15 June 2018

Egypt: Heartbreak for Egypt as Uruguay Scores Dramatic Late Winner

Photo: @MoSalah
Mohamed Salah (file photo).

Cape Town — Has Egypt just played so well just for Uruguay to snatch victory in the last minute? Football can be cruel indeed.

In the 89th minute, Uruguay's José Giménez broke hearts with a header claiming three points in Group A. Oscar Tabarez, Uruguay's 71-year-old head coach, springs from the bench like a toddler celebrating the last minute goal and Egyptian striker Mohamed Salah's reaction summarizes it all for those who were rooting for the Pharoahs.

The build-up to this game had been dominated by the fitness of Salah, who has been struggling with a shoulder injury he sustained in a tussle with Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos during the Champions League final in June.

Although Pharoahs' coach Hector Cuper had said it was pretty much a certainty that the Liverpool ace would play, to my surprise he only watched on from the bench. Was Cuper thinking he was being smart by keeping Salah on the bench when the game was there for the taking? - I expect a manager of his stature to know that you can't put the best player on the bench and expect to win.

Aside from Liverpool's ace failing to get off the bench with his shoulder injury. Another major talking point was Suarez. He didn't really get going - and the booing he was getting through out the match from the Egyptian fans - I honestly don't have a lot of love for him either.

Oh, and as Andre, a workmate of mine and I were watching the match, he too made it clear how he feels about Suarez.

"F*** Suarez I'll never forgive that ******* for what he did to Ghana in 2010, and that's from someone that isn't even a soccer fan!," he said, with a straight face - referring to that time the Uruguayan was cast  in the role of villain when his blatant handball prevented a Ghana goal and eventually denied the African team a chance to advance in the 2010 World Cup.

This game felt a lot like the 2010 game, but to be fair, Uruguay had better chances and probably deserved it a little more. Even if Salah is at his best, it is going to be hard for Egypt to get out of this group, in their first World Cup since 1990.

Sweet way to win, but a tough, tough way to lose especially on your birthday. Happy birthday Mo Salah!

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