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  1. #1
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    Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay

    World Cup 2018: Hosts Russia will take on Uruguay in Group A

    Host nation Russia will be feeling relatively pleased and satisfied after being drawn into an intriguingly balanced group, but one that features none of the established superpowers.

    Only one host nation, South Africa in 2010, has failed to make it out of the group stage, and Russia will have to contend with Uruguay and Egypt for the two qualifying spots. Making up the numbers is Saudi Arabia, which may not have the quality to get out of the group but will feature in the opening game, in Moscow on June 14.

    Russia
    As hosts, Russia did not have to qualify, but they’ve still had plenty of chances to get ready for the World Cup against top competition. They qualified for Euro 2016 then got to host the Confederations Cup. But they struggled in both tournaments, getting knocked out in the group stage with two losses from three games on both occasions. Recent friendly results haven’t been terribly encouraging either — since the Confederations Cup, Russia has beaten South Korea, drawn against Iran and Spain, and lost to Argentina in four home games.

    The Russians have mostly moved on from their older players in recent years. The core of their excellent Euro 2008 squad stuck with the team well into their 30s, but only 34-year-old Yuri Zhirkov and 31-year-old captain Igor Akinfeev remain as important players. The possibility of a strong showing depends on younger players stepping up for the first time in an international tournament.

    Key player: Aleksandr Kokorin

    The Zenit St. Petersburg forward is having the best season of his career so far after an average campaign last season. He has 17 goals in all competitions and is the third-leading scorer in the Europa League.

    Saudi Arabia
    Historically, Saudi Arabia's contributions to the World Cup have ranged from the sublime to the disastrous. In 1994 they became one of only four Asian sides to reach the knockout stages, an achievement marked with one of the competition's most thrilling and joyous goals, when Saeed Al-Owairan charged two-thirds of the length of the pitch to score against Belgium. As if to balance that moment out, in 2002 they were dissected in brutal, clinical fashion, 8-0 by Germany and Miroslav Klose.

    2006 was their last finals appearance, and they return 12 years later in less than ideal shape. Qualification was a success: A 1-0 win over Japan in their last game ensured they finished ahead of Australia on goal difference. But the coach who oversaw the campaign, Bert van Marwijk, departed his job shortly afterward thanks to a contract dispute. He was initially replaced by Edgardo Bauza, who oversaw five friendlies before also being replaced, this time by Juan Antonio Pizzi, who led Chile to the 2016 Copa America Centenario. Pizzi now has seven months and a handful of friendlies to get acquainted with his new team, assuming he hangs on that long.

    Key player: Mohammad Al-Sahlawi

    Joint top scorer in Asian qualifying with 16 goals, 30-year-old Al-Sahlawi has a happy knack for scoring late on. He scored a 94th-minute winner against Palestine in the opening game of qualification and followed that up with a 90th-minute penalty against the United Arab Emirates.

    Egypt
    Egypt represent something of an unknown quantity in the World Cup. After years of being basically a non-entity on the competitive front internationally, they’ve exploded into growing prominence in the last couple of years, getting to the final of the 2017 African Cup of Nations and dominating a tough CAF qualifying group just to make their third-ever World Cup.

    They’ve gotten to this point by developing a lot of rapidly improving talent hitting their prime around the same time recently, including a number of players who have been finding success all over Europe, like Trézéguet, Ramadan Sobhi, Mohamed Elneny, and Kouka. They’re a fun, fast, talented team, but just how good they are is up for some debate right now. The group stage will be a big trial by fire, but they’ll fight to the last to make sure they make it through that trial.

    Key player: Mo Salah

    Despite having developed a number of doubters and detractors over the years, 25-year-old Salah has absolutely exploded in his development and success as a player this season after signing with Liverpool last summer. He just hasn’t been able to stop scoring goals, a run that’s included scoring five for Egypt in 2017. His speed and skill will elevate Egypt’s attack to being a serious threat at the World Cup.

    Uruguay
    Uruguay are a difficult team to judge. They finished second in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying, but over the last few years they’ve had long runs of thoroughly mediocre form, including bitterly disappointing results in the last two Copa America tournaments. But when they’re on their game, Uruguay can also be a bitterly tough team to play against, with an incredibly physical team backing up an incredibly potent front attacking line.

