By Izuchukwu Okosi
One of Africa’s representatives Egypt began their 2018 FIFA World Cup on a losing note with a slim 1-0 defeat at the Ekaterinburg Stadium on Friday with Atletico Madrid’s defender Jose Gimenez the unlikely scorer.
The Egyptian performance was promising but it was Uruguay who had the first attempt on goal with an 8th minute low shot which was comfortably saved by the Egyptian keeper, Mohammed Elsharnawy while Luis Suarez could only hit the side net in the 25th minute.
Mohammed Trezeguet had his own chance just two minutes later but there was no power behind his effort.
Luis Suarez was denied a goal scoring opportunity early in the second half with a superb save from Elsharnawy after the Barcelona striker outwitted West Brom’s Mohamed Hegazi.
Amr Warda made way for Ramadan Sobhy in the last ten minutes meaning recuperating Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah had to sit out the game.
Elsharnawy made a great save from an Edison Cavani shot with only a corner kick won by the Paris Saint Germain striker.
Egypt captain Ahmed Fathy was a good outlet from the right back position but his foul and the ensuing freekick for Uruguay almost led to a goal.
The Africans however conceded in the dying moments through Gimenez whose header from a freekick beat the Pharaoh’s defence with no Egyptian player standing on the touchline to defend the ball.
The north Africans coached by Hector Cuper will play against hosts Russia in their next Group A game on Tuesday while Uruguay face Saudi Arabia who were routed 5-0 by the Russians on the opening day on Thursday.