Russia beat Egypt to take huge step towards second round
Russia have nearly secured a place in the World Cup second round after beating Egypt 3-1.
The result means that Russia will progress if Saudi Arabia fail to beat Uruguay on Wednesday.
Egypt, who named Mohamed Salah in the starting line-up, kept the score level in the first half but three goals in the space of 15 minutes won the match for Russia.
Ahmed Fathy’s own goal opened the scoring before Denis Cheryshev and Artem Dzyuba put the result beyond doubt.
Salah netted Egypt’s only goal from the penalty spot in the 73rd minute.
Russia were in the ascendancy from the start and Cheryshev, who scored twice against Saudi Arabia, saw his shot blocked from 20 yards out.
Cheryshev was central to the Russia attack and fired over before Dzyuba came within inches of meeting a Yuri Zhirkov cross.
Salah was isolated up front for Egypt but did manage to create a chance, but the midfielder’s shot was blocked.
The Liverpool striker was making his first appearance since suffering a dislocated shoulder in the Champions League final last month and he was clearly still not 100%. He did have a good chance to break the deadlock, though, but curled the ball wide from 18 yards.
Russia took the lead in the 47th minute when Roman Zobnin’s harmless shot was turned into his own net by Fathy.
It did not take long for Russia to double their lead, and at this rate Cheryshev could be in the hunt for the golden boot. The Villarreal forward picked up Mario Fernandes’ pass before firing home from 12 yards.
Dzyuba added a third with 28 minutes to spare when he took down an Ilya Kutepov ball before finding the bottom right corner of the net.
Egypt did get one back in the 73rd minute when Salah was brought down in the box. The referee initially gave a free-kick but VAR overturned the decision and Salah stepped up to convert the spot-kick.
Sergei Ignashevich could have added a fourth before full time and Aleksandr Golovin took too long after being set up by Zobnin. That did not matter though as Russia continued their perfect start to their World Cup campaign.