Hector Cuper: 'I couldn't risk using Mohamed Salah against Uruguay'

Hector Cuper

Hector Cuper

Salah, who turns 26 on the day of the game, gave 100 million frantic Egyptians a huge lift on Wednesday when he joined a squad training session at their Grozny base.

In the second round in group A will play: Russia - Egypt (19 June) and Uruguay - Saudi Arabia (June 20).

Uruguay now has three points in Group A, but still trails Russian Federation on goal difference after the host nation's 5-0 victory over Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

Watch the highlight of the goal below. He topped the scoring charts of the South American World Cup qualifying stage, netting ten goals in their 18 games.

The festive mood is back in Egypt, and coach Hector Cuper's assurance that their national hero, Mohamed Salah is fit for Friday's clash has only added fuel to the buzz around the tie.

"I like the best players to play, I train with the best and I want the best players to play", said Muslera.

Egypt will be making its first World Cup appearance in nearly three decades today, but will be a sizable underdog against a Uruguay squad with plenty of star power.

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"I believe that on the wings of this win we will up our game and continue our journey in the way that we planned before coming here".

The key to Egypt's campaign will be Mohamed Salah's fitness as he recovers from the shoulder injury he suffered during May's UEFA Champions League final.

In quotes reported on fifa.com, Cuper said: "Mo Salah is an extremely important player for us, nobody can deny that, but you need to have a good team, and we have a good team".

"We're trying to make him feel confident".

The massed ranks of Egypt made sure Uruguay barely threatened their less illustrious opponents in a cautious first-half, with their rigid defending forcing strike duo Suarez and Edinson Cavani to repeatedly drop deep to build up attack.

To have any hopes of advancing, Egypt needs to avoid a loss against Russian Federation on Tuesday and probably beat Saudi Arabia on June 25 in its final group game.

And indeed, the match started very much in that fashion with the first telling shot of the match coming from Cavani after seven minutes, who scuffed an effort towards goal from the edge of the box.

Finally, Uruguay broke the dead-lock from an unlikely source of defender Jose Gimenez who jumped to meet a cross from the right side of the pitch to sent the ball nestling in the net.

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