Uruguay coach Tabarez doesn't expect easy World Cup opener against Egypt

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Wednesday 6 Dec 2017

Oscar Tabarez was disappointed with Uruguay's performance during their 3-1 defeat to Costa Rica Reuters

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said he does not expect an easy match against Egypt when both teams meet at the 2018 World Cup group stage opener as he heaped praise on the defensive strategy of his Argentinean counterpart Hector Cuper.  

"There are no easy matches especially at the World Cup, so I don't know why the people are celebrating the formation of our group as if we scored a goal in a match," Tabarez told Uruguayan TV Channel TNU on Wednesday.

"At the 2014 World Cup, all expected to see us beating Costa Rica but suddenly they defeated us and also delivered outstanding performances through the tournament," the 70-year old tactician added.

The Pharaohs were paired with Saudi Arabia, hosts Russia and South American powerhouse Uruguay in Group A following last week's World Cup draw in Moscow.

Egypt, which will make its first World Cup appearance since 1990, will open their campaign against two-time winners Uruguay on 15 June before meeting Russia four days later, and will conclude their Group A campaign against Saudi Arabia on 25 June.

"Egypt team is working well and their coach Cuper always gives defensive effectiveness to his teams," Said Tabarez who will coach Uruguay for his fourth World Cup, the third in a row.

"I hoped to face Russia at the World Cup opener, but the draw gave that honor to Saudi Arabia," he concluded.

Last week, Egypt's coach Cuper has described the group as a good one for the Pharaohs, adding "I can't quite say it is an easy or a difficult draw."

"The order of the group games is quite good. We have big ambitions in the World Cup," he said at the time.

When asked about which teams he would prefer to meet in upcoming friendly games in preparation for the World Cup, Cuper said he would be looking to play against sides from South America.

"I hope we would face nations from Latin America in our upcoming friendlies since we will be playing Uruguay in our first group game," the ex-Valencia boss added.       

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