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Egypt crash out of World Cup

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Mohamed Salah’s solitary goal from the spot was scant consolation for Egypt who were defeated 3-1 by host nation, Russia, to crash out of the World Cup.

On a day Africa recorded her first win of Russia 2018 through Senegal, Egypt were dumped out of the tournament following goals from Artem Dzyuba, Denis Cheryshev and an own goal by Ahmed Fathi.

A vociferous Russian crowd buoyed the Russian players to put pressure on Egypt and they responded with two chances in the first five minutes, Sergei Ignashevich’s header saved from a corner kick, while Golovin dragged his shot just wide after Russia stole the ball deep in Egypt’s territory.

In an end-to-end opening 15 minutes, Salah was denied by some last-gasp defending but Egypt fashioned their best chance through Mahmoud Trezeguet, the winger curling just wide from inside the penalty area. Miscommunication between Hegazi and ‘keeper El Shenawy nearly allowed Dzyuba a look-in from a Cheryshev cross, but the ‘keeper recovered to smother any opportunity. Minutes later at the other end, Salah was prevented from getting onto Shafy’s cross by a last-gasp Yuri Zhirkov block at the back post, while striker, Mohsen, headed wide from another deep cross.

Salah had been mostly quiet all half and with the lowest number of touches, but he almost gave The Pharaohs an unlikely lead four minutes from the break when he picked up the ball from Mohsen’s dummy pass, got on his preferred left foot and curled just wide to the despair of the Egyptians.

Russia started the second half same way they did the first, and The Sbornaya took the lead three minutes in through an own goal by Egypt captain, Ahmed Fathi. ‘Keeper El Shenawy chose to punch Golovin’s cross and it fell for Zobnin to lash a shot which was diverted into the net by Fathi’s knee while trying to clear the shot, making it a fifth own goal of Russia 2018, and the third by an African nation in this Mundial. Salah should have equalized on 55 minutes when a deep cross was deflected onto his feet but his shot was charged down.

Russia doubled the lead on the hour through Denis Cheryshev who scored his third goal of the tournament. The Villareal midfielder side footed home a Manuel Fernandes’ cross to give Russia a comfortable lead.

The Soviet nation, who were not given a chance of qualifying from the group by bookmakers, made it 3-0 two minutes later with their eight goal in two matches with a target man’s perfect goal from Artem Dzyuba. The former Zenit St. Petersburg striker controlled a long ball with his chest and touched it beyond Ali Gabr before side footing home beyond El Shenawy for his 13th international goal.

Egypt continued to plough on and Mohamed Salah won a VAR-awarded penalty when he was dragged down just inside the box as he tried to latch onto a pass. The Liverpool and EPL player of the season picked himself up to blast it beyond Igor Akinfeev on 73 minutes for Egypt’s first goal of the tournament, and the 26-year old’s first ever World Cup goal.

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