Luis Suarez came to Russia to make amends after his previous two World Cups ended in shame, but the Uruguay striker got off to a slow start against Egypt. Uruguay scraped a 1-0 win in their opening Group A fixture on Friday thanks to Jose Gimenez's late goal, but Suarez wasted various opportunities which could have given his team an easier ride. The Barcelona striker will now be determined to open his account when Uruguay faces Saudi Arabia in Rostov today, especially after Russia exposed the Saudis' porous defense.
Against Egypt, the 31-year-old Suarez spurned the type of chances which a few weeks ago with La Liga champions Barcelona he dispatched without a second thought. Suarez fired wide of the near post in the 24th minute when he should have opened the scoring for Uruguay, clumsily erring with his footing and sending the ball off-target with the goal gaping. The hitman was then denied by an impressive Mohamed El-Shenawy save after being played in by strike partner Edinson Cavani. A third chance went begging when Cavani again set him up but Suarez, running in on goal, took a bad touch and the Egypt goalkeeper was able to claim the ball.
Having been sent off in the 2010 World Cup quarter-final against Ghana for a handball which stopped the African side from progressing and then biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini in 2014 and being banned for four months, Suarez has plenty to prove on this stage. Saudi Arabia have been licking their wounds after hosts Russia crushed them 5-0 on the opening day of the tournament. The head of the Saudi Arabia football federation, Adel Ezzat, said three players are facing "penalties" for their poor performances.
"Several players will face a penalty, goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf, striker Mohammad Al-Sahlawi and defender Omar Hawsawi" he said. If Suarez can find his shooting boots today then Saudi Arabia may be in for another painful evening.
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