World Cup 2018

World Cup 2018: Russia v Egypt – as it happened

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “World Cup 2018: Russia v Egypt – as it happened” was written by Paul Doyle, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 19th June 2018 20.00 UTC

Full-time: Russia 3-1 Egypt

The hosts rack up their second victory in a row and only something freakish can stop them from reaching the next round now. They deserved this win even if the critical breakthrough came courtesy of a lot of luck, an own goal by Fathi. Egypt were also cursed by Salah’s shoulder injury: he was said to be fit enough to start and he did his best but he was clearly still hampered by the injury he suffered in the Champions League final. That did not stop him from scoring but by then it was too late. Russia may not be teeming with ingenuity but they do have some dinky players – Zobnin was particularly impressive in midfield today – and play with great vibrancy. And they’ve scored eight goals in two matches. They won’t be easy opponents for anyone. Egypt, meanwhile, look certain to be eliminated by at least they could register their first ever World Cup win when they face Saudi Arabia in their last game.

Amr Warda oh Egypt is consoled by Sergey Ignashevich of Russia.
Amr Warda oh Egypt is consoled by Sergey Ignashevich of Russia. Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

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90+3 min: Hamed tries a bang from distance. It doesn’t even make it into the box. It’s not going to happened for Egypt. The Russian crowd are preparing for a party …

90+1 min: Egypt have at least three more minutes in which to produce a miracle.

90 min: Egypt continue to pour forward. Salah is at the hub of all their moves even though he’s clearly not fully fit. Warda tries to set up a grandstand finish by blasting into the net from the edge of the box. But he bogs it way wide.

88 min: A splendid tackle by Hamed on Samedox saves Egypt – the Russian was about to shoot from close range.

87 min: Warda fires in a dangerous cross after more positive play by Egypt. The cross is cleared. But the way Egypt have played since going 3-0 down reinforces the wish that Cuper had been more bold from the start of this tournament.

Russia substitution: Kudriashov on, Zhirkov off

83 min: Egypt are pushing hard for another goal. But Russia are defending well and the threat of a counter-attack is always there.

Egypt substitution: Kahraba on, Mohsen off.

80 min: Superb tackle by Zobnin on Fathi deep in his own territory. It lays the ground for another Russia raid and they hurtle forward with venom. But they stop short of shooting when they get to the Egyptian box, preferring to retain possession.

78 min: Egypt appeal for another penalty as Mohsen goes down in the box under pressure from Kutepov. This time the ref gets it right, waving away the pleas because it was Mohsen who grabbed the defender’s shirt first.

77 min: Golovin traps the ball beautifully and then nudges it past Gabr and goes down in search of a freekick. The ref isn’t buying it.

75 min: Samedov sends a freekick from the right beyond the back post. Ignashevich hads goalward. But Elshenawy saves.

Russia substitution: Kuziaev on, Cheryshev off.

GOAL! Russia 3-1 Egypt (Salah pen 73)

Salah has made his mark on this World Cup! A fine penalty, hammered high into the net. But it’s too late for Egypt. Or is it?

Salah scores.
Salah scores. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

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72 min: Salah is fouled in the box after a one-two with Sobhi, his arm pulled back. The ref blows … and awards freekick outside the area! It’s clearly inside and VAR will surely confirm that. It does! Salah will seek to do justice from the spot …

Salah goes down in the box.
Salah goes down in the box. Photograph: Michael Dalder/Reuters
The decision is referred to VAR.
The decision is referred to VAR. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

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70 min: Said spanks a 25-yard shot high over the bar.

69 min: Ignashevich is caught out at the back but Salah reprieves him by failing to get the ball under control. He really hasn’t been himself today and it’s a darned shame.

Egypt substitution: Sobhi on, Trezeguet off.

67 min: Salah slips a nice pass to Trezeguet, who essays a dainty sidefooter from the edge of the area. It’s a fine efforts but goes a yard wide.

65 min: The result seems certain now but that doesn’t mean there’s no more intrigue: the big remaining question is whether Igor Akinfeev, who went 11 years without keeping a clean sheet in the Champions League, can keep consecutive clean sheets in the World Cup?

Egypt substitution: Warda on, Elneny off.

63 min: Egypt try to salvage some pride, sending a long freekick into the Russian box. Gabr heads wide from 16 yards.

GOAL! Russia 3-0 Egypt (Dzyuba 61)

What a goal! The hosts are on easy street now. The big striker took a long punt down on his chest at the edge of the area, turned and walloped a low shot into the net. Brilliant targetman play!

