The hosts continue to roll as Russia followed a 5-0 thumping of Saudi Arabia with a 3-1 victory over Egypt on Tuesday afternoon, clinching its spot in the knockout stages of the World Cup.
Egypt got back its star Mohamed Salah, who was the main reason why the country qualified for its first World Cup in 28 years. The striker was coming off an incredible season in which he scored over 40 goals in all competitions with English powers Liverpool, but his status for the World Cup was in question after he picked up a shoulder injury in the Champions League Final against Real Madrid.
It forced him to sit out the first game against Uruguay, which Egypt narrowly lost after an 89th-minute header by Jose Gimenez relegated the Pharaohs to a 1-0 defeat.
The loss made three points vital for Egypt in an attempt to stay alive in Group A play. In the meantime, any sort of points would do for Russia as it looked to make the knockout stages of a World Cup for the first time since 1986 when it was the Soviet Union.
After an apprehensive first half that did not present many serious chances for either side, Russia took the lead two minutes into the second half when a harmless looking shot from outside the box bounced, hit Egyptian defender Ahmed Fathi in the knee and deflected into the net:
We have ANOTHER own goal! pic.twitter.com/UiRWtFXfDt— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 19, 2018
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Egypt's fate was sealed in the 60th minute when Mario Fernandez sent a low cross to an open Denis Cheryshev, who slotted in his third goal of the tournament after scoring a pair against Saudi Arabia in the World Cup opener:
Cherysev nutmegs the keeper to double Russia's lead! pic.twitter.com/IDiRqqu5ct— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 19, 2018
For good measure, Artem Dzyuba provided the third goal for Russia in the 62nd minute as he weaved through the Egyptian defense and was rewarded for his hard-working performance:
*Extremely DJ Khaled voice*— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 19, 2018
Another one. pic.twitter.com/Rb7utUTTmp
Egypt was given a lifeline in the 72nd minute when Salah was taken down in the box and awarded a penalty. He didn't waste the opportunity to record his first-ever World Cup goal, thumping in the spot kick to bring the Pharaohs to within two:
Mo Salah pulls one back for Egypt!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 19, 2018
Is there enough time for a comeback?? pic.twitter.com/HOIPd5Zzxh
He became just the third Egyptian to ever score at a World Cup.
That was all Egypt would get though as it basically eliminated from World Cup play as long as Uruguay gets a point from its match against lowly Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.