Russia defeated Egypt 3-1 in their FIFA World Cup Group A preliminary round football (soccer) match at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia on Tuesday. Russia took the lead after a 47th minute Roman Zobnin shot was redirected goalwards by Egypt’s Ahmed Fathi, an own goal. Denis Cheryshev (59th minute) and Artem Dzyuba (62nd minute) put Russia out of sight with two goals in quick succession. Mohamed Salah pulled one back for Egypt from the penalty spot in the 73rd minute.
The First half saw plenty of energy and endeavour but little in the way of clear chances ending goalless. Clear sights of goal were at a premium, with neither goalkeeper being pushed beyond the routine, but with plenty of attacking intent for both sides.
Russia came close to scoring when Denis Cheryshev blazed a shot narrowly over the bar, while Mahmoud “Trezeguet” Hassan and the returning Mohamed Salah shot wide for Egypt.
The second half was a totally different ball game with Russia seemingly coming alive on all flanks.
Russia moved ahead after Roman Zobnin’s shot was redirected into goal by Ahmed Fathi (own goal). 1-0 Russia.
Denis Cheryshev scored his third of the tournament after a magnificent move by Mario Fernandes down the right side of the penalty area. Mario Fernandes picked the ball up inside the Egyptian half on the overlap, before cutting back to Denis Cheryshev who slammed in Russia’s second goal. 2-0.
Another of the opening game’s scorers repeated the feat. The ball fell to the feet of Artem Dzyuba – having seen so much directed towards his head – and makes no mistake in picking out the bottom corner. 3-0
Mohamed salah was fouled inside the box by zobnin (russia). A penalty was awarded to Egypt. No mistake from Mohamed Salah. After the foul was adjudged to have taken place inside the area, the Egypt talisman fires his penalty high into the roof of the net. 3-1
Russia kept Mohamed Salah shackled on his return from injury. Salah played for the first time since he injured his shoulder tangling with Sergio Ramos in last month’s Champions League final. Mohamed Salah was directly involved in 58 goals in 52 games for Liverpool last season (44 goals, 14 assists); Only Lionel Messi (63) was involved in more in the top 5 European Leagues for all competitions.
With thousands of cheering Egyptians in the St. Petersburg Stadium, the game has felt at times more like a home game for Egypt than for Russia, whose fans ended the half chanting “we need a goal.”
With Russia’s second victory of the World Cup, the hosts are on the verge of qualifying for the knockout stages.
While Russia knew it could seal their spot in the next round with a win, Egypt’s hopes of survival almost certainly relied on them getting three points today which did not happen. Egypt is very close to becoming the first team to be eliminated from the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The Pharaohs must rely on Saudi Arabia doing them a favour to keep their very slender chance of progression alive.
Russia’s eight goals in the first two World Cup games is a joint-record for a host nation (Italy in 1934 also had 8 goals).
Russia remain unbeaten at the World Cup against CAF (Confederation of African Football) countries (W4-D1-L0).
Egypt remains winless against UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) countries at the World Cup (W0-D2-L3).
Russia is playing its final group stage match against Uruguay on June 25 in Samara, while the Egyptian national team is set to take on Saudi Arabia also next Monday in the city of Volgograd.
A total of 32 national football teams are participating in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, held in 11 cities across Russia between June 14 and July 15.
The teams were divided into eight groups, with four in each, and the top two from their relevant groups will proceed to the next round, known as the playoffs or the knockout stage, to keep vying for the much-coveted FIFA World Cup Trophy.
Russia is holding its first time ever edition of the FIFA World Cup, which kicked off in Moscow with a spectacular opening show at the Luzhniki Stadium on the night of June 14. The World Cup is being held at 12 arenas across 11 cities with the final set to be played at Luzhniki on July 15. The 11 host cities are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.