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World Cup

Jun 19, 2018 at 7pm UK
Russia
3-1
EgyptEgypt
Fathy (47' og.), Cheryshev (59'), Dzyuba (62')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Salah (73' pen.)
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Live Commentary: Russia 3-1 Egypt - as it happened

:Headline: Live Commentary: Russia 3-1 Egypt - as it happened:
Relive Sports Mole's coverage of the 2018 World Cup in Russia as the hosts beat Egypt 3-1 in the second round of fixtures in Group A.

Host nation Russia took on Egypt in Group A of the 2018 World Cup in Saint Petersburg knowing that three points would put Stanislav Cherchesov's charges on the brink of qualifying for the knockout stages.

It took 47 minutes for Russia to find a lead when Egypt full-back Ahmed Fathy turned a shot into his own net, but there was no mistaking the emphatic finishes of both Denis Cheryshev and Artem Dzyuba who quickly made it 3-0.

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah scored his first ever World Cup goal courtesy of a late penalty, but the finish proved a mere consolation as Russia went on to claim a comfortable 3-1 victory.

Relive all of the action with our minute-by-minute updates below.

Good evening folks and thanks for joining us as we bring you live coverage of hosts Russia's clash with Egypt in Group A at the 2018 World Cup. Stanislav Cherchesov's men kicked off the opening game of the showpiece with a 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia and are now looking for another victory to move them towards the brink of qualification. Egypt, who have never won a game at the World Cup, lost out to Uruguay last time out and desperately need a win to concur any faint hopes of reaching the next round.
RUSSIA STARTING XI: Akinfeev; Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov; Gazinskiy, Zobnin; Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev; Dzyuba
EGYPT STARTING XI: Elshenawy; Fathy, Gabr, Hegazy, Abdelshafy; Elneny, Hamed; Salah, Elsaid, Treziguet; Mohsen
So the crucial piece of news for Russia is that the hosts have made two key changes going forward in the attacking department. Denis Cheryshev comes in for frontman Fyodor Smolov, while the injured Alan Dzagoev is replaced by Artem Dzyuba.
Elsewhere, creative man Aleksandr Golovin will be hoping to continue his impressive start to the tournament in a role behind the strikers. Further midfielder support is to come from Yury Gazinsky Roman Zobnin and Aleksandr Samedov.
The major news for Egypt and the neutrals too is that key frontman Mohamed Salah finally makes his return to the starting XI for the Pharaohs. The forward takes the place of Amr Warda on the right side of an attacking three just behind lone frontman Marwan Mohsen.
Salah will sit alongside fellow creative men in the shape of Abdallah Elsaid and Mahmoud Treziguet. Both Tarek Hamed and Mohamed Elneny will work as central pivots sitting a little deeper in the middle.
Here's a quick look at the substitute benches for both sides too...
RUSSIA SUBSTITUTES: Semenov, Kuziaev, Smolov, Lunev, Kudriashov, Granat, Al Miranchuk, An Miranchuk, Gabulov, Erokhin, Smolinkov
EGYPT SUBSTITUTES: Elhadary, Elmohamady, Gaber, Morsy, Kahraba, A. Ashraf, Ramadan, M. Hamdy, Ekramy, Shikabala, Samir, Warda
Hosts Russia opened up their campaign with a 5-0 thumping of Saudi Arabia, which featured a particularly impressive strike with the outside of the boot from Cheryshev.
Much has been debated about the lowly ranking of this current Russia team, but Cherchesov will now be hoping to silence the doubters with a victory that would lead the host nation to the brink of qualification for the knockout rounds.
Prior to the victory Russia had not won in their last seven games and took a lot of criticism in the build-up, including a few reported jibes from Russian president Vladimir Putin.
One man who cannot wait to get back out on the pitch will be youngster Golovin, who scored his first World Cup goal and registered two assists on his debut in the competition last time out against the Saudis.
The 5-0 pummelling on the opening day of the tournament saw Russia score more goals than they did in the entirety of the 2014 tournament in Brazil, where they notched just two in three group fixtures.
In fact, the 5-0 results now stands as the biggest victory by a host nation in an opening gmatch since Italy beat the United States 7-1 thrashing way back in 1934.
With a victory pushing this Russian team towards confirming qualification, the hosts will be well aware that they have failed to reach the knockout stage of the World Cup in three straight attempts during the 1994, 2002 and 2014 editions.
Competing as an autonomous nation as the Russian Federation, the country has never been able to win their second match of a World Cup group stage either. Observers would have to go back to the days of the USSR in 1982 when they defeated New Zealand 3-0 in the groups.
Here's a quick glimpse of some of the Russian stars taking in the surroundings of the Saint Petersburg Stadium a little earlier tonight...

