The Pharaohs of Egypt, one of Africans representatives at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, on Tuesday lost 1-3 to hosts Russia, leaving them on the verge of elimination from the tournament.
Despite the return of star forward Mohamed Salah from injury, the Egyptian frontline was blunt while their defence was in shambles, especially in the second half when they completely disintegrated.
The first half began on a positive note for the Africans as they began to assert their presence early in the game. However, the Russians gradually forced themselves into the game and the first half ended on even honours for both side.
Egyptian defender, Ahmed Fathi, turned the ball into his own net just two minutes after the game’s restart in the second half.
Denis Cheryshev doubled the hosts’ lead with a sidefoot finish in the 59th minute, while Artem Dzyuba brought down the ball with his chest in the box, skillfully evading defender Ahmed Hegazy, and struck a powerful shot past goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawi in the 62nd minute to give Russia a commanding lead.
Salah converted a VAR-awarded penalty in the 73rd minute to give Egypt a slight hope of coming back, but it proved to be a mere consolation for the North African team as they are now in danger of being eliminated from the competition.
The result leaves Egypt rooted to the bottom of Group A with zero points from two games, while Russia are surely set to qualify for the second round having picked six points from three games and comfortably topping the group.
If Uruguay, who defeated Egypt in their first match, go on to win against Saudi Arabia, the North Africans alongside the Saudis will be the first teams to have their elimination from the tournament confirmed.