Egypt’s Mohamed Salah scored on his return from injury but it was not enough to avoid a 3-1 loss to hosts Russia in the Group A match at the Saint Petersburg Stadium.
Russia kept up their free-scoring ways to move to the brink of a second round place with the win on Tuesday and the team’s place in the knockout stages will be secured on Wednesday if Uruguay avoid defeat against Saudi Arabia in the next Group A game.
Uruguay’s win will also seal Egypt’s fate in the tournament and will send them crashing out.
After a tight first half Russia’s breakthrough came just two minutes after the restart.
Aleksandr Golovin’s cross was punched out by Egyptian keeper Mohamed El-Shenawy, only as far as Roman Zobnin whose low drive was heading wide until Ahmed Fathi’s outstretched leg turned the ball into his own net.
Remarkably, it was the fifth own goal of the tournament so far.
If there was some good fortune to the opener, the Russians’ second was pure quality.
Alexander Samedov pushed the ball out wide to Mario Fernandes, the Brazilian born right back who had powered forward from deep to deliver a perfect pull-back into the path of Denis Cheryshev who slotted home his third goal of the tournament.
Two minutes later it was 3-0 via a route one play, as target man Artem Dzyuba chested down a long ball, bustled past Ali Gabr and drove home.
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.
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