Mohamed Salah scored from the spot on his World Cup debut, but Egypt are on the verge of an early exit following a 3-1 defeat to Russia.
Mohamed Salah’s penalty failed to save Egypt as World Cup hosts Russia all-but secured progression from Group A with a comprehensive 3-1 win in St Petersburg.
Making his first appearance since going off injured in the Champions League final on May 26, Salah was often on the periphery at the Krestovsky Stadium, but still managed to mark his World Cup debut with a consolation on 73 minutes.
However, the damage had already been done in a 15-minute blitz from Russia early in the second half, Ahmed Fathy’s own-goal opening the floodgates.
Russia took full advantage of the moment of good fortune, Denis Cheryshev and Artem Dzyuba netting in the space of three minutes to put Russia in complete control.
Despite his struggles, Salah was rewarded for his resilience when he was fouled by Roman Zobnin – VAR overturning the referee’s initial decision to award a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area.
The Liverpool star duly converted from the spot but it could not be enough to kick-start a comeback, and while Russia’s place in the last 16 will be confirmed should Uruguay beat Saudi Arabia, Egypt look set to fall out at the first hurdle.
Russia wasted no time in carrying on where they left off against Saudi Arabia – Sergei Ignashevich heading at Mohamed El-Shenawy before Aleksandr Golovin fired wide.
Egypt weathered the storm, though, and Trezeguet very nearly took advantage of the extra space created by Salah’s presence when he curled just wide from the edge of the box.
Cheryshev went close to taking his tally for the tournament to three moments later, but El-Shenawy ensured the winger’s strike did not dip in under the crossbar.
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