WORLD CUP SOCCER Friday’s roundup
Uruguay 1, Egypt 0
Uruguay won its opening match at the World Cup for the first time in 48 years, getting an 89th-minute goal from defender Jose Gimenez in a victory over Egypt in Group A. Gimenez jumped in the area and headed home a free kick from Atletico Madrid teammate Diego Godin. It was the first time Uruguay won its opening match at the tournament since 1970, when it went on to reach the semifinals. Russia leads Group A on goal difference after beating Saudi Arabia 5-0 on Thursday in the tournament’s first match. Uruguay, which also has three points, is now second. Egypt forward Mohamed Salah was on the bench for his country’s first World Cup match since 1990 after injuring a shoulder while playing for Liverpool in last month’s Champions League final. Salah was the Premier League’s player of the season after scoring a league-leading 32 goals, with 44 in all competitions. He left the Champions League final in tears on May 26 after he was injured during a collision with Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos. At the other end, Uruguay strikers Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani missed their chances. Suarez failed to beat Egypt goalkeeper Mohamed El Shennawy in two one-on-one situations and Cavani hit the post from a free kick two minutes from the end. Egypt, which had zero corner kicks in the match, has yet to win a World Cup game. It managed two draws at the 1990 tournament and left empty handed in 1934.
Iran 1, Morocco 0
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia
Aziz Bouhaddouz headed a free kick into his own net in the fifth minute of injury time to gift Iran a victory over Morocco at the World Cup. Only on the field as a 77th-minute substitute, the Morocco striker dived to reach a curling cross from the left but headed the ball past goalkeeper Monir El Kajoui. There was an explosion of joy among the Iran squad, with coaching staff and substitutes sprinting onto the field and jumping for joy. It was Iran’s second win in 13 matches at the World Cup, and Asia’s first since the 2010 tournament in South Africa. With Spain and Portugal the other teams in Group B, Friday’s match in St. Petersburg was regarded as a must-win game for the two outsiders.
Portugal 3, Spain 3
Cristiano Ronaldo completed a hat trick with a perfectly taken free kick in the 88th minute to give Portugal a draw against Spain at the World Cup. Ronaldo had twice given Portugal the lead with first-half goals, but Diego Costa equalized for Spain with a goal in each half. Nacho Fernandez then put 2010 champions ahead with a one-timer from outside the area in the Group B match. Spain looked to have successfully overcome its dramatic coaching change one the eve of the tournament but Ronaldo curled a late shot over the wall to force the draw. Ronaldo’s opening goal from the penalty spot allowed him to become the fourth player to score in four World Cups, joining Pele, Miroslav Klose and Uwe Seeler. His second goal came after a blunder by Spain goalkeeper David de Gea, who let the ball bounce off his hands and into the net.