Russia’s Artem Dzyuba slams home their third goal.
Russia’s Artem Dzyuba slams home their third goal. Photograph: Pilar Olivares/Reuters
Dzyuba celebrates.
Dzyuba celebrates. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

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GOAL! Russia 2-0 Egypt (Cheryshev 58)

Now that’s a fine goal! Fernandes made it with a burst down the right, a clever shimmy and a nice pull back. Cheryshev sidefoots it low into the net from seven yards. The Pharaoahs are going to need a wonder of the world to recover from here.

Denis Cheryshev makes it 2-0.
Denis Cheryshev makes it 2-0. Photograph: Michael Dalder/Reuters
Delight for Cheryshev.
Delight for Cheryshev. Photograph: Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images

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55 min: Trezeguet flicks a header on to Salah about 15 yards out. Salah’s first touch isn’t as sharp as it might have been, and his second is a shot that’s blocked. Russia clear the ensuing corner under duress. Salah isn’t quite himself today. He seems hesitant and seem unsure his shoulder can withstand serious contact or even sudden twists. It’s a real pity.

53 min: Gabr neads a Zhirkov cross behind at the near post. Samedov delivers the corner. Egypt head it out for another one. Samedov delivers again, and this time Egypt clear well.

51 min: Trezeguet turns sharply past Fernandes on the right and scoots towards the byline. But then he mis-hits his cross.

48 min: Looking back at the goal, it’s clear that Elshenaway could have avoided it if he had caught the cross rather than punched it. It was at a convenient height and not especially hard. As for Fathi, he was off-balance after stepping in front of Dzyuba, which is why he ended up diverting the ball the wrong way.

GOAL! Russia 1-0 Egypt (Fathi og 47)

Russia have the lead thanks to a monumental fluke! Elshenawy punched away a cross from the right. Zobnin tried to sent it back towards goal from 25 yards but he miscued his shot, which starts veering wide. Fathi tries to welly it back upfield but, under pressure from Dzyuba, he shanks it backwards into his own goal! It’s a catastrophe for the defender but Russia’s don’t care: they and their fans celebrate deliriously!

Egypt’s defender Ahmed Fathi (R) deflects the ball into his own net.
Egypt’s defender Ahmed Fathi (R) deflects the ball into his own net. Photograph: Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images
Artem Dzyuba and Roman Zobnin of Russia celebrate the goal.
Artem Dzyuba and Roman Zobnin of Russia celebrate the goal. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Fathy of Egypt looks dejected.
Fathy of Egypt looks dejected. Photograph: Kieran McManus/BPI/REX/Shutterstock

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46 min: Within second of the resumption, Trezeguet collapses after being caught accidentally by Dzyuba’s flailing arm as he challenged for an aerial ball. No serious harm done, though.

Half-time: Russia 0-0 Egypt

That was an entertaining first half, frenetic and very open. Both teams have attacked at every opportunity and although there’s been a lack of ingenuity and also of really clear chances, it’s been kind of gripping. And it can only get better in the second period because both teams could do with the win: Russia won’t be particularly keen on going into their final game needing a result against Uruguay, with Egypt to face Saudi Arabia. Salah has not been playing at full throttle but has looked dangerous on a couple of occasions.

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42 min: Abdelshafy fizzes a low pass to Salah at the edge of the area. Pestered by Zhirkov, he swivels and sweeps a left-footed shot just wide!

Egypt’s Mohamed Salah shoots at goal.
Egypt’s Mohamed Salah shoots at goal. Photograph: Michael Dalder/Reuters

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41 min: Samedov curls another corner towards Dzyuba, who wins the header but can’t direct it on to the target.

39 min: Russia attack .. until one of their passes in midfield hits the referee and rebounds to … Salah! He immediately started zooming forward as Russians charge hastily back. Salah then offloads and the move concludes with Elneny floating a cross towards Mohsen, whose soft header is easily saved.

36 min: Gazinskii drifts a deep cross from the right towards Dzyuba. Elshenawy takes command of the situation, striding off his line and catching before the striker even jumped. Then he flings the ball out to Salah … who gives it away.

34 min: Fathi sends over a cross from the right. Mohsen jumps above Fernandez at the far post and nuts it it a couple of yards over.

33 min: Dangerous build-up by Egypt. Abdelshafy curls in a delightful cross from the left with the outside of his right boot. It gets flicked on near the penalty spot. Salah is lurking at the back post! But Zhirkov dives in front of him and makes a crucial intervention to save Russia!

