Cuper: Mo Salah should be fine to face Russian Federation

Egypt head coach Hector Cuper

Egypt head coach Hector Cuper

Suarez beat Ahmed Hegazi for pace after his strike partner Edinson Cavani lifted the ball to his path early in the second half but his goal-bound shot was saved by Mohamed El Shenawy who was in goal for Egypt.

Defender Jose Gimenez was the unlikely 89th-minute match victor for Tabarez's men, who also struck a post late on through Edinson Cavani.

With a nation sweating on his fitness, manager Hector Cuper has relieved these stresses and confirmed that Salah is "almost 100%" certain to play against Uruguay.

"At the end of the training session we examined him and there was some doubt if he fell or was hit by another player, and we wanted to avoid a risk today", Cuper said.

Both Uruguay and Egypt will be more than desperate to kick off Group A in affirmative and passionate manner, following the opening showdown between host country Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia.

It paid off late through Gimenez's outstanding header, but Uruguay may need to rethink their approach moving forward if they are to advance to the latter stages.

However, it was surprising to see thousands of seats empty in the stadium despite the prospect of seeing two of the biggest stars in the tournament go head-to-head in the shape of Mo Salah and Luis Suarez.

Egypt is a slight favorite to go through as runners-up to Uruguay and in front of Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia, but it still won't be easy.

The Pharaohs are appearing in just their third World Cup and a first since 1990 - somewhat ironically, since they were the first African team to play in the tournament, way back in 1934.

Ramos was accused of intentionally attempting to take Liverpool's talisman out of the game, a claim which the Real Madrid centre-half vehemently denies, and Godin also rejects suggestions that he could take a similarly physical approach to dealing with Salah when Uruguay meet Egypt on Friday afternoon.

"There's a good degree of progress but no definitive decision on whether he takes part, as we are following his case day by day", team director Ihab Lahita told reporters. Oscar Tabarez's men will be strong favourites to pick up another three points in that clash, but Suarez will have to perform to a much higher standard.

World Cups reward streaks of form that, at club level, would seem relatively moderate in length, and that is why Friday's game provides such intrigue.

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