Mohammed Salah made his first start of the FIFA World Cup on Tuesday and even marked it with a goal, but it was not enough to prevent Egypt from losing to hosts Russia and consequently crashing out of the tournament.
After a goalless first 45 minutes during which Egypt were the livelier side but were clearly nervous in front of goal, the game burst into life in the most fortuitous of manners from the hosts, Captain Ahmed Fathi deflecting a shot into his own net two minutes into the second half. It was the fifth own goal of the tournament in just six match days.
Denis Cheryshev doubled the Russians’ advantage in the 59th minute, tucking in a neat cutback from Mario Fernandez beyond the reach of Mohamed El Shenawi in Egypt’s goal.
Two became three for Russia just three minutes later. Artem Dzyuba brilliantly chested down Ilya Kutepov’s long, long ball from deep back in his own half, and took another deft control with his right foot to take the ball past defender Ali Gabr before slickly placing it into El Shenawi’s net.
Mohammed Salah pulled one back for the North Africans from the penalty spot in the 73rd minute but the game had already been decided by then.
Three goals to one it finished, and Africa’s casualty from Russia is now known.