The Pharaohs face La Celeste in the second match of group A in the 2018 FIFA World Cup at Ekaterinburg Arena. Both teams were pretty well-matched on the field though Uruguay who have been the favourites to top group A were a bit superior on paper.
The match was not really as exciting as I thought it would be, though both teams were exchanging attacks here and there.
The first chance of the game came for Uruguay through Cavani 8 minutes after kickoff as the clinical striker fired a low shot forcing Egypt goalkeeper El-Shenawy to a brilliant save.
Egypt hit back 3 minutes later. Mahmoud Trezeguet controlled the ball down with his chest but didn’t really connect with his shot.
A golden chance came for La Celeste in the 23rd minute of the game as Barcelona striker Luis Suarez sliced his effort into the side netting. It looked like it went in though as the Uruguayan striker was celebrating for a while, but it didn’t.
Both teams were a tad bit cagey at times, but an opening goal surely would invite both teams to a much more open game.
The second half starts after a goalless draw in the first half.
Only 2 minutes after the kickoff, Egypt keeper El-Shenawy did an amazing save, keeping out Suarez’s shot after receiving a pass from Cavani.
A big chance came again for Oscar Tabarez’s side in the 73rd minute of the game, as Uruguay hit Egypt quickly on the counter and Paris Saint-Germain striker poked a through ball to Suarez who tried to dribble past the keeper, but El-Shenawy successfully snatched the ball from his feet.
Egypt finally got their chance 8 minutes later through a counter-attack but they were slowed down by the Uruguayan defence and Elneny saw his attempt to chip Muslera end up sailing over the goal.
A superb save is made just two minutes later by Ahmed El-Shenawy as he flew to save Edinson Cavani’s powerful volley which looked destined for the net.
Another chance came for Oscar Tabarez’s side as Edinson Cavani curled a free-kick which beat goalkeeper El-Shenawy but it hit the post and bounced back.
Uruguay finally broke the deadlock in the 90th minute of the game as Jose Maria Gimenez rose up the highest to head the ball home from Carlos Sanchez’s free-kick delivery.
Egypt tried to fight back to secure at least a point late in the game but their efforts were perhaps too little too late.
Uruguay finally won the game 1-0 to secure three points at Ekaterinburg Arena.
Egypt looked very solid in the first half, able to keep possession and launch a threat to their opposite half on a regular basis while also dealing with the haunting force of both Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez. The Pharaohs surely could have been one up before the first half whistle were it not for their poor finishing and composure in the final third.
In the second half, Uruguay switched to a more attacking mentality in order to break down the Egyptian defence and they also seemed to be more comfortable in keeping possession too, especially in their opposition’s half. They were able to create several chances that could have inflicted serious damage to Hector Cuper’s side in the second half but the Egyptian defensive wall looked pretty much unbreakable, especially goalkeeper El-Shenawy who made several great saves in the match.
Meanwhile, Egypt did the opposite, turning to a more defensive mentality, and relying solely on counter-attacks. They managed to get into an advantageous position several times, but still unable to create any danger in the penalty box. Though they have been quite impressive in defence, their luck was put to an end after Uruguay central defender Jose Maria Gimenez managed to make a breakthrough late in the game.
As expected, Uruguay were far more superior in ball possession with 58% possession in their hands, compared to Egypt’s 42%. The South American side also had made much more passes, with 586 passes compared to Egypt’s 428.
Uruguay had a total of 10 shots with 4 of them on target, while Egypt have 3 shots on target out of 6 shots.
Man of the Match: Jose Maria Gimenez
Uruguay central defender Jose Maria Gimenez is a pretty easy pick in this one. The Atletico Madrid centre-back was unbeatable in the air and hard to get past. He managed to keep Egypt forwards Marwan Mohsen and Kahraba quiet in the first and second half.
Not just that, he also scored the winning goal for Uruguay late in the game, helping his side to secure vital three points in Russia.
Edinson Cavani was also quite impressive though still currently in search for his first goal in the World Cup, he was somewhat successful in terrorizing the Egyptian defence with his intelligent positional play and amazing ball-striking techniques.
Egypt keeper Ahmed El-Shenawy is also worth mentioning in this one as he was probably Egypt’s best player in this game, were it not for him, they could have been down earlier in the game and for more than just one goal.
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