    The fact of the matter is that we don’t know yet which version of Uruguay is going to show up for the World Cup. Will it be the quick trigger team that scores wonderful goals out of nowhere and can play with anyone, or will it be the bogged-down, slow-footed team that struggles to get the ball to the explosive attacking duo of Luis Suarez or Edinson Cavani? The answer to that question will be the difference between a team that could make a deep run in the tournament or a team that won’t make it out of the group stage.

    Key player: Luis Suarez

    While Uruguay are far from a one-man army, even in attack, they do have one man at the forefront of their creative and goalscoring efforts, and that man is Luis Suarez. An incredibly divisive figure who was at the core of the most controversial moments of the last two World Cups, Suarez is also at the absolute top of his game, almost single-handedly pulling Uruguay through a World Cup qualifying cycle in South America that can only be described as chaotic. If he plays to his level and Uruguay can get him the ball on a reliable basis, any team they play are in a mountain of trouble.

    Prediction
    Uruguay
    Egypt
    Russia
    Saudi Arabia

    https://www.sbnation.com/2017/12/1/1...t-saudi-arabia


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  2. #2
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    I lived in Saudi for 15 years, will be cheering for them to make it to the second round! However, most likely it will be Uruguay and Egypt that actually advance. Russia is a very mediocre team and I can't see them doing anything. Really hoping Saudi beats them in the opener!


    Greatness is a choice. Mediocrity is a disease.

  3. #3
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    I have a feeling the Saudi with Russia will end with a Saudi victory or draw in regards to the groups predictions this is what I see

    Uruguay
    Egypt
    Saudi Arabia
    Russia

  4. #4
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    Russia and Uruguay will qualify.

  5. #5
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    The most open group with every team having a chance of qualifying into the knock out stage.

    Russia have home advantage and it always helps in the World Cup.

    Uruguay has the quality in the group.

    Saudi have been playing well in recent years.

    Egypt have Mohammed Salah, who is the best player in this group. He can tear apart any of these defences at any given time.

    It's tough to call but I would go with Uruguay and Egypt to qualify.


    Lions don't lose sleep over the opinions of Sheep

  6. #6
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    Think Egypt is done with the injury to Mo Salah.

    Should be Uruguay and Russia through.

  7. #7
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    Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah will be fit to play some part at the World Cup, the Egyptian Football Association says.

    Salah, 25, injured his shoulder during Liverpool's Champions League final loss to Real Madrid on Saturday, prompting concerns he might miss the tournament.

    But Egypt's national team doctor has met with Salah and in a subsequent tweet the country's FA said his absence "will not exceed" three weeks.

    Egypt's opening World Cup fixture is against Uruguay on 15 June.

    They meet hosts Russia on 19 June and conclude the group stage against Saudi Arabia on 25 June.

    Salah also met with Egyptian FA president Hany Abu Rida on Wednesday.

    "After the meeting of Abu Rida and the doctor of the national team in Spain today, the Football Association reaffirms Salah in the World Cup, God willing, will not exceed the absence of three weeks," the Egyptian FA tweeted.

    Salah struck a 95th-minute penalty in the final qualification game to send Egypt to the World Cup for the first time in 28 years.

    But in the Champions League final - the last fixture of a season in which he scored 44 goals for his club - he left the pitch in tears after landing heavily on his shoulder following a challenge by Sergio Ramos.

    At the time Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp described the injury as "really serious".

    However, the Egyptian FA has since said that Salah's x-ray showed he had a "sprain in the shoulder ligaments" and that it was "optimistic" he would be fit for the World Cup.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/44308773

  8. #8
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    Fascinating group.

    Uruguay is by far the strongest team, and play Egypt first, at which point Salah will either still be out or else won’t be match fit.

    Russia may sneak through simply because they play Saudi first, then Egypt.

    Beware though. Whoever comes second faces Spain next up!

  9. #9
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    World Cup 2018: Coach admits Egypt have to plan not to have Mohamed Salah available in Russia

    Despite more positive news around his injury Egypt coach Hector Cuper has admitted he is planning for life without Mohamed Salah just in case his star man isn't fit to start in Russia.

    Liverpool's Salah is recovering from the shoulder ligament injury suffered in last month's Champions League final loss to Real Madrid when he went off early in the game.

    "We hope we won't be affected, we try to be the same team, we can't be dependent on one player," coach Cuper admitted.

