Egypt returned to the World Cup in slightly dampened spirits compared to the nation that had qualified for the finals in Russia. The African country had succeeded in doing so as a result of the heroics of Mohamed Salah.
However, his injury during the Champions League final against Real Madrid had many scared that he would miss out on the World Cup. Fortunately, this didn’t occur, and the Liverpool forward started their opener against Uruguay as an unused substitute.
The match ended in a 1-0 victory to the South Americans due to an 89th minute header from Jose Gimenez, which gifted the vital points to the team that didn’t deserve them outright.
Despite being deprived of Salah, Egypt performed incredibly well for the majority of the match, but began to lose their discipline during the dying minutes of normal time, which caused set pieces to be given away, resulting in the near-corner free-kick that caused their loss.
WATCH: Players Reaction To Portugal vs Spain 3-3
Salah wasn’t brought on during the game, clearly a bid from Egypt to ensure that he nursed himself back to full-fitness first. However, it was his reaction to Gimenez’s winner that is an apt way to put how Egypt fared during the game.
— Stadium Astro (@stadiumastro) June 15, 2018
It was truly bad luck for the Pharaohs, who had an all-round brilliance to their style of play.
Goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawi proved why he was chosen with incredible saves that denied Edinson Cavani on multiple occasions, while the efforts of Luis Suarez were muted save a misplaced attempt at the net in the first half.
Their group now consists of games against Saudi Arabia and Russia, the former of whom were thrashed by the hosts 5-0 on opening day.
A steep climb for the Egyptians, and it will be two games where Salah will have to give his all, and try to reproduce the kind of magic that saw him score 34 goals last season.