Russia have a positive record when competing against African sides at this tournament. Russia are unbeaten against sides from the continent since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, with two wins and a draw to their name.
Fans will likely recall historic reports of the famous match against Cameroon in 1994, when Oleg Salenko scored five in a standout 6-1 over the Lions Indomptables. Current coach Cherchesov made his sole World Cup appearance in that game too, playing as a goalkeeper.
Coming onto Egypt... Without Salah on the pitch, a dogged Pharaohs side eventually lost out 1-0 to Uruguay in their opening game in the group, following a late header from centre-back Jose Gimenez.
Much of the talk in the press has surrounded Salah's fitness for this match. What a huge boost it is that he starts here tonight. A few reports had even stated in the run-up that Salah needed help from his team-mates to pull on his top during a training camp in Grozny recently.
Salah proved to be Egypt's top scorer in qualifying with five goals in five appearances for the Pharaohs. It is believed that the forward is still trying to shake off a lingering issue with the arm injury he picked up during the Champions League final. He does start, though!
What has been problematic for the nation over the years is a lack of goals at this tournament. Egypt last secured a World Cup goal in 1990, thanks to an effort from Magdy Adbelghani, who notched in a 1-1 draw against the Netherlands.
Egypt have not kept a World Cup clean sheet since that very same year when they drew with the Republic of Ireland in the group stages at the tournament in Italy.
Aside from Salah, Elneny, who plays his club football for Premier League side Arsenal, will be key to any success against Russia tonight. The midfielder put together 44 passes in the first game against Uruguay and became the country's leading pass-maker in a match at the competition.
These statistics just go to show just how important Salah can be. Egypt defended well against Uruguay but suffered from a lack of confidence and identity in the final third. This man will surely bring that...

Egyptian midfielder Elneny knows just how crucial three points are this evening. The Arsenal holding man had this to say in the build-up to the contest:

"We all believe that we're able to beat them. We realise that this is going to be a very tough game against a host nation supported by thousands of fans. We are well aware of that, but we have no option other than winning, which means we need to keep our calm and focus. In the match against Russia we will go for it because we want to stay here for as long as we can. To play in a World Cup and experience this atmosphere is a dream you hope will never end."

PREDICTION: Russia now expects qualification from the group and three points here would put the hosts on the brink. Golovin will likely be crucial again in making things tick in the final third, while Cheryshev will come into the starting XI full of confidence having impressed off the bench in the opener. Salah's return should now make this fixture a real contest with Egypt requiring something special to reach the knockout rounds. The Liverpool man should add some vital spark in the final third, but I still feel that Russia have just about enough quality to overcome the Pharaohs. I'm backing Russia to pinch three points with a slender 2-1 win.
Tonight brings rather different conditions from what we have seen in the tournament thus far. It's been raining for most of the day in Saint Petersburg, which should allow for some slick passing going forward. It's nowhere near as hot as it has been in different parts of the country either.
The players are now out on the pitch as we run through the respective national anthems. Play will be underway very shortly...
Here's a quick recap of the starting XIs too...

RUSSIA STARTING XI: Akinfeev; Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov; Gazinskiy, Zobnin; Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev; Dzyuba

EGYPT STARTING XI: Elshenawy; Fathy, Gabr, Hegazy, Abdelshafy; Elneny, Hamed; Salah, Elsaid, Treziguet; Mohsen