30 min: Egypt appear to have switched to a 4-4-2, with Salah playing alongside Mohsen up front. That’s presumably in recognition of the fact that he can’t defend – possibly because he’s not fully fit – and Egypt need a goal.

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28 min: Salah harrasses Zhirkov into coughing up the ball near his own box. Then Salah puts in a decent cross. But it’s headed away by Ignashevich. Then RUssian raid forward, with Golovin pulling the strings. Elshenawy gathers anotehr cross from the left. This is a pleasingly fast-paced and open tussle.

Russia’s Artem Dzyuba in action with Egypt’s Mohamed Elneny and Ali Gabr.
Russia’s Artem Dzyuba in action with Egypt’s Mohamed Elneny and Ali Gabr. Photograph: Michael Dalder/Reuters

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26 min: Another Russian cross from the left causes panic in the Egyptian boz. Hegazi heads it away , and then Elshenawy saves the follow-up effort. Most of Russia’s attack are coming down the left, with Salah offering no support to his defence.

25 min: Salah receives the ball just outside the box, to the left. We’ve seen him curl many shots into the top corner from similar positions … but this time he decides to pass, teeing up Trezeguet on the far side. Trezeguet takes a needless touch and his shot is charged down.

Trezeguet reacts with dismay.
Trezeguet reacts with dismay. Photograph: Jamie Squire – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

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23 min: Following a slick Russian move down the left, Gazinskii swings over a testing cross. Dzyuba jumps to try to meet it but can only get a single hair on his head to it. He rose high above the defenders, though, so you can be sure Russian will keep trying to find him.

21 min: Salah is muscled off the ball and doesn’t bother chasing back as Russia try to build another attack. He’s not contributing anything defensively, hanging high on the right and saving himself for Egyptian attacks. “My son is teaching himself keys and practising with some favourite tunes,” announces Gary Naylor. “One of his regulars is the Russian National Anthem which, though magnificent in every sense, is slightly scary to hear from behind a bedroom door.” Relax, Gary, there are far worse sounds a boy could be making behind his bedroom door.

18 min: Russia’s turn to attack. A freekick is half-cleared but Cheryshev retrieves it and has a bang from over 20 yards. It flies over the bar.

16 min: Trezeguet meanders into the left-hand side of the Russian box and then tries to reprise Norman Whiteside’s winning goal from the 1985 FA Cup final. But his attempted curler into the far corner floats wide. Nonetheless, it’s been an encouraging couple of minutes rom Egypt, who’ve responded well to the Russian pressure. This tit-for-tat attacking is making for a fun spectacle.

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15 min: Egypt corner. Said curls it in. Mohsen meets it at the near post and flicks a downward header … inches wide! Gasps from the home fans, followed by cheers of relief.

13 min: Salah nutmegs Zobnin wide on the right – and a nation swoons! Then he tries to play a give-and-go at the edge of the area with Elneny, but Russia were wise to his scheming and cut out the return pass.

12 min: The early pattern is no more: it’s all Russia now and most of their play is in the Egyptian half. It’s all making the Pharaohs defenders quite jittery. They could do with a spell of possession upfield again.

Russia attack a cross.
Russia attack a cross. Photograph: Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images

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10 min: Salah harries the Russian defenders, forcing them into a quick clearance. That’s about all he’s been able to do so far: he’s hardly touched the ball.

8 min: Egypt must face another setpiece. Samedov pings in a freekick from the right. Mohsen does well to head it clear, the striker helping out his defence.

7 min: Egypt give the ball away sloppily again – this Elneny is the culprit. Golovin hurtles forward intent on punishing them, but he drags his shot wide from 20 yards.

6 min: Samedov takes a short corner on the right and gets it back. Then he curls the ball towards the penalty spot. Ignashevich gets his head to it and sends his effort on target. But Elshenawy makes a comfortable save.

4 min: The early pattern has been: Egyptian possession, Russian deep defending and waiting for chances to counter.

2 min: After steady passing in their own half, Trezeguet gives the ball away with a wild crossfield passed. Cheryshev intercepts and theads it immediately through to Dzyuba, who fails to get it under control. Otherwise he would have been in on goal. A serious let-off for Egypt.

Russia’s forward Artem Dzyuba tries to bring down the ball.
Russia’s forward Artem Dzyuba tries to bring down the ball. Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

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1 min: Three, two, one … we have kickoff! Egypt, wearing white shirts, black shorts and white socks, get the game underway. They have 90 minutes to keep their World Cup alive.

