The frenzy of this match, was kicked off about an hour before the match began. Egypt had announced that star man, Mohamed Salah, was not in the starting line ups against Uruguay. Something we had all been questioning, since he went down in the Champions League Final three weeks ago.
Two Time FIFA World Cup Champions Uruguay, won the ball back early and often to start the match. Uruguay swiftly moving ball side to side. Cavani going down in the 3rd minute was the most concerning moment for Uruguay in the opening 5 minutes. Egypt coming out with constant pressure out of their forwards, had provided moments where Uruguay looked shaky in the back. 8 minutes in, Suarez and Cavani of course link up for the first shot of the match. Egypt started growing into the match gaining confidence on the ball. A quick build up saw them get a good shot on goal, and they only grew from there. Uruguay seem frustrated on the ball now. Egypt pressing all the way up to the Uruguay home third, is forcing them to play at the back.
Egypt proving that they are disciplined off the ball, and stay in formation. Uruguay not playing fast enough to break down Egypt, and resulting to long ball, is only boosting Egypt and their moral. Egypt defenders clearing a ball, and recieving loud applause and cheers from home fans. Quick build up from Uruguay, sees Suarez put a shot into side netting. Every one would have put money on Suarez finishing there. The narrative of the game remais the same for the first half. Uruguay pass it side to side and try to force a pass. Egypt is pressing and staying in formation. Clinical defending has thrown Uruguay off their game plan and its shown visible frustration among the Uruguay team.
Second half kicks off with no half time changes. One minute in and Suarez has a shot saved by El Shenawi. Egypt looking to keep the same type of momentum and pressure that they benefited from in the first half. Egypt looking more and more comfortable on the ball, building up play through the back coming easier for them. Uruguay winning ball high up the pitch, but Egypt disciplined in formation forces Uruguay to play to back and lose the ball quite frequently. 60th minute comes around and Uruguay find more time on the ball as Egypt sit back a little deeper and invite Uruguay on to attack. Switching and engaging into pressure is throwing Uruguay off its momentum when on the ball.
As the match enters the final Thirty minutes, Uruguay have decided to change side to side tactics, and hit more vertical long balls. Egypt tracks back with out trouble and continuously forces Uruguay to move 40 yards out, side to side. At the moment, Egypt look the better of the two sides. Egypt putting 10 men in the box and closing down without being reckless. Uruguay looking a bit desperate to get a goal. The pace in which Egypt play though out the match, has overwhelmed Uruguay to a point of desperation. Egypt game plan has worked to their favor. 83rd minute, and Cavani leashes a LETHAL volley that is saved by El Shenawy. At this point, you here screams and cheers from Egypt fans, and jeers and moans by Uruguay fans.
Final minutes of the match, and Uruguay win a free kick outside of the box. Cavani rifles it off the post, and Uruguay seem to not have it on their side today. Egypt cant seem to control the ball however, and keep conceding possession. Continuous fouls gift Uruguay free kicks and time. Uruguay being so lethal on set pieces, pays off. 89th minute header by Gimenez nails it for Uruguay. You feel absolutely gutted for Egypt, who scramble some late crosses to no avail. Uruguay see off the 5 minutes of added time, to avoid a shocker.
Egypt played to their game plan, and did not let Uruguay off easily. They made Uruguay work down to the last minute, and suffer a long match, but could not be rewarded. Hats off to Egypt.