Jose Gimenez came to Uruguay’s rescue by scoring the lone goal in a 1-0 victory over Egypt on Friday in Group A of the World Cup.
The Uruguay defender jumped in the area and headed home a free kick late in the 89th minute.
The win is Uruguay’s first in a World Cup opener 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 opening match. Uruguay is now second, also with three points.
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.