    "He's important but if he's not fit in time we will be ready with another player.

    "This is football, these things can happen to any player. We could need to substitute him, but we hope that won't be the case."

    Salah was included in Egypt's final 23-man squad, with the team's medical staff suggesting it will be touch and go for the player to be ready in time for their Group A game against Uruguay in Ekaterinburg on June 15.

    "Salah is in a stage of recovery not just for treatment on his shoulder," Cuper added. "We need to improve his demeanour and his fitness level because the injury has prevented him from training as a normal player.

    "But we have very good news from our doctor, we hope he will be with us before Uruguay. We are optimists and we are waiting for him."

    https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/...-a8385511.html

  10. #10
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    Grozny - Liverpool star Mohamed Salah sat out Egypt training again on Sunday following the north Africans' arrival in Grozny ahead of the 2018 Soccer World Cup in Russia.

    Nursing a shoulder injury suffered in the Champions League final - which Liverpool lost 3-1 to Real Madrid - Salah did come out onto the pitch in Grozny accompanied by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov to greet fans eager to catch a glimpse of the English Premier League player of the year.

    Salah is facing a race against time to be fit to lead Egypt in Russia since injuring his shoulder when Sergio Ramos wrestled him to the ground on May 26.

    After arriving from Cairo, Egypt's players and Argentinean coach Hector Cuper made a beeline to the Akhmat-Arena stadium in Russia's Chechen Republic.

    The Pharaohs are set to play their first World Cup game on Friday against Uruguay in Ekaterinburg.

    "I'm excited. God willing I'm well-prepared and things are going well, and my morale is high," Salah told AFP.

    "I cannot say what we're going to reach, but the players' ambitions are high, and I hope we get a good result."

    At the stadium, some Egyptian medical students residing in Grozny were amongst 8,000 fans present to see Salah, who should be one of the top contenders for the Ballon d'Or this year, alongside Argentina's Lionel Messi, Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar of Brazil.

    "The Egyptian team is to us like the (Russian Premier League) Akhmat team, and we are happy to welcome them," Kadyrov, the president of this majority-Muslim region of Russia, told AFP.

    "Mohamed Salah is a good player and he is among the best in the world."

    Team doctor Mohamed Abou al-Ela admitted Salah was unlikely to play in Egypt's opening Group A match.

    "He still feels pain... this type of injury needs a recovery period of three weeks before going back to the field," said Abou el-Ela.

    He may yet be fit to face Russia on June 19 in Saint Petersburg, though, and then Saudi Arabia on June 25 in Volgograd.

    https://www.sport24.co.za/Soccer/Wor...ussia-20180611


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  11. #11
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    Montevideo - Uruguay's priority at the 2018 Soccer World Cup in Russia will be to keep striker Luiz Suarez tamed.

    After the striker was expelled from the 2014 tournament in disgrace for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini, Uruguay was eliminated by Colombia in the round of 16.

    Suarez promises he is a reformed character and will be better behaved in Russia than in Brazil, where he scored twice before being banned.

    "It was my mistake," Suarez said. "So I have a debt to repay to myself and Uruguay, to try to show a good image."

    Things were already starting to look brighter for two-time World Cup champion Uruguay, based on qualifying at least.

    After enduring four consecutive World Cup playoffs and only reaching three of the tournaments, Uruguay secured an automatic place in Russia by finishing second behind Brazil in qualifying.

    Here's a closer look at the Uruguay team:

    COACH

    Oscar Tabarez will lead Uruguay into his fourth World Cup after a first trip in 1990 followed by 2010 and 2014. A Tabarez team has always made it out of the group stage, including a semi-final appearance in South Africa eight years ago.

    A former school teacher and professional player, Tabarez led Uruguay to the Copa America title in 2011. As a club coach, he led Penarol to the Copa Libertadores title in 1987 and Boca Juniors to an Argentine league title in 1992.

    The 71-year-old Tabarez has used a wheelchair since he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome in 2016.

    GOALKEEPERS

    There is little doubt Galatasaray goalkeeper Fernando Muslera will be between the posts for his third World Cup.

    DEFENDERS

    The Atletico Madrid partnership of Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez also anchor the heart of Uruguay's defense. Godin has made more than 100 appearances since his debut in 2005 and scored at his third World Cup with a header against Italy in 2014. The 23-year-old Gimenez offers a solid companion to a player nine years his senior and already has one World Cup under his belt.

