Uruguay's star strikers couldn't deliver, but one of its center backs took care of picking up the slack.
Luis Suarez missed three great chances, and Edinson Cavani was repeatedly denied, but Jose Gimenez's 90th-minute header delivered a 1-0 win for Uruguay over Egypt at the World Cup in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
Egypt made its first World Cup appearance since 1990 and is left still eyeing the first World Cup win in its nation's history. All eyes were on Mohamed Salah, who was proclaimed fit for the match less than three weeks after suffering a shoulder injury in the Champions League final with Liverpool. He didn't wind up coming off the bench, though, spending his 26th birthday as an inactive player.
After watching Russia thrash Saudi Arabia 5-0 in Thursday's opener, both sides were out to make statement to keep pace with the hosts.
The first warning shot came from Cavani in the eight minute, with the PSG striker lining up a low blast from 20 yards, only for Mohamed El-Shennawy to get down and make the clean diving save.
Egypt fired back three minutes later, with Mahmoud Hassan, who goes by Trezeguet, on the end of a sequence in which a few looped balls forward wound up with a 20-yard half volley that Fernando Muslera smothered by the near post.
Cavani had another golden chance lined up and earmarked for goal, only for a heroic header to put it out of play. Cavani volleyed to himself before ripping a left-footed chance from a left-sided angle that was put over the bar by Ali Gabr.
On the ensuing corner kick, Suarez missed an absolute sitter. The ball came through traffic to the far post, where an unmarked Suarez was waiting for it, but he hooked his point-blank chance into the side netting, letting Egypt off easy.
Suarez was denied less than a minute into the second half as Uruguay came out firing. Cavani chipped ahead for Suarez down the right channel, but El-Shennawy was equal to the task, blocking Suarez's powerful blast from close range with a kick save.
The second half continued to unfold in a cagey manner with few clear-cut chances until the 72nd minute. Egypt's Ahmed Fathi ripped a blast from distance, but Muslera was equal to it, making the key save.
On the ensuing sequence on the other end of the field, Suarez appeared to have another golden opportunity, until to take too many touches in close and allow El-Shennawy to come off his line and take the ball off his foot.
Cavani then was robbed 10 minutes later by El-Shennawy, with another vicious volley from long range tipped out for a corner after an acrobatic save.
Moments after that, Cavani hit the post off a free kick, beating El-Shennawy but putting it just far enough for the woodwork to deny him.
Uruguay finally got its breakthrough as stoppage time approached, with Jose Gimenez rising high for a header off a set piece, powering home the opener and a true dagger to Egypt.
After one round of play, Russia leads the group thanks to a greater goal differential, with Uruguay in second, Egypt third and Saudi Arabia fourth.
Here were the lineups for both teams:
Here are the rosters for both sides:
Goalkeepers: Essam El Hadary (Al Taawoun), Mohamed El-Shennawy (Al Ahly), Sherif Ekramy (Al Ahly)
Defenders: Ahmed Fathi, Saad Samir, Ayman Ashraf (all Al Ahly), Mahmoud Hamdy (Zamalek), Mohamed Abdel-Shafy (Al Fateh), Ahmed Hegazi (West Brom), Ali Gabr (Zamalek), Ahmed Elmohamady (Aston Villa), Omar Gaber (Los Angeles FC)
Midfielders: Tarek Hamed, (Zamalek), Shikabala (Zamalek), Abdallah Said (Al Ahli), Sam Morsy (Wigan Athletic), Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal), Mahmoud Kahraba (Al Ittihad), Ramadan Sobhi (Stoke City), Mahmoud Hassan (Kasimpasa), Amr Warda (Atromitos Athens)
Forwards: Marwan Mohsen (Al Ahly), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Manager: Hector Cuper
Goalkeepers: Martin Campana (Independiente), Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray), Martin Silva (Vasco da Gama)
Defenders: Martin Caceres (Lazio), Sebastian Coates (Sporting Lisbon), Jose Maria Gimenez (Atletico Madrid), Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid), Maximiliano Pereira (Porto), Gaston Silva (Independiente), Guillermo Varela (Penarol)
Midfielders: Rodrigo Bentancur (Juventus), Giorgian De Arrascaeta (Cruzeiro), Nahitan Nandez (Boca Juniors), Gaston Ramirez (Sampdoria), Cristian Rodriguez (Penarol), Carlos Sanchez (Monterrey), Lucas Torreira (Sampdoria), Matias Vecino (Inter Milan)
Forwards: Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain), Maximiliano Gomez (Celta), Cristhian Stuani (Girona), Luis Suarez (Barcelona)
Manager: Oscar Tabarez