With Salah on the bench throughout, Egypt struggled to show any killer instinct and succumbed to Jose Gimenez's powerful header on the verge of stoppage time.
Russian Federation leads Group A on goal difference after beating Saudi Arabia 5-0 on Thursday (Friday NZT) in the tournament's first match.
Uruguay are the toughest opponents for the north African team, and they will fancy their chances of advancing from Group A, which also includes Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia.
The Sun predicts that Egypt will line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation while Uruguay will go for 4-4-2.
Egypt forward Mohamed Salah is "almost 100 per cent" certain to play in Friday's World Cup opener against Uruguay in Yekaterinburg, says boss Hector Cuper.
Former West Ham goalkeeper Shaka Hislop reckons Egypt realised Uruguay would be their toughest opponent in Group A, so saved Salah for their last two games against Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia.
The 26-year-old is yet to fully recover from the shoulder injury he suffered in the Champions League final last month and was a big miss for Cuper's side.
The Pharaohs were issued a real scare when Cavani forced another world-class save from El Shenawy and hit the post in quick succession - going into the last ten minutes of the encounter.
When is FIFA World Cup 2018 Egypt vs Uruguay match? It managed two draws at the 1990 tournament and left empty handed in 1934.
The Egyptians will start with Marwan Mohsen, who plays for domestic side Al Ahly, as the lone out-and-out striker.
Expected to dominate Group A, Uruguay made its first step toward the next round. As in the early stages of the opening game, before Saudi Arabia's implosion, there was a sense that the ball was sticking, reducing further the pace of attacks.
The striker and Egyptian superstar, who is nursing an injured shoulder, is crucial to the north African side's hopes of making it out of a weak-looking Group A also featuring the hosts and Saudi Arabia.
- No sanctions relief before North Korea denuclearizes
- BlackRock Inc. Reduces Stake in Envision Healthcare (EVHC)
- Trump's 'appalling' Kim summit slammed by rights advocate
- South Korea’s Moon: Reaching accord with North Korea could take years
- Amendment on border truly significant — Pro-EU MPs
- Meghan Markle Wears Givenchy on Royal Visit to Cheshire
- White House Hits China With New Tariffs, Ramping up Trade War
- Trump helps take down Mark Sanford
- How do North Korean defectors feel about the Trump-Kim summit?
- Rafael Nadal claims record-extending 11th French Open crown