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From the moment Roman Torres lit an inferno to lead his country to the World Cup, Panama have represented the competition’s most extreme danger. Not to England, particularly, who should win comfortably tomorrow to avert the ignominy of what would be the greatest embarrassment in our nation’s sporting history. But to those seeking to avoid the habitual tendency to patronise smaller nations, pouring praise with the underlying hint that – really – they are just pleased to be there. In Panama’s case, no matter which angle is explored, there is an inescapable conclusion everything they achieve in Russia is a bonus. In Nizhny Novgorod, they can share England’s ambition over the course of 90 minutes, but the vast gulf in resources and infrastructure means Panama are yearning far more than three group points. Many of their squad are playing for a sustainable livelihood. They are playing for the financial security of their league, and to attract investment to improve facilities. They are playing to retain the hearts and minds of a population which, temporarily at least, has relegated the status of boxing and baseball below football. They are playing to establish a country’s identity. Panama players gather in a circle at the end of their fist World Cup 2018 match against Belgium. They lost 3-0. Credit: Victor R. Caivano / AP Ramon Cordoze, the Vice-President of Panama’s Football Federation, accepts the compliments for his fledgling football nation’s feat reaching the World Cup, but feels it must be put into even greater perspective. “People say this is the first time we have been to a World Cup but you must remember we have only been trying since 1978,” he says. “To get from where we were as a football nation to the World Cup in 40 years is not so long. “This year the domestic league celebrated what is only its 30th anniversary. “When I started working for the federation in 1996 we had no pitches. There were no sponsors. Our league was not professional. Even now it is difficult to work with the clubs because there are not enough pitches, so it is complicated. “The club where Roman Torres, the emblem of our football nation, played – Chepo – does not even exist now. "Our main source of revenue remains sponsorship. We had to find support for young players and establish sides from U13s through to the senior team. test - do not delete “All our players come from difficult backgrounds, from areas where people do not have a lot of money. But the majority of them now play in other countries and can earn a good life. The money they have earned from football has brought stability to their life. “Life would be very difficult for them without football. The Panama league is not recognised by the leagues in South America or in Europe, so for a Panama player to succeed there must be sacrifices and they have made them to get to where they are today. A player will have to go to another of those countries to impress. Mainly Panama players have been exported – usually to Columbia but also Mexico and USA. “The Panamanians are talented, they are enthusiastic and they have desire. They will work to get to the highest level, but it is our ambition to continue to develop our own clubs and league. “We hope this qualification is the start for us but we need to work on our domestic league and help the players continue their professionalism so they are at the level needed to play in Europe.” The Panama squad were given a Presidential send-off before they left for Russia. Head coach Hernan Dario Gomez (2-L) and players (L) Roman Torres, Felipe Baloy (3-L), Blas Perez (3-R), Gabriel Gomez (2-R) and Luis Tejada pose with Panama's President Juan Carlos Varela (centre) Credit: STRSTR/AFP/Getty Images The more Cordoze explains the obstacles, and how little time and money his federation has had to overcome them, the more extraordinary Panama’s accomplishment. Yet it could have been done earlier. “We were three minutes from reaching our ambition of a World Cup in Brazil in 2014. This time we managed it in the final three minutes of qualification,” he says, referencing Torres’ famed winner against Costa Rica in the CONCACAF qualifiers – relegating the United States to spectators this summer. “That is a day that will be remembered in Panama history,” adds Cordoze, the Panama government’s former Minister of Sport. “But this is not the first time these players have achieved something new for our country. In 2003 we qualified for the U20 World Cup. It was at a time when we were able to get more sponsors and that gave us an important base. Qualifying for that World Cup was a really important step. Since then we have been to five Under 20 World Cups and two Under 17 World Cups. Today we are able to support players from Under 13 through to the national team. That was impossible 20 years ago. World Cup 2018 squads: Home-based players “A lot of the players who had this success are now part of this squad. They have grown together. There is a lot of loyalty to the players who have been committed to the national team for so long. “Maybe some of them are older, but we also have young players introduced into the group – some from the World Cup of U20 in 2015. So we do have a mix because it is important to look to the future, also. “Now I see players becoming more professional, their attitude much better. They are more competitive and want to be professional players. The economic status of the federation has also improved. “Our national team now has an identity, that is the best change of all. We have become a positive symbol for the country. There was desperation in Panama for the World Cup kit – everyone was asking where and when they could get the shirt. “There is a pride in that jersey that was not always there. It is because of this group of players the love for football in Panama has grown, particularly over the last five years.” Team strength by category - World Cup forecaster No national anthem is quickening the pulse of its players more, nor being received more emotionally. One of those who contributed to qualifying but did not make the final squad, striker Roberto Nurse, testifies to the patriotic pull of a World Cup. “Football has the power to make the feelings in a country better,” he said. “People always ask us if there are some poor places in Panama. Yes, it is true, but many areas in central and South America have these problems. “I believe everybody in a society comes together when they have pride in their national football team. The people, the police, politicians – everyone senses an improvement in personality and in their mind because they are all behind the same feeling. Football has this power. This is of such amazing importance.” How the World Cup’s most valuable squads compare England, perceived as the wealthiest nation and home to so many pampered players, is naturally the most symbolic of all opponents to a third world football territory. “Everyone knows England started football,” says Cordoze, who instantly replied ‘Harry Kane’ when asked which of Gareth Southgate’s team is most admired. “Everyone knows they won the World Cup in 1966,” he said. “We also know what Iceland achieved in the European Championships so hopefully we will have a moment like this. “We know we will be facing a strong team in England, but we will face our rival with respect and enthusiasm. We know how difficult it will be but we will leave nothing on the field. “We go there to compete. They will be the favourites. But we plan to enjoy the experience. England started the history of football. Panama is only at the start of its football history. This could be the beginning of something big for us.” World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
“Life would be very difficult for them without football." Why the World Cup means so much to Panama
From the moment Roman Torres lit an inferno to lead his country to the World Cup, Panama have represented the competition’s most extreme danger. Not to England, particularly, who should win comfortably tomorrow to avert the ignominy of what would be the greatest embarrassment in our nation’s sporting history. But to those seeking to avoid the habitual tendency to patronise smaller nations, pouring praise with the underlying hint that – really – they are just pleased to be there. In Panama’s case, no matter which angle is explored, there is an inescapable conclusion everything they achieve in Russia is a bonus. In Nizhny Novgorod, they can share England’s ambition over the course of 90 minutes, but the vast gulf in resources and infrastructure means Panama are yearning far more than three group