Mohamed Salah 'almost 100 per cent' fit for Egypt's World Cup opener

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"We've achieved a lot by following that path, so with very little time before the World Cup it would be risky to change things substantially in our style", Cuper told reporters on the eve of Friday's game against Uruguay.

Gimenez's goal took Uruguay level on points with Group A leaders Russian Federation and boosted their chances of making the knockout stages for the third successive World Cup after reaching the semi-finals in 2010 and last 16 in 2014.

Russian Federation leads Group A on goal difference after beating Saudi Arabia 5-0 on Thursday in the tournament's opening match. The Africans had been without injured key striker Mohamed Salah but defended resolutely.

Uruguay's Jose Gimenez delivered an 89th minute heartbreak header to put his team up 1-0 over Egypt and eventually win the match Friday.

Egypt goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawy had produced two fine saves to stop Luis Suarez and another from Edinson Cavani before he was beaten by Gimenez, but he was still optimistic of their chances in the group.

Salah won the English Premier League Golden Boot Award after scoring 34 goals last season and capped a glorious season at Liverpool with Player of the Season award. "That happens to strikers", Tabarez said.

"Thank you very much for the present to Salah, we really appreciate it", Cuper said. "Perhaps if Mo had been on the pitch today the outcome could have been different, but we'll never know that".

Uruguay's Jose Gimenez right celebrates with his teammates after scoring his side's opening goal during the group A match between Egypt and Uruguay at the 2018 soccer World Cup in Russia
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One thing's for sure and that's that Mohamed Salah is not at 100 per cent.

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"For three years and a few months we've decided on a certain path..."

"I think we do have good forwards and good players to do a good job here at the World Cup".

Uruguay, which also has three points, is now second.

Egypt's final game is against Saudi Arabia.

However, speaking during his pre-match press conference, Egypt coach Hector Cuper stated that he expects his star man to be fit for their first Group A fixture at the Ekaterinburg Arena.

"Salah is doing very well indeed, he's recovered very quickly", Cuper said. We'll see how it goes today.

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