Sunday, January 20, 2019
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All hopes on Salah as World Cup enters Day 2

The 21st edition of the grand quadrennial event enters its second day and three matches will be played across two groups.

Two-time champions Uruguay will battle it out with Egypt at the Ekaterinburg Arena in the second match of group A after hosts Russia clobbered Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening match played at the infamous Luzhniki stadium.

Egypt under the management of Hector Cuper will be playing their first world cup match in 28 years. Mo Salah is expected to lead the attack for the Pharaohs, the Liverpool forward has been pivotal in the Egypt line-up and scored a brace in the penultimate round of Africa qualifiers that secured his country a ticket to the World Cup. Named the best player in the English premier league, Salah’s sharp ascension to the top echelons of football was blotted after he was forced off in the first half of the Champions League final. He has since recovered and will be the main man in Egypt’s starting eleven.

2010 winners Spain will take on Portugal in what is dubbed the Iberian derby. Spain’s hope of winning the World Cup suffered a huge blow after the country’s FA sacked Julen Lopetegui who has been in charge of the team since 2016. The confirmation of his appointment as the man to replace Zinedine Zidane at the Bernabeu angered his employers who didn’t hesitate to pull the axe. In another match set to be played today, Morocco, who lost its bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup to USA, Canada and Mexico will kick off their World Cup campaign against Iran at the Saint Petersburg stadium.

By Oyier Erick, Email: eriqoyier@gmail.com

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