Egypt let a masterful defensive performance go by the wayside in its first World Cup match in 28 years, conceding a 90th minute goal to José Giménez in a loss to Uruguay.
The match started with a surprise in goal for the Pharaohs, with Mohamed El-Shenawy getting the start over 45-year-old Essam El-Hadary.
El-Shenawy came up big for Egypt, thwarting at least two would-be goals from star strikers Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani.
Egypt had chances of their own with breaks down the wings, but didn’t seem to know what to do when they reached the Uruguayan penalty area.
The Egyptian attack clearly suffered from the absence of winger Mohamed Salah, still nursing a shoulder injury he suffered in the UEFA Champions League final after a cynical take-down from Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos.
It doesn’t get much easier for the seven-time African champions, who next face hosts Russia on Tuesday.
Russia handed Saudi Arabia a 5-0 shellacking in Thursday’s opening match.
Egypt will also closely monitor the health of midfielder Tarek Hamed, who had to leave early in the second half with an apparent back injury.
In their last eight matches, Egypt has conceded five goals in the final five minutes in what is becoming a theme under manager Hector Cuper for a team once known for its clutch scoring late in games.
Egypt is now winless their last seven matches, the longest such streak of any side at the World Cup.