OK, the Egyptians are definitely outnumbered: the rendition of the Russian anthem has confirmed that. Hair-raising, almost roof-raising stuff. Still think Egypt will win, mind…

Alexander Samedov of Russia sprays water to refresh prior to the match.
Alexander Samedov of Russia sprays water to refresh prior to the match. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

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The Egyptian anthem receives loud and euphoric accompaniment from their fans, of whom there seems to be very, very many in the stadium. Ten thousand was their official allocation but they sound more numerous. Is that a tear in Salah’s eye?

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Here come the teams, marching steely-eyed into a humungous din. There are no Senegalese dancers (obviously) but the atmosphere seems superb, all the same. And now all please rise for the anthems …

Mo Salah, far right, in the Egypt line-up.
Mo Salah, far right, in the Egypt line-up. Photograph: Lee Smith/Reuters

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While we wait for kickoff here, let’s see whether you’ve been as eager to learn from this World Cup as some keen-eyed Guardian scribes have. Here’s no fewer than 10 things they’ve learned so far (none from me, I’m incorrigible):

“I’m hoping Salah has a bit of this on his headphones,” toots Miles Oshi. That’s definitely the vibe he had as he ambled into the ground …

Dzuba’s inclusion, by the way, is interesting. He didn’t start in Russia’s first match and has been drafted in here presumably because of his aerial power (and because he scored after being introduced from the bench against Uruguay). Egypt are strong efensively except in one aspect: they have been strangely and persistently vulnerable from setpieces for the last couple of years and, of course, Uruguay’s goal in the first game came from a header following a freekick. Dzuba is 6ft4in and will presumably hope to exploit that curious failing.

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The BBC has just shown footage of Salah alighting from Egypt’s team bus and strolling into the stadium looking as relaxed as you please. He’s got headphones on and I’d like to think he’s listening to some of those fun chants invented in his honour. But judging by his mellow demeanour, he’s opted instead for the sound of a mountain brook or trees swaying in a summer breeze. He’s in for a surprise when he takes the ‘phone off – but maybe a pleasant one, because there are plenty of Egyptian in the crowd, perhaps around a third of the 64,500.

Let’s remind ourselves what Russia’s striker Artem Dzuba had to say yesterday about the prospect of Salah being unleashed today. ““Let him play if he is fit, he will make Egypt more dangerous, everyone knows his value if he participated in any game. Salah alone will not be able to push Egypt forward, Ronaldo did it with Portugal when he scored three goals, but he remains Ronaldo and few players are like him.” A reasonable point, to be fair, but for the purposes of needlessly adding hype to an already GIGANTIC game, let’s say he has DISSED Salah and to be given what for pronto. It’s on!

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Teams

Russia: Akinfeev; Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov; Gazinskiy, Zobnin; Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev; Dzuba

Subs: Semenov, Kuzyaev, Smolov, Lunev, Kudryashov, Granat, Al Miranchuk, An Miranchuk, Gabulov, Erokhin, Smolnikov

Egypt: El Shenawy; Fathi, Hegazi, Gabr, Shafy; Elneny, Hamed; Salah, El-Said, Trezeguet; Mohsen

Subs: El Hadary, Ekramy, Samir, Ashraf, Morsy, Gaber, Elmohamady, El-Wensh, Shikabala, Warda, Kahraba, Sobhi

Referee: E Caceres (Paraguay)

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Preamble

Hello and welcome to the first second match of the tournament: Russia won their opener and will secure a place in the next round if they win again today. But the hosts are certain to find Egypt, who were beaten by a late Uruguayan goal in their opening game, more challenging opponents than Saudi Arabia, whose contribution to this World Cup so far has been to make the 179 countries who aren’t here feel better or more bitter. The Russian task is sure to be all the tougher given that defeat for the Pharaohs would almost definitely equate to elimination.

Saudi Arabia’s awfulness made it hard to gauge the quality of this Russia side but some thing seem clear: Aleksandr Golovin is a lovely creator and Denis Cheryshev has a potent left foot. But since Egypt subdued Uruguay for almost 90 minutes, they will be confident of containing the Russian threats, especially as Alan Dzagoev has not recovered from the hamstring injury he suffered against the Saudis. Egypt must do more than contain, of course, and their problem in the first match was a lack of sharpness up front. There is a two-word solution to that: Mo Salah. And he starts! His shoulder is healed! In a sense, then, this is Egypt’s first match of the tournament, and they’ll be looking to their King to inspire their first win. It’s on!

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