KICKOFF! Here we go then, it's Egypt who get us moving here in Saint Petersburg.
It's a fairly controlled start from Egypt who move the ball around the back, although Russia are quick on the press and almost scramble Dzyuba into space behind the defence, only for the final pass to be just a little overhit.
The Pharaohs are showing plenty of confidence in the opening stages, passing with vigour in the centre of midfield. Russia are allowing the visitors to come onto them here and look likely to be aiming for the counter.
SHOT! Egypt get pushed deep into their own box as Cheryshev shifts possession into Zobnin, who sees his effort deflected away for a corner. It's initially cleared, although a ball back into the middle is headed straight into the keeper's arms by Samedov.
CLOSE! You cannot allow this young man too much room. Egypt back off and Golovin winds up to bend a curling effort just a few inches wide of the far post with El-Shenawy left scrambling.
Russia now find themselves on the front foot and this crowd is already baying for blood. Golovin is dropping into some dangerous positions in the hold behind Dzyuba. Egypt look ruffled...
The hosts switch the ball brilliantly through Gazinskiy out to Fernandes on the right, who then sends a ball inside for Samedov. The midfielder crosses into the middle for Dzyuba, but Hegazi does well to cover.
Dzyuba offers a huge presence up top and it will take some efficient work from both Gabr and Hegazi to keep the frontman quiet. The pair do well this time as the striker tries to bring a Fernandes cross out of the air.
A first glimmer of danger from Egypt as El Said drops deep to turn a chipped ball over the top for the run of Salah, leaving Ignashevich to cover and make a strong challenge to intercept.
CLOSE! Oohs cry out from the Egyptian support as Trezeguet comes in off the wing to bend an effort towards the far post. Akinfeev is made to shuffle across just as the ball curls wide of the target.
Russia get a chance to turn a ball into the middle with a number of physical men rushing forward. El-Shenawy shows a cool head, though, coming off his line through the bodies to leap highest and claim the loose ball.
CLOSE! Almost another stunner from Cheryshev. Zhirkov's poor free kick hits the first man on the edge of the area, although Cheryshev follows up with a whipped effort that flies just a few inches over the crossbar.
The energy and endeavour early on here certainly belies the country's woeful form in the run-up to the World Cup. The hosts look lively and full of invention in the first 20 minutes in Saint Petersburg. Egypt have barely laid a glove.
CLOSE! It's wave after wave of Red attacks at the moment. This time play is stretched to the left where Gazinskiy is slipped in beyond the full-back. The midfielder crosses into the box for a leaping Dzyuba, who is just a fraction away from heading in on goal.
Salah finally gets in on the action when he collects the ball on the right before drifting into the central area just short of the box. The Liverpool man switches the ball into the feet of Trezeguet, but the winger's shot is blocked after he takes a touch too many.
CHANCE! Samedov finds room on the left channel now and he turns a ball into the middle for Dzyuba to battle for. Both Gabr and El-Shenawy rise for it, leaving the keeper to finally punch away with the big Russian lurking.
Egypt need to find an answer to all of this room being handed out on the left. It's Golovin who this time exploits the space to find a cross into the middle, although it's just a little too high even for Dzyuba to make something of.
Dzyuba has been the standout thus far for Russia. He's making intelligent runs, but also providing some efficient hold-up play when the ball is fired into him on the counter.
It's the turn of Fernandes to stretch the Egypt defence with a clever run off the right flank. Gazinskiy's long-ball is soon cut out at the vital moment by a retreating Shafy at left-back.
CLOSE! El Said finds a smidgen of space on the right channel and his cross into the middle is flicked on towards the back post. Salah appears to have scrambled free, only for full-back Zhirkov to recover and prevent what might just have been a tap-in for the Egyptian.
Fathy shows some promising ambition on the right flank and the full-back whips a testing cross into the box, leaving Mohsen to rise above his marker and head over the crossbar without testing a grateful Akinfeev.
Cheryshev is full of the joys of spring as he gallops into space down the left wing. The midfielder delivers a teasing ball towards the front post, but Dzyuba is nowhere to be seen and Gabr can clear.
Russia continue to be camped inside the Egypt half. The host nation have been totally dominant in the first 45 minutes and have shown plenty of endeavour to find a lead. Nothing doing just yet.
CLOSE! This is what he does best. Salah twists and turns on the edge of the area to shake off Zhirkov. The Egyptian eventually finds some room, only to see his bending effort drift wide of Akinfeev's far post.
Cherchesov will be very pleased with what he has seen so far. The Russians have dominated but just don't have the goal to show for it as yet. Salah has perhaps planted a few seeds of doubt with his movement going forward, though.
HALF TIME: RUSSIA 0-0 EGYPT
Not the worst of games to be fair, despite what the scoreline might just suggest. The host nation have dominated going forward but have been unable to carve out any clearcut chances. Russia are comfortable on the ball, although Egypt have stood firm and defended efficiently. We've perhaps lacked a bit of quality in both final thirds.
Salah has sought to change that, though, given his impressive movement and invention in the Egyptian attack. The forward has moved into positive positions and has given Akinfeev a few scares with two speculative efforts.
We just need a bit more quality from the Russians, who have shown plenty of industry and pace going forward, but moves have tended to break down at the crucial moments. Egypt will just want to hang in there and hope that Salah can inspire something special in the final third.
