Russia 3-1 Egypt: Russia shocks Mohamed Salah, Egypt

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Russia's players celebrate after Egypt's defender Ahmed Fathi own goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group A football match between Russia and Egypt at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on June 19, 2018. (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP / Getty Images)

ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA (June 19, 2018) – After a full day of Group H upsets, Russia and Egypt began second-match action in the World Cup.

Despite the addition of Mohamed Salah to Egypt’s squad, the host nation rolled past Egypt, earning a 3-1 victory. An own goal set the scene for Russia two minutes into the second half.

Russia 3-1 Egypt: Russia shocks Mohamed Salah, Egypt

Trying to make space in front of Russian striker Artem Dzyuba, Ahmed Fathi committed an own goal. Fathi’s goal into his own net marks the fifth own goal of the entire World Cup.

After the own goal, Russia’s momentum began to pick up.

Denis Cheryshev added to his tournament total with his third goal of the World Cup in the 59th minute. Cheryshev is now tied with Cristiano Ronaldo for the most goals scored so far in the World Cup.

Only three minutes later, Dzyuba sliced a strike past Egyptian goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawy. However, Egypt was not entirely out of the match. With about 20 minutes remaining in the second half, Mohamed Salah was brought down in the penalty box.

After a review from Video Assistant Referee (VAR), the penalty kick was confirmed. Salah did not waste any time or perform any fancy moves. Instead, the Egyptian striker, who plays club soccer for Liverpool, took a strike, sending it past Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.

However, the penalty kick wasn’t enough.

With the 3-1 victory, Russia has almost solidified their spot in the knockout rounds. Should Uruguay claim victory over Saudi Arabia tomorrow, Russia will be confirmed in the knockout rounds.

However, Russia will still have an open competition with Uruguay to decide the Group A winner.

Three Takeaways

  1. Give Russia respect: Nobody expected Russia to score three goals — if any at all — against Salah and Egypt. There’s no doubt that Salah is a fantastic soccer player, but at times he seemed like the only hope for Egypt. Russia bossed Egypt around in St. Petersburg and showed their stripes. This is not a team that should be taken lightly against Uruguay and the knockout rounds.
  2. Smolov sits on the bench: Stanislav Cherchesov made the decision to put star striker Fedor Smolov on the bench for Dzyuba. The decision wasn’t entirely shocking; Smolov failed to score against Saudi Arabia and Dzyuba found himself a goal. The move paid off, and Smolov did enter the match for Dzyuba in the 79th minute.
  3. Top of the group on Monday: Monday’s clash between Uruguay and Russia will be huge. Should Uruguay manage a victory over Saudi Arabia tomorrow, Uruguay and Russia will battle for the top of the group. All eyes are on Russia to claim the group on their home soil.

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