Two-time FIFA World Cup Champions Uruguay have kick-started their 2018 World Cup campaign in a winning fashion as they took three valuable points from right under Egypt’s nose in their hard-fought World Cup opener.
Oscar Washington Tabarez’s men initially started off the match in a very strong pace and dominated the game through and through from start to finish, however, the Uruguayan side was definitely missing the needed spark in front of goal and failed to capitalize on the final third.
After a very resilient effort from the entire Egyptian side, especially from their defense, a 0-0 draw between both the teams was certainly inevitable and with Egypt’s star forward Mohamed Salah spending the whole match on the reserve bench, this certainly seemed like a fair result for the Egyptians who were apparently looking forward to settling for a draw.
However, the Uruguayans seemingly had other plans, as they kept on looking for that one breakthrough during the entire 90 minutes and prior to the full-time whistle, Atletico Madrid star Jose Maria Gimenez dug deep and finally scored the opening and only goal of the entire match with a glorious header right on the 89th minute mark.
Regardless of the win, it can be said that this was certainly a below-par performance on Uruguay’s behalf, as Barcelona frontman, Luis Suarez had a dreadful afternoon at the Ekaterinburg Arena and his fellow striker Edinson Cavani’s lackluster performance didn’t help much either. But, all credit goes to a late free kick from Carlos Sanchez who successfully managed to find Gimenez, whose headed goal proved out to be the only difference between both the sides.
Positives for Uruguay:
Despite not being able to score more than a solitary goal, Uruguay’s attack managed to stay on their two feet and kept on pushing forward the whole time and had several golden chances of breaking the deadlock.
The likes of Carlos Sanchez and Cristian Rodriguez did have a huge impact on the game since they both came on late in the second half. Whereas, the defensive duo of Gimenez and his fellow Atletico Madrid partner Diego Godin was also rock-solid at the back.
Negatives for Uruguay:
Despite playing attacking football throughout the entire 90 minutes, Uruguay failed to score more than one goal in the match. Star striker Luis Suarez is definitely the one to blame for such a poor performance in the final third for Uruguay, as the Barca forward wasted three clear-cut chances.
Positives for Egypt:
The Egyptian defense was absolutely brilliant throughout the match and showed a tremendous display of heart during the entire match. Led by the inevitable Ahmed Fathy, The Pharaohs did put up a brilliant performance defensive wise and Mohamed El Shenawy was absolutely amazing between the sticks for the Egyptians.
In terms of attack, Trezeguet and Mohamed Elneny were very lively throughout the match as well.
Negatives for Egypt:
Despite being lively up front, the Egyptian side was unable to get past the dynamic duo of Godin and Gimenez, who stood firm at the back alongside the experienced Caceres. The inclusion of Al Ittihad frontman Kahraba wasn’t enough to bring the goals and the exclusion of superstar Mohamed Salah was clearly noticeable.