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Russian Federation on brink of last 16, joy for Africa, history for Salah

Russian Federation on brink of last 16, joy for Africa, history for Salah

His presence in the starting line-up after sitting out Friday's 1-0 defeat to Uruguay provoked a feverish excitement from the thousands of Egyptian fans that poured into the 65,000-capacity Saint Petersburg stadium to nearly even up the numbers in the stands with the hosts.

Russian Federation striker Artem Dzyuba says his side are "madly happy" after a second straight impressive performance at the 2018 World Cup on Tuesday.

Mo Salah, who was included from the start, pulled a goal back from the penalty spot with 17 minutes left, but it will take an unlikely series of results to prevent the hosts from progressing while Egypt's tournament is probably over after two straight defeats.

Aleksandr Golovin was the star of the 5-0 defeat of Saudi Arabia and he was once more impressive against Egypt in St Petersburg, and again he was joined by Cheryshev, who certainly knows how to arrive into the box at the right time.

The Egyptian Football Federation (EFA) laid that decision exclusively at Cuper's door, maintaining the 26-year-old was fit to face Uruguay but deemed not ready for the risk.

Egypt weathered the storm, though, and Trezeguet very almost took advantage of the extra space created by Salah's presence when he curled just wide from the edge of the box.

Egypt's Argentine coach Hector Cuper said on Monday Salah was fit to play but would undergo a test before kick-off in Saint Petersburg.




Meanwhile, Mohamed El-Shennawy has kept his place in the starting lineup after a MOTM performance against Uruguay, and Tarek Hamed will also start despite picking up an injury in Egypt's World Cup opener.

Salah stepped up himself, of course, and blasted his effort down the middle, and while he does at least now have a World Cup goal to his name, he will be left to rue that it could have been so much more.

The hosts face the north Africans in St Petersburg on Tuesday and defeat would nearly certainly condemn Egypt to an early exit. But for a large majority of the game, the Egyptian king seemed to have lost his sceptre of influence.

Russian Federation will finish group play on Monday against Uruguay in Samara, while Egypt will finish against Saudi Arabia that same day in Volgograd. As Grzegorz Krychowiak, whose back pass led to the second goal, headed Poland's only goal in the 86th minute.

Russia's head coach Stanislav Cherchesov, a former goalkeeper, made his sole World Cup appearance in that game. Egypt lost their first match against Uruguay and they will now look to fix their campaign.

Salah scored 44 goals in a remarkable debut season at Liverpool.

Poland have now failed to keep a clean sheet in their last nine World Cup games, since beating Portugal 1-0 in 1986, and have won just one of their seven opening games at World Cup tournaments, with their last being a 3-2 win over Argentina in 1974.