Egypt decide not to risk starting Salah vs Uruguay

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"Sometimes the ball will go to the back of the net, sometimes it won't", Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said. "I have seen many great players like [Lionel] Messi and [Diego] Maradona not living up to their potential in matches".

If he's fit, Salah's record-scoring prowess could prove key for Egypt as they face a Russian Federation side who had no trouble finding the net in their opening match against Saudi Arabia, a 5-0 victory for the hosts.

In what will be his first competitive appearance since dislocating his shoulder in last month's Champions League final, Salah will be under pressure to inspire Egypt to all three points against the tournament hosts.

But his World Cup dream was left on the brink when he exited the Champions League final three weeks ago in tears after Real Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos wrestled him to the ground.

"He was fit to play against Uruguay but the coach did not want to take the risk", said the EFA.

"But don't misunderstand me - we may make some small changes depending on the circumstances of each game and the team we face".

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The defeat means that Egypt are still yet to win a World Cup match in five attempts, but they will probably have to take the three points against Russian Federation to stay in with a chance of going through.

Suarez was immobile for large parts of the game had three glorious opportunities, hitting the side netting in the first half and failing to beat Egypt goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawy twice in the second from close range.

Egypt's awesome performance in the group stage's second match wasn't enough; the Pharaohs lost 0-1 against Uruguay through late José Giménez header. "Salah will have an important role for us in the future matches".

"Perhaps if Mo had been on the pitch today the outcome would have been different but we can't know that".

Uruguay won but doubts about the team's attacking qualities remain.

Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani each passed up opportunities to clinch the points against a Pharaohs side who kept Mohamed Salah on the bench, but it was centre-back Gimenez who proved the hero. Two saves from Suarez and a powerful volley from Cavani earned him Man of the Match award after the game.

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