Jose Gimenez scored an 89th-minute winner as Uruguay defeated an Egypt side shorn of star man Mohamed Salah 1-0 in their World Cup opener on Friday.
A poor game looked likely to end in stalemate but defender Gimenez rose to power a header into the top corner and break Egypt hearts.
Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani had a couple of half-chances for Uruguay in the first half and lashed a volley from outside the box which was deflected over.
Attacking partner Luis Suarez was largely quiet in an unremarkable first period.
Marwan Mohsen played as a lone forward for Egypt, but with Salah missing and Uruguay skipper Diego Godin imperious, he hardly had a sniff.
With Egypt coach Hector Cuper saying on the eve of the clash that Salah had recovered from the injury sustained three weeks ago in the Champions League final, Egyptians will be desperately hoping their talisman is back for the game with Russia on Tuesday, now a must-win.