Published: Sun, June 17, 2018
Sport | By Floyd Cook

Empty seats at World Cup as 5000 fans skip Egypt-Uruguay

Empty seats at World Cup as 5000 fans skip Egypt-Uruguay

"Mo Salah is an important player for us, that is without a doubt, " Cuper said after Friday's (Saturday NZT) match.

Jose Gimenez was the unlikely 89th-minute match victor as Uruguay defeated an Egypt side shorn of star man Mohamed Salah 1-0 in their World Cup opener on Friday.

"I don't think this is the strongest group in the tournament, but for Uruguay it was about getting the three points and moving forward to their next game'" he said.

"Suarez is a real pest inside the box but I actually think you would see more of Salah on the ball in the match than Suarez".

Cuper made the remarks after a 1-0 loss to Uruguay in their World Cup group A match here. We are all proud of our players for their great effort.

It was a cagey opening to the match, with both sides knowing how important a positive result would be after the marker was set down by Group A rivals Russian Federation, who beat Saudi Arabia Thursday 5-0.

In Brazil four years ago, he bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini in the closing stage of Uruguay's last group game and was subsequently slapped with a record nine-match ban from competitive internationals.

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The double-stacked cake with candles was taken to a hotel where the Egyptian team is staying for the World Cup.

"We can confirm that 32,278 tickets have been allocated for the match between Egypt and Uruguay in Ekaterinburg", a Federation Internationale de Football Association spokesperson told CNN.

But from pantomime villain castigated the world over (except in Uruguay), Suarez has mostly recovered his reputation.

In previous defeats, Egypt's national team and coach have often scrambled to respond to criticism.

That result, coupled with Egypt's defeat, means that they cannot afford another defeat on the biggest stage, and they will be hopeful that Salah can replicate his 2017-18 club form against Russian Federation.

Egypt next play Russian Federation in St Petersburg on Tuesday, giving Salah four more days to work on his fitness while Uruguay take on Saudi Arabia on Wednesday in Rostov.

"My players are down, but we can only blame ourselves", was all Morocco coach Herve Renard could say.

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