In the 83rd minute, Uruguay’s Luis Suarez nodded the ball back to Edinson Cavani who hit a sweet volley from inside the box that seemed destined for the upper right corner.
Egyptian goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawy had other ideas, turning away the shot with a diving, one-handed stop.
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And if Salah wasn’t fit to play, why even make the promise? Instead, Salah was glued to the bench on Friday, watching as Uruguay struggled to break through the stiff resistance offered by his Egyptian teammates.
As the contest dragged on without a goal, Uruguay was there for the taking – the game was begging for Salah to be introduced, for the Liverpool man, who was the top scorer in the Premier League this past season, to wield his special brand of magic.
But again, if Salah wasn’t ready to go against Uruguay, then he shouldn’t have been in the 18-man roster.
Either Cuper was being incredibly cautious, or the extent of Salah’s injury is far worse than his manager is letting on.
Why on Earth would you give Ronaldo an opportunity from a dead ball situation with the game still hanging in the balance?
A cruel ending The less said about Iran’s 1-0 win over Morocco the better, so I’ll keep this brief.
It seemed like we would be in for an entertaining affair, as the match began at a fervent pace, with both sides showing plenty of attacking intent and trying to force the issue.
How else to explain his comments that star forward Mohamed Salah would “100 per cent” play a part in his country’s opening game of the tournament against Uruguay.
Cuper offered those words the day before the match, so either something changed or Salah, still nursing a shoulder injury suffered in last month’s UEFA Champions League final, wasn’t fit to play.