It took all of 89 minutes before Atletico Madrid defender, Jose Gimenez, rose over the Egyptian defence to head Uruguay in front of a dogged Egyptian team that was shot of Mohamed Salah.
The start was frenetic without the recuperating Salah, who started on the bench on his 26th birthday. It was a start with both teams not giving their opponent any time on the ball. The tackles came in hard and Tarek Hamed floored Edinson Cavani as early as the third minute, but Dutch referee, Bjorn Kuipers waved play on.
Cavani got the first effort on target in the eighth minute but it was a tame effort and calmly collected by Mohamed El Shenawy, started in goal for Egypt ahead of the 45-year-old Essam El Hadary.
Egypt got their first effort on target on 11 minutes but Trezeguet’s attempted volley was tame and straight at Fernando Muslera. Luis Suarez got his first half chance of the afternoon off a pullback from Guillermo Varela but the Barcelona man pulled his shot very wide.
Cavani’s goal-bound volley was headed out for a corner in the 23rd minute as the South Americans tried to up the tempo. Many thought Suarez had given Uruguay the lead immediately after but it was straight into the side netting.
Suarez was in the clear immediately the second stanza kicked off but El Shenawy, who saved with his knee, saved Egypt. It was end-to-end action but not much quality in the offensive quarters.
Tabarez sent on old heads – Carlos Sanchez and Cristian Rodriguez for Giorgian de Arrascaeta and Nahitan Nandez. Egypt captain, Ahmed Fathy let one fly on 70 minutes but it was straight at Muslera.
A minute later, the best chance of the game then fell to the most accomplished goal scorer, Suarez, after a neat pass from Cavani but instead of shooting he elected to go round El Shenawy, who made the save at his feet. The best chance in the game by far.
After the ball broke for Egypt with 10 minutes left on the clock, Elneny with a shooting chance tried a chip, which flew over the bar. Cavani won a free kick on the edge of the box as Uruguay pushed for the winner. Cavani’s free-kick came off the left post and the rebound was scrambled clear.
But the danger was not completely averted as in the next move; Gimenez was fouled near the corner spot and then rose to head in the free kick from Carlos Sanchez. Egypt could not create any scoring chance in the five minutes of added time even though they sent in some good crosses. Very close encounter and on this showing, the Egyptians should be buoyant when they face hosts, Russia on Tuesday.
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