Salah returns but Egypt lose 3-1

A needless punch from goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawy led to a horror own goal from Ahmed Fathi in the 47th minute.

Wonder kid Cherrychev added a second for the host on the night, his personal third in the tournament before Dzyuba ended any Egyptian hope of a revival.

Russian Federation also had three players in the top 10 for distance covered from the opening round of matches, with the 7.9 miles by midfielder Aleksandr Golovin leading the way.

Following the result, reports surfaced that the country's showing in their first two games had caused conflict between the players, staff and the fans watching at home.

Egypt face Saudi Arabia in their final group game on Monday but will need their next opponents to beat Uruguay tomorrow to stand any chance of progressing to the knockout stages. But that will be a tall order.

"He is an exceptional player, but not a world-class football star".

"They can not concede if they want to get results too, so for me the match against Egypt is the crucial one of the group".

He hardly reacted to Russia's opener, an own-goal.

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Russia's forward Artem Dzyuba (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring during the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup Group A football match between Russian Federation and Egypt at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on June 19, 2018.

"It's hard to say what would have happened if he was on top form but I always say that behind one or two brilliant players there has to be a team". Even then, they would need a higher goal differential than Saudi Arabia and Uruguay to qualify as second in the group.

"With the ball, without the ball, he can dribble, he can attack spaces behind defenders".

The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system proved its worth to give Egypt a glimmer of hope when referee Enrique Caceres had initially awarded a foul outside the box rather than a penalty when Salah was pulled by Zhirkov.

"The most important thing is we won".

"We had a good first half but then we had 10-15 really bad minutes and that's why we lost".

"Whether I should stay or not does not depend on me and we still have another match. It's hard to say this but in a World Cup you have to wait until the very last minute, although it's true that our chances are minimal".

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