    Versatile Lazio wingback Martin Caceres should also be sure of a starting spot unless there is a recurrence of one of his frequent injuries.

    MIDFIELDERS

    Tabarez has always had doubts about his midfield's attacking qualities. While the unit has usually been capable of defending well, the midfielders have often struggled to generate chances for the forwards.

    During qualifying, Tabarez called up several young players who improved in this area: Nahitan Nandez (22) and Rodrigo Bentancur (20).

    FORWARDS

    Uruguay shouldn't be short of goals. The strikers are the team's greatest strength.

    Suarez is Uruguay's all-time leading scorer with 51 goals and is coming off the back of a strong season with Barcelona. Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani is next on the list with 42, including a continent-leading 10 goals in 18 matches in South American qualifying.

    GROUP GAMES

    Uruguay, based in Nizhny Novgorod, will face Egypt in its first match on Friday, June 15.

    That will be followed by matches against Saudi Arabia on June 20 and Russia on June 25.

    https://www.sport24.co.za/Soccer/Wor...ption-20180611


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  12. #12
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    World Cup: Egypt and Liverpool striker Mo Salah meets Chechen 'torturer'

    Premier League star striker Mohamed Salah's arrival at the World Cup has been overshadowed by a meeting with a man accused of "torture and extrajudicial killings".

    A slightly confused-looking Salah was met by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov as the Egypt team arrived at its World Cup training camp in Grozny.

    Kadyrov, wearing a tracksuit and appearing overjoyed, grasped the Liverpool striker's hand as they posed for pictures.

    "Mohammed Salah is the best footballer in the world, and an overall perfect person," he said.

    The Liverpool striker, who scored 32 Premier League goals in 36 games last season, winning the golden boot, presumably had little choice in the photo-op.

    Andrew Stroehlein, from Human Rights Watch, said the World Cup was being used to "boost the most vile of criminals", claiming Kadyrov was "infamous for torture and extrajudicial killings".

    Along with other organisations including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch recently wrote to FIFA president Gianni Infantino to express concerns about a "human rights crisis in Chechnya".

    For the last decade, their letter said, Kadyrov has "repressed even the mildest dissent".

    "Whether directly through his officials or through proxies acting with impunity, human rights defenders have been threatened, beaten and killed, while their offices have been set on fire," the groups added.

    "Kadyrov's security forces conduct extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances against suspected Islamist militants and critics of the government and carry out collective punishments."

    The organisations said they had documented such abuses extensively.

    It was reported last year that 100 gay men had been locked up and tortured in Chechnya.

    But in a TV interview, Mr Kadyrov dismissed the claims as "nonsense".

    "We don't have any gays," he said. "If there are any, take them to Canada".

    Kadyrov, who once fought against Russia before switching his loyalty to the Kremlin, was appointed Chechen president by Vladimir Putin in 2007.

    He describes the Russian leader as his "idol", saying he is "ready to die for him, to fulfil any order".

    Salah continues to receive treatment for a shoulder injury he suffered in the Champions League final.

    Egypt's team doctor, Mohamed Abou al-Ela, said the forward "still feels pain" and is unlikely to play in the team's opening Group A match against Uruguay on Friday.

    Egypt are playing in the World Cup finals for the first time in 28 years.

    https://news.sky.com/story/liverpool...rture-11401762


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  13. #13
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    points table



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  14. #14
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  15. #15
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    Egypt in action today

    Egypt vs Uruguay (Group A) - Ekaterinburg

    Will Mo play?


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  16. #16
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  17. #17
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    TEAM NEWS

    Egypt forward Mohamed Salah is "almost 100%" certain to play in Friday's World Cup opener against Uruguay in Yekaterinburg, says boss Hector Cuper.

    Salah, 25, has not played since injuring shoulder ligaments during Liverpool's Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid on 26 May.

    "I can almost assure you 100% he will play, save unforeseen circumstances at the very last minute," said Cuper.

    "He could become the top goalscorer here and one of the greatest players."

    Cuper said Salah was "doing very well" and had recovered "very, very quickly".

    He added: "We're trying to make him feel confident. The doctors are giving him the option to play or not, but I know Salah very well and I'm sure he's not afraid, he's not fearful."

    Defender Ali Gabr should also be fit to play after bruising his face in training.

