimenez, but he was still optimistic of their chances in the group.

There were rows of empty orange seats at the freshly rebuilt arena in the industrial city, situated in the Ural Mountains, in a match that Uruguay won 1-0 thanks to an 89th minute victor.

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Uruguay defender Diego Godin, who plays in Spain for Atletico Madrid, did not take kindly to an "inopportune" question in a subsequent press conference asking if he meant to follow Ramos in giving Salah some roughhouse treatment. The Russia game is hard because of our defeat against Uruguay.

"Mo Salah is an important player for us, that is without a doubt", Cuper said.

Australian football fans were left fuming on Friday night as Optus failed to deliver a stable live video stream of the World Cup match between Uruguay and Egypt.

When Cuper made his third and final substitution, bringing on Ramadan Sobhi for Amr Warda, and it was confirmed Salah wouldn't be making an appearance, it seemed to spur Uruguay on. "In the history of football we have broken a spell (winning the opening game)", he added.

Salah is crucial to Egypt's hopes of making it out of a weak-looking group also featuring hosts Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia.

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