World Cup 2018: Egypt 0-1 Uruguay; 4 key battles that decided the game
It was expected from the start that Uruguay would win the game, but no one could have thought it would be this close, and certainly not when Egypt did not even have Salah as Uruguay stumbled to a last clutch winner from Gimenez to beat Egypt 1-0 in their first game of WC 2018.
Not often does a football match deliver everything that was expected - Egypt were extremely organized in defence, Godin was a rock at the back; Elneny is a god when playing for Egypt, and Suarez was pretty awful.
Despite several assurances from Tabarez that Salah was fit, he was not subbed into the match and cut a sorry figure on the bench as the cameras zoomed into him the moment Gimenez's header hit the net.
As always, there were a few individual battles that went a long way in deciding the final outcome of the game. Here's a look at 4 of them:
#1 Jose Gimenez vs Trezeguet
While everyone was waiting for a Cavani banger or a Suarez tap-in to put Uruguay ahead, their answer came in the form of an unlikely saviour - a perfect header from Jose Gimenez, who jumped above Godin to head home the goal and thereby secure 3 points for his team.
Even without the goal, Gimenez was the best player on the pitch along with captain Diego Godin. The pair was hardly ruffled by anything the Egyptians conjured around them and were ruthless in the air to make sure that no cross could ever find its man.
Mahmoud Hassan 'Trezeguet', hobbling on one leg by the end of the game, was one of those players who gave this game their all. Four or five times, he tried a one-two with El-Said, only for the final ball to be just a few yards too slow or too fast but other than that it was a solid display from the winger.
If Salah can return to fitness in the next game, it might be possible for Egypt and Trezeguet to really get better offensively, as otherwise, they lacked a tooth here. It doesn't help that they came across two of the best defenders in the world.