    Uruguay, meanwhile, are expected to name a youthful midfield featuring 20 year-old Rodrigo Bentancur and Nahitan Nandez, 22.

    But they boast plenty of experience elsewhere, not least the potent frontline of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani.

    Russia and Saudi Arabia are the two other teams in Group A.

    OMENS FAVOUR URUGUAY?
    The build-up to this game has been dominated by the fitness of Salah.

    He joined the squad for training on Wednesday, completing the warm-up and then finishing the rest of the session away from the group. The team doctor said afterwards they were monitoring his progress "day by day", and Cuper played down the importance of the forward, saying: "Our tactics don't solely revolve around him."

    The fuss around the Liverpool star could well play into the hands of the Uruguayans, who seem to have gone under the radar despite being strong favourites to top Group A.

    An experienced squad contains four players with more than 100 caps, and goalkeeper Fernando Muslera (97) and forward Luis Suarez (98) should reach their century by the end of the group stage. The potent forward pairing of Suarez and Edinson Cavani have also scored 93 international goals between them.

    All the omens point to a Uruguayan win. The South Americans come into this fixture on a run of three consecutive victories, while Egypt are without a win in 2018 and are yet to taste victory at a World Cup.

    LAWRO'S PREDICTION
    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.

    Uruguay have lots of big-game experience and they will be looking to Suarez to provide some star quality to go with it.

    Prediction: 0-1

    Lawro's full predictions

    Uruguay beat Egypt in their only previous encounter, defeating them 2-0 in Alexandria in August 2006.
    The Uruguayans are unbeaten against African opposition at the World Cup (W1, D2), while this will be Egypt's first meeting with a South American side at the tournament.
    Egypt

    Egypt have never won a game at the World Cup finals (D2, L2).

    This is the Pharaohs' first World Cup appearance since 1990 and their third overall. They lost 1-0 to England in their last game in the tournament.

    Head coach Hector Cuper is making his World Cup debut as a head coach. His only previous major tournament in charge of Egypt saw them reach the Africa Cup of Nations final in 2017, where they lost 2-1 to Cameroon.

    Goalkeeper and captain Essam El Hadary could become the oldest player in World Cup history (45 years and 151 days).

    Mohamed Salah scored five goals in the third round of African qualifying, more than any other player.

    Salah will celebrate his 26th birthday on the day of the game.


    Uruguay

    Two-time champions Uruguay have only progressed beyond the round of 16 once in their last six World Cup appearances, when they finished fourth in 2010.

    Uruguay have only lost one of their last eight World Cup group games (W4, D3).

    However, they have failed to win their opening game at the last six World Cup tournaments (D3, L3).

    This is Oscar Tabarez's fourth World Cup appearance as a head coach (1990, 2010, 2014 and 2018), more than any other coach at this year's tournament.

    Edinson Cavani was the top scorer in South American qualifying with 10 goals.

    Luis Suarez has recorded five goals and two assists in eight World Cup games.
    https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/44408321


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  18. #18
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    Have a feeling Salah is being rushed into this!

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    Saudi Arabia's sports authorities threatened on Friday to hold members of the national football team “accountable” after their crushing defeat against hosts Russia in the opening match of the World Cup.

    Russia defied expectations as the lowest-ranked side in the tournament by thrashing Saudi Arabia 5-0 in front of an ecstatic home crowd in Moscow on Thursday.

    The match was attended by Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who sat a couple of seats away from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    “The result was disappointing and unsatisfactory,” Adel Ezzat, president of the Saudi Football Federation, told Al-Arabiya television Friday.

    ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER AD
    A “number of players” including goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf would be held accountable, he added.

    The team had been trained so they could rise to the occasion, Ezzat said.

    “The collapse was not because of fitness, but errors in passing the ball, technical errors,” he added.

    Alongside the goalkeeper, Ezzat named two other players — defender Omar Hosawi and striker Mohammed al-Sahlawi — without specifying what action would be taken.

    Saudi sports authority chief Turki al-Sheikh, who is leading the kingdom's multi-billion dollar push for global footballing influence, said he took “full responsibility” for the defeat.

    But he also lashed out at the players.

    “We did everything for them... we provided them the best coaching staff,” Sheikh said in a video posted on Twitter.

