Russia close in on knockout stages with 3-1 win over Egypt
Russia 3 (A Fathi 47’ og, Cheryshev 59’, Dzyuba 62’)
Egypt 1 (M Salah 73’ pen)
By Charlie Johns
Russia all but secured a knockout stage berth while Egypt are all but finished after suffering a 3-1 defeat to the host nation.
Russia scored another big win in this World Cup despite the return of Egypt’s star player Mohamed Salah who ended up scoring the Pharaohs’ only goal.
Russia has managed to score eight goals in its first two matches thanks to Artem Dzyuba and Denis Cheryshev, who has now three goals in the tournament and equal with Cristiano Ronaldo.
The match started out fast and aggressively for Russia which clearly caught the Egyptians off-guard, forcing them into early mistakes.
The only real excitement coming from the first half was a shot taken by Mo Salah which he missed just to the left of the goal mouth after instinctively hooking it off his left boot, without looking at the goal.
Egypt realistically had to win this game and they got off to the worst possible start to do that after half-time.
The captain Ahmed Fathi deflected a ball, which was going to miss the goal but was heading towards Dzyuba, off his right shin and spun around past the keeper and into the goal mouth for an own goal.
This one goal set off a chain reaction for the Russians and they capitalised on it, scoring two more goals in the space of three minutes.
The first by Cheryshev who is creating quite the World Cup profile for himself, scored off the left foot through the keeper’s legs after some good lead up work from Mario Fernandes.
Dzyuba made it 3-0 when he scored just inside the bottom right corner post after comfortably controlling the long kick off his chest then beating the defender to bring the ball onto is right foot.
So, the return of Salah wasn’t enough to bring down the mighty host nation.
23 M. Elshenawy (GK), 2 Ali Gabr, 6 A. Hegazy, 7 A Fathi (c), 8 Tarek Hamed, 9 Marwan (82’), 10 M Salah, 13 Abdelshafy, 17 M. Elneny (64’), 19 Abdalla, 21 M. Trezeguet (68’)
Substitutes: 1 Elhadary, 3 Elmohamady, 4 O. Gaber, 5 Morsy, 11 M. Kahraba (82’), 12 A. Ashraf, 14 Ramadan (68’), 15 M. Hamdy, 16 Ekramy, 18 Shikabala, 20 S. Samir, 22 Warda (64’)
1 Akinfeev (GK) (c), 2 Fernandes, 3 Kutepov, 4 Ignashevich, 6 Cheryshev (74’), 8 Gazinskii, 11 Zobnin, 17 Golovin, 18 Zhirkov (86’), 19 Samedov, 22 Dzyuba (79’)
Substitutes: 5 Semenov, 7 Kuziaev (74’), 10 Smolov (79’), 12 Lunev, 13 Kudriashov (86’), 14 Granat, 15 Al Miranchuk, 16 An Miranchuk, 20 Gabulov, 21 Erokhin, 23 Smolnikov, 9 Dzagoev