Live text commentary as Egypt takes on Uruguay in Group A.
2018 WORLD CUP – FOCUS ON AFRICA
Live reporting by Joseph Kizza
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3:23pm CLOSE! – Suarez
From the front angle, that came off as an optical illusion.
The first corner of the game. It is Uruguay’s. The ball is floated in teasingly. It finds Suarez unmarked at the back of the post and the Barcelona attacker whips it in. he is about to run off to celebrate, but wait, it’s a side-netting.
So, so, so close! Egypt and Africa breath a sigh of relief.
3:19pm Balanced affair
It has turned into a two-way-traffic kind of affair now. The Egyptians have picked themselves up and after stringing a few passes in front, they are gifted a free-kick just outside the box. It bears no fruit, but at least it is a sign that the Pharaohs are discovering their mojo in their opener.
Earlier, Uruguay made a meanginful surge forward, but the execution was poor.
Cavani is allowed some room not so far from goal. Thank you, he says, and goes for goal. It is a powerful shot but Egyptian goalstopper El-Shenawy stretches out to save.
Good start for the South Americans.
3:05pm Uruguay hit the ground running
Uruguay, considered among the dark horses of the tournament, have enjoyed a relatively decent start. They have Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani at the front and they will hope to take advantage of that front power as the Egyptians start without their star Salah.
3:01pm KICKOFF – We are underway!
The ball is rolled into motion.
A mighty crowd is already roaring the two sets of players on.
Egypt are spotting a red and back outfit while Uruguay have gone for a rare all-white look. Not their characteristic light blue outfit.
Great atmosphere! This is what the World Cup is all about!
2:57pm The lineups
Here are the starters for the two sides:
EGYPT – El-Shenawy, Hegazy, Gabr, Abdel-Shafy, Ahmed Fathi, Hamed, Elneny, Hassan, El Said, Warda, Mohsen
URUGUAY – Muslera, Godin, Gimenez, Caceres, Varela, de Arrascaeta, Vecino, Bentancur, Nandez, Cavani, Suarez
2:54pm Teams in dugout
The two teams are ready in the tunnel, ready to emerge to an expectant crowd packed inside the Central Stadium.
2:47pm Egypt’s World Cup drought
The Pharoahs may have the edge in continental football, being the record winners in the Nations Cup, but they haven’t been at the World Cup finals so often.
The last time Egypt was at the World Cup was 28 years ago – in 1990.
2:40pm Salah on the bench
Egypt will start without their talisman Mohamed Salah, who plays his club football with English side Liverpool FC.
He is on the bench.
Oh, by the way, he turns 26 today. Happy Birthday sir!
2:30pm Ekaterinburg Arena set
Africa will be paying closer attention to today’s game, which will be played out at the 35,000-seater Ekaterinburg Arena in Ekaterinburg.
It is a warm afternoon and the Egyptian side have enjoyed an equally warm reception during their warm-up ahead of their crucial opener.
2:25pm Blistering start
Group A, in which Egypt features, got off to a blistering start on the opening day on Thursday as hosts Russia made easy work of Saudi Arabia with a 5-0 win in Moscow.
Shall we see another piece of goal galore today?
Egypt v Urugual kicks off at 3:00pm Ugandan time.
2:20pm Hello everyone!
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this live text commentary of the second game of the 2018 World Cup in Russia – but the first for African representatives on the biggest stage of global football.
Can Egypt overcome South American side Uruguay?
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