Mohamed Salah's fitness not solely at fault for Egypt's woes - Hector Cuper

Russia Saudi Arabia World Cup 2018

Russia vs Egypt, World Cup 2018: live score and latest updates as Mo Salah starts

Mohamed Salah of Egypt and Sergei Ignashevich (third from left) of Russia in action during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group A preliminary round soccer match between Russia and Egypt in St Petersburg, Russia, yesterday.

It was his first game back, only three weeks after sustaining an injury to his shoulder in the Champions League final.

"The World Cup is not awarded to the team that scores eight goals first", Cherchesov told reporters after the match.

Shearer added that the Liverpool player should also be applauded for his desire to get back playing, particularly when his country needed him most.

If Egypt are going to get anything from this game, you feel Salah will have to produce the magic we know he is capable of - that's if their performance against Uruguay is anything to go by.

"They have to react better when they lose the ball because they conceded a little bit against a very naïve team, a team without any physical power and Egypt can hurt them".

After the break, they were devastated by Russia's directness and physicality, completely failing to take heed from the evidence presented during the hosts' 5-0 evisceration of Saudi Arabia.

This Russia side is a ragtag bunch that has come together nearly by accident, assembled through bare necessity as key players dropped like flies and pre-tournament results nosedived.

Cuper opted not to use Salah for Egypt's Group A opener and the Egyptian Football Association subsequently released a statement indicating the attacker could have played, at odds with the assessment of the coach.

Out numbered by about seven-to-one, the Egypt fans did not just greet the imagery with the cheer that comes every time a team's star player is shown.

"He couldn't prepare with us in the training camp". Because of this, I think Russian Federation have to drop the block back.

And the Egypt global had to watch on as Uruguay claimed a 1-0 win over his side in their group stage opener. Egypt is still without a victory in six World Cup matches.

"The most important thing is we won".

"If he was not injured, it is very hard to know what would have happened", Egypt coach Hector Cuper said.

It took Egypt 28 years to make it back to the World Cup and after just two games, their dream lies in tatters.

Latest News