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Russia on brink of knockout stage after win over Egypt

20 June 2018

However, Russia had enjoyed a far more positive start in thrashing Saudi Arabia 5-0 to snap a seven-game run without a win heading into the tournament and their greater confidence showed early on.

As the hosts of the 2018 World Cup, Russia's minimum goal is to reach the knockout stage.

Russian Federation will have also taken huge confidence from that emphatic victory last time out and that should work in their favour here against an Egypt side under pressure to come out and play, as opposed to their usual defensively disciplined tactics.

Salah, who had not played since going off injured in Liverpool's Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid last month, managed some consolation when he converted from the spot after a video assistant referee (VAR) ruling that he had been brought down by Zobnin inside the area.

Ahmed Fathy's own goal, Denis Cheryshev and Artem Dzyuba efforts in the second half put Stanislav Cherchesov's side in control at the Krestovsky Stadium. They can't score many goals against good teams. His five goals led Egypt in World Cup qualifying, but also tied him for the lead among all African players in CAF qualifying.

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A shoulder injury kept Salah out of Egypt's opening game against Group A favourites Uruguay, in which the team from north Africa were beaten 1-0.

The record amount for a World Cup is six in 1998. They shouted every time Salah's face flashed up on the big screen and when his name was announced before kickoff.

"It is hard to say this but in the World Cup you have to wait until the very last minute, although it's true that our chances are minimal".

"To play in a World Cup and experience this atmosphere is a dream you hope will never end".

Egypt lost their first game of the tournament to Uruguay and they know they need a result here if they are to keep alive their ambition of getting out of the Group. So if Uruguay loses to the Saudis, things might get weird.

Russia on brink of knockout stage after win over Egypt