Tuesday Jun 19, 2018. 22:07
Egypt suffered a second successive loss at the 2018 World Cup after going down 3-1 at the hands of Russia in a Group A clash at the Krestovsky Stadium on Tuesday night.
The hosts, thanks to their six points and a strong goal difference, are all but sure to qualify for the last 16, and this can be confirmed on Wednesday if Uruguay avoid defeat against Saudi Arabia in the other group match.
As for the Pharaohs, they have zero points from two games and suffer the ignominy of being the first side eliminated from the tournament – before it’s even a week old.
Both teams looked lively in attack through the first half, though in truth neither goalkeeper was really tested in the opening 45 minutes.
Russia’s Artem Dzyuba should have made more of a headed chance early on after being picked out by Aleksandr Golovin, while Denis Cheryshev sent a long-range shot just over the crossbar in the 19th minute.
For Egypt, their best attacking moments were a curling effort from Trezeguet which drifted just wide of the far post in the 16th minute, while Mohamed Salah’s only notable moment in the first half arrived a few minutes before the interval, with a quick turn and shot that didn’t trouble Igor Akinfeev.
Russia broke the deadlock early in the second stanza, with Roman Zobnin’s scuffed shot deflected in his own net by Pharaohs right-back Ahmed Fathi for a third own goal from an African side at the tournament.
The hosts doubled their advantage with a well-worked goal just before the hour mark, as Cherysehv arrived late in the box to fire home Mario Fernandes’ pull-back from the right by-line. It was the midfielder’s third goal of the tournament to see him join Cristiano Ronaldo at the top of the scoring charts.
And just three minutes later it was 3-0 to Russia, with the powerful Dzyuba controlling a long ball before bullying his way past a challenge and firing a shot into the back of the net to kill off Egypt’s hopes.
The Pharaohs clawed a goal back through Salah, who converted a penalty in the 73rd minute which was awarded with the use of VAR, but that was as good as it got for the North Africans.
Russia (0) 3 (Fathi 47’ og, Cheryshev 59’, Dzyuba 62’)
Egypt (0) 1 (Salah pen 73’)
Russia: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Ignashevich, Kutepov, Zhirkov (Kudryashov 86’), Golovin, Gazinsky, Samedov, Zbonin, Cheryshev (Kuzyayev 74’), Dzyuba (Smolov 79’)
Egypt: El-Shenawy, Fathi, Hegazy, Gabr, Abdel Shafi, Trezeguet, Elneny (Warda 64’), Said, Hamed, Trezeguet (Sobhi 68’), Mohsen (Kahraba 82’), Salah