Cuper admits Egypt World Cup loss to Uruguay hard to take

Ahram Online , Friday 15 Jun 2018,
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Cuper
Egypt's coach Hector Raul Cuper gestures on the touchline during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group A football match between Egypt and Uruguay at the Ekaterinburg Arena in Ekaterinburg on June 15, 2018. (Photo: AFP)

Egypt's last-gasp defeat by Uruguay in their opening World Cup clash on Friday was hard to take for coach Hector Cuper, who said they did everything they could to stop the threat of their illustrious opponents.

The Pharaohs held firm until the 90th minute when defender Jose Gimenez towered between a couple of defenders to send a bullet header home following a cross from the right.

"It's difficult to take. We played a very good game against a very strong opponent but we conceded a goal from a set-piece," Cuper told beIN Sports in a side-pitch interview after the match.

"We did everything we could against powerful strikers … that's why we are lamenting a loss in this manner."

Egypt looked resolute at the back throughout but were toothless going forward without talismanic forward Mohamed Salah, who remained on the bench having just recovered from a shoulder injury that he sustained in last month's UEFA Champions League final.

"Without any doubts, Salah is a very important player for us but we preferred not to risk him today. We want to have him ready for the next two matches."

The Liverpool forward's presence will be vital for Egypt to keep alive their chances of advancing to the knockout round on their first World Cup appearance since 1990.

Egypt next face hosts Russia on Tuesday before concluding their group-stage campaign against Saudi Arabia on 25 June.

Russia top the group with three points, ahead of Uruguay on goal difference after hammering Saudi Arabia 5-0 on Thursday.

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