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World Cup fans in Russia will watch the match from stands constructed outside the ground

World Cup fans in Russia will watch the match from stands constructed outside the ground Credit Reuters

Federation Internationale de Football Association has blamed "no-shows" for the embarrassing number of empty seats at Friday's Group A game between Egypt and Uruguay in Ekaterinburg.

The Egyptian soccer association's spokesman, Osama Ismail, said the cake was meant as a surprise for Salah, whose birthday fell on Friday, when Egypt lost 1-0 to Uruguay in the opening match of its World Cup campaign in Russian Federation.

But in the 89th minute, Uruguay broke through, with José Giménez getting his head on a corner kick to play hero for the dramatic winning goal.

Uruguay and Russian Federation sit top of Group A after the match, with Egypt taking on the hosts on Tuesday before Saudi Arabia play Uruguay on Wednesday. Uruguay also has three points while Egypt and Saudi Arabia have none.

Despite allowing a goal late, the Egyptians' ability to limit Uruguayan star attackers, Luis Suarez and Edison Cavani bode well for their chances moving forward.

Egypt worldwide goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shennawy has been named as man of the match following his exceptional performance against Uruguay. In previous defeats, Egypt's national team and coach have often scrambled to respond to criticism.

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This was Suarez's first World Cup game since biting Chiellini but he failed to leave an impact for his side and would expect a better outing in Uruguay's next encounter against Saudi Arabia.

Egyptian fans at the Moscow Fan Fest believe it would have been a different story altogether had Liverpool star Mohammed Salah featured in their Group "A" clash against Uruguay.

However, he decided not to risk him on Friday in the hope he would be be totally fit for the other Group A clashes against Russian Federation on Tuesday and Saudi Arabia.

"We've tried to play in a very orderly fashion", Tabarez said.

While more than half of his teammates hadn't been born yet, El-Hadary was just starting his career the last time Egypt qualified for a World Cup in 1990. "We've broken the spell".

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