Suarez returned a favour to his strike partner by setting up Cavani to volley from the edge of the area before drawing a world class save from the custodian.
Uruguay now places second in Group A with three points behind the leader and the host nation, Russia, with three points but with five goals in their bank.
To have any hopes of advancing, Egypt needs to avoid a loss against Russian Federation on Tuesday and probably beat Saudi Arabia on June 25 in its final group game.
But Gimenez rose highest to meet a set-piece and bury a header past El-Shenawy, celebrating a fine end to a week in which he signed a new contract at Atletico Madrid.
However, Uruguay had failed to win any of their opening games at the last six World Cups they played in, while Egypt's two previous opening games were also winless.
Egypt will face a Russian Federation side who won their opening match against Saudi Arabia 5-0, and the Pharaohs need a positive result to keep them in contention for the knock-out stage of the tournament.
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Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani both had great chances to score in a flat match, while Ahmed Fathy came closest for Egypt. Salah was one of the outstanding players in the world this season as he helped propel Liverpool to the Champions League final.
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Uruguay as a team struggled, particularly in the first half, but this inability to live up to their potential was personified in the form of the attacker. The Barcelona striker is one of the best strikers in the world without doubt.
Suarez, while tussling with Egyptian defenders for the ball, dived asking for a foul which obviously wasn't given by the match referee. With a victory, Uruguay could reach the next stage with a game in hand against host Russian Federation on June 25.
The result is slightly scrappy, underwhelming football, short of fluidity or goalmouth action - and, correspondingly, a premium on the sort if dynamic attacking player who can transform games.
However, far from his usual role as the aggressor on the field, Ramos had to act as a peacemaker on Thursday as Spain tried to move on from a dramatic few days that have rocked their World Cup preparations.