No Salah, no party as Uruguay punish lifeless Egypt
The Pharaoh’s missed the services of their star man as they were narrowly beaten by Uruguay.
The lead up to the encounter had been dominated by talk of Mohamed Salah’s injury. The Liverpool winger suffered a shoulder injury during last month’s Champions League final between the Reds and Real Madrid.
And, as predicted by many, Egypt found it difficult to cope without their talisman. For the majority of the game the Pharaohs were restricted to long balls which were easily dealt with by the Uruguayan defense.
Salah had a hand in each of Egypt’s goals during the qualification process for the World Cup, scoring five times and assisting a further two.
But here, in his absence, there was no one to step up. Against a Uruguay side that was there for the taking, the Pharaohs could not take due advantage.
The trio Abdallah El Said, Mohamed Trezequet and Warda proved incompetent attackers on the day. Perhaps, Hector Cuper may have let his team down in opting to keep Salah on the bench throughout the game.
It is clear that the 26-year-old is the livewire of this Egypt team and once he wasn’t in the side, there was bound to be trouble.
There was not much of a difference between the Uruguay team and that of the Pharaohs. Just like Salah’s absence made the Pharaohs blunt upfront, so did Luis Suarez and Edison Cavani fail to rise to the party.
However, there difference was that, whereas Egypt had no one to rise to the occasion in the absence of Salah, Uruguay had Jose Gimenez to do that job when Suarez and Cavani were struggling.
It is likely that Salah will play in Egypt’s next game when they face Saudi Arabia. In truth, the Pharaohs still have a good chance of qualifying from the group, provided they win against the Asians.
But as it stands, it is obvious that they won’t go far without Salah in the side. The Liverpool star has come far and is the engine of this Pharaohs team. Without him, they simply cannot function.
In his absence this afternoon there was no party, but Hector Cuper will have to find a way to get him fit if Egypt are to recover from this sapping defeat.
As for Uruguay, it appears they have mastered the art of breaking African hearts. Eight years from that night when they shattered African hopes by defeating Ghana, the South Americans were back at it again, this time in Russia, as they put Egypt to the sword.