SECOND HALF! Russia kickstart the second period with a long ball straight into Dzyuba. No surprises there, then...
GOAL! RUSSIA 1-0 EGYPT (AHMED FATHY OWN GOAL)
Uh oh... Egypt fail to clear their lines properly as El-Shenawy punches poorly and Zobnin prods a tame shot back into the box. Somehow Fathy, while trying to hold off Dzyuba, deflects the ball off his knee and into the corner beyond a helpless El-Shenawy in the Egyptian goal.
El-Shenawy has chosen to punch all evening and he should just have caught the cross in the run-up to that goal. The keeper clears right into the path of Zobnin. The goal is completely unavoidable...
Egypt are going to have to open up now as they find themselves on the brink of being dumped out of the tournament early on.
Zhirkov gallops into space on the left wing and his cross in towards Dzyuba sees Hegazi move across to head clear. The Russians are enjoying this second half!
The problem for Egypt is that as they push forward, Russia have the likes of Golovin and Cheryshev read to exploit any of the gaps on show. The African nation face a very tall order to find a route back into this contest.
CHANCE! Egypt go long into the middle and Russia can only clear as far as Salah, who finds himself with space to shoot inside the area. The forward goes to pull the trigger but his shot is blocked with the goal almost gaping. What a chance to find a leveller for the Pharaohs.
Cheryshev finds yet more room on the left and is able to pick out a delivery into a dangerous area in the box, but Hegazi does well to stave off the pressure from Dzyuba and make a clearance.
GOAL! RUSSIA 2-0 EGYPT (DENIS CHERYSHEV)
A goal of real quality from Russia puts the hosts on the brink of reaching the knockouts. It's all about Fernandes who drives into space beyond his marker on the right side of the box and he then picks out a delightful cut-back into the path of Cheryshev, who opens his body and slides a finish past El-Shenawy first time.
GOAL! RUSSIA 3-0 EGYPT (ARTEM DZYUBA)
Two goals in three minutes and this is another peach from the Russians. It's a simple long ball into Dzyuba. The frontman brings the ball down on his touch, alludes the challenge of Fathy and rifles brilliantly beyond El-Shenawy to seal what should be an emphatic win for the hosts.
SUBSTITUTION: Egypt respond by taking Elneny off and bringing on another forward man in the shape of Warda.
What do Egypt do now? You get the feeling that if they search for a goal of their own they might just be put to the sword by Russia...
CHANCE! Russia go to sleep at the back and Salah almost has the chance to find a minor response, only to see his effort fly wide from just inside the area without testing Akinfeev.
PENALTY AWARDED THROUGH VAR!
RUSSIA 3-1 EGYPT (MOHAMED SALAH, PENALTY)
Zobnin has a hold of Salah as he brings him down and the referee at first thinks that it's outside of the area. VAR clearly shows that the foul occurs in the box and the referee overturn his initial decision. Salad then steps up to send a cool penalty straight down the middle to score his first ever World Cup goal.
Could the comeback be on here. Egypt think so as they pile men forward. Russia shift back and have themselves organised quickly...
Russia have certainly dropped deeper after the penalty and is inviting plenty of Egyptian pressure. Salah tries to trick his way into the box, but Kutepov holds firm.
Zobnin reads the game superbly in the middle to steal possession and setup a counter, although Golovin slows the passage of play down inside the box and cannot get his shot away.
What a victory this could be for Russia. The hosts might just be heading into their toughest fixture with Uruguay knowing that a positive result might not even be required to send them into the next round.
Egypt are still giving a good go of this after the penalty appears to have inspired them. It's all a bit route one for now and Ignashevich can hoof clear.
El Said is doing his best to drive his team forward down the channel, but this time Fernandes is across to cover and see out the danger.
Russia seek to profit on the break as Golovin sets Samedov away down the right, although he is soon thwarted by a retreating Shafy.
We are going to have four minutes of additional time here in Saint Petersburg. It might just be a party city tonight...
Still nothing giving for Egypt who are now throwing the kitchen sink. Kutepov stands tall again to make things count and produces another strong clearance. He has been immense at the back here.
FULL TIME: RUSSIA 3-1 EGYPT
A wonderful night then for the Russians, who now stand as pretty certain favourites to reach the knockout stages. They may not even need a positive result in their last game against Uruguay to achieve that. The hosts were deserved winners and turned in an adventurous second-half showing to secure all three points. Egypt were second best throughout the contest and not even the brilliance of Salah could save them. That's going to be it from me tonight, thanks for joining us!
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3Leicester CityLeicester29165858283053
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool29271166214582
2Manchester CityMan City28183768313757
3Leicester CityLeicester29165858283053
4Chelsea29146951391248
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd29129844301445
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves29101364134743
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd28111073025543
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs29118104740741
9Arsenal2891364036440
10Burnley29116123440-639
11Crystal Palace29109102632-639
12Everton29107123746-937
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2998122541-1635
14Southampton29104153552-1734
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton29611123240-829
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham2976163550-1527
17Watford2969142744-1727
18Bournemouth2976162947-1827
19Aston Villa2874173456-2225
20Norwich CityNorwich2956182552-2721
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