    “Let no-one tell me (Argentinian coach Juan Antonio) Pizzi is not a known coach. But these are our players. They did not do even five per cent of what was required of them. This is a reality that we should admit.”

    Regional Arab media also blasted the “Green Falcons” for their humiliating defeat.

    “Falcons brought down to earth”, read a headline in the English-language Arab News, a Saudi daily, quoting fans' dismay over the poor showing.

    “The bear eats the falcons”, said Kuwaiti newspaper al-Anba, while the Oman Daily called the defeat “the peak of disappointment” for Arab fans.

    Privately-owned Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm decried the “painful fall of Saudi Arabia”.

    This year is the first World Cup finals tournament Saudi Arabia has reached since 2006. Football's global governing body FIFA last week ranked the team 67th in the world, ahead of Russia in 70th.

    Head coach Pizzi took over the Saudi team in November last year after the football federation sacked Edgardo Bauza, a fellow Argentinian who had only been in charge for two months.

    https://www.dawn.com/news/1414355/sa...d-cup-drubbing


    We will never surrender. We win or we die. And don't think it stops there. You will have the next generation to fight; and after the next, the next.

    OMAR MUKHTAR

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    Uruguay 1-0 Egypt


    We will never surrender. We win or we die. And don't think it stops there. You will have the next generation to fight; and after the next, the next.

    OMAR MUKHTAR

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    Jose Gimenez scored an 89th-minute header to secure a 1-0 win for Uruguay against Egypt in their World Cup opener on Friday, just as the North Africans appeared to have escaped with a point despite missing key striker Mohamed Salah.

    Gimenez met a Carlos Sanchez free kick to score the goal that broke a run since 1960 of failing to win in the opening game of the World Cup finals.

    Egypt came within minutes of earning a point largely thanks to the heroics of goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawy, who bravely dived to snatch the ball from Luis Suarez's feet and then flung himself through the air to tip a Edinson Cavani volley wide.

    Uruguay gained in strength and purpose as the game progressed and it became clear that Salah, who injured his shoulder last month, was going to stay on the bench.

    Before that, Egypt had rarely looked in trouble in a scrappy match at the less-than-packed Yekaterinburg Arena, though without Salah they also did little to threaten the Uruguay goal.


    Jose Gimenez of Uruguay celebrates after scoring his team's winner. Mike Hewitt/FIFA via Getty Images
    Suarez squandered a great first-half chance by firing into the side netting when the ball broke loose after a corner, and forced another good save from El-Shenawy in the opening moments of the second period.

    Salah's absence came as a surprise after coach Hector Cuper had said on Thursday he was almost 100 percent certain to play.

    The Liverpool striker, who turned 26 on Friday, injured his shoulder in the Champions League final against Real Madrid, and millions of Egyptians had been on tenterhooks to see if he would recover in time for the tournament.

    He now has four more days to work on his fitness before Egypt face Russia in St Petersburg next Tuesday, while Uruguay will play Saudi Arabia the next day in Rostov.

    http://www.espn.in/football/report?gameId=498201


    We will never surrender. We win or we die. And don't think it stops there. You will have the next generation to fight; and after the next, the next.

    OMAR MUKHTAR

  22. #22
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    https://t.co/5RRR17lI3F

    Mohamed Salah is fit for Egypt's World Cup group match with Russia on Tuesday, says the Egyptian Football Association.

    Salah, 25, was an unused substitute in his country's 1-0 defeat by Uruguay in their opening group game on Thursday when he was also declared fit.

    He injured his shoulder playing for Liverpool in the Champions League final on 26 May.

    "He was fit to play against Uruguay but the coach did not want to take the risk," said the EFA.

    Without Salah, who scored 44 times for Liverpool this season, Egypt lacked a cutting edge but had looked on course to earn a point in their first match at a World Cup finals since 1990 before Jose Gimenez's 90th-minute goal.

    After the game, Egypt coach Hector 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.

    "Perhaps if Mo had been on the pitch today the outcome would have been different but we can't know that.

    "Certainly he has contributed a great amount to the team and will contribute in future matches.

    "We wanted to avoid any risks in this match, but I think he will be fine for the next game."

    The EFA added that midfielder Tarek Hamed, 32, will also be fit to face Russia at the St Petersburg Stadium after he left the pitch against Uruguay with a back injury.

    "Hamed had an X-ray and he is good and will be fit for the second match," they said.


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