Russia have all but secured their spot in the knockout phase of the World Cup as they prevailed 3-1 winners over a disappointing Egypt side.
Goals from Denis Cheryshev, Artyom Dzyuba alongside an own goal from Egypt captain Ahmed Fathy were enough as Salah got a consolation from the penalty spot for The Pharaohs. Russia proved that they were no soft touch as they continued the fine tradition of a host nation doing well in their own competition.
The main talking point before the game was the return of the ‘Egyptian King’ Mohammed Salah, but even his return wasn’t enough as Russia ran out comfortable winners in St Petersburg.
Both teams had half chances in the first half but were unable to get past Igor Akinfeev or Mohamed El-Shenawy in their respective nets, Salah, as expected, showed flashes of brilliance but was incapable of putting his side in front.
Russia eventually took the lead two minutes into the second half in fortunate circumstances as Egypt captain Fathy put the ball in his own net. There was nothing fortunate about their next two goals, however, first Denis Cheryshev who received a pass after a lovely turn from Mario Fernandes slotted to double his sides lead and draw level with Cristiano Ronaldo as the leading scorer in the tournament so far.
Artem Dzyuba added his countries third just after the hour mark, the big man was able to control the ball skillfully and score expertly to put the score beyond any doubt. Salah who has been a source of happiness for so many last season was only able to score a consolation for his country from the penalty spot.
Russia have now made the best start of any host nation in world cup history after a 5-0, and 3-1 victory giving them a +7-goal difference. Uruguay take on Saudi Arabia tomorrow and will be heavy favourites for that game, the rest of the group looks to be a formality.