Though Mohamed Salah scored on his overdue World Cup 2018 debut but couldn’t stop hosts Russia football team from booking their place in the round of sixteen with a 3-1 victory over Egypt football team in Saint Petersburg.
Salah missed Egypt’s opening game where they suffered a 1-0 defeat in the hands of Uruguay as he was recovering from a shoulder injury sustained in Liverpool’s Champions League Final loss to Real Madrid last month.
The 26-year-old converted a 73rd-minute penalty awarded for a foul on Salah after a VAR review, but the damage had long since been done with Russia already in a 3-0 lead courtesy of an Ahmed Fathi own goal, Denis Cheryshev’s crisp first-time finish after 59 minutes and Artem Dzyuba’s smartly-taken third just three minutes later.
In truth, Salah wasn’t at his best as Egypt also failed to provide him with steady service in the face of a spirited display from Russia, who now are on the top of Group A with six points having beaten Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening game of the tournament.
Roared on by a partisan 64,468 crowd, Russia took control of proceedings early on but could not press home their advantage in the first half of the game.
Just two minutes after the second half, Fathi tried to block Roman Zobnin’s long-range shot but, under pressure from Dzyuba, he could only hack the ball into his own net, causing a collapse which means Egypt’s first finals for 28 years is certain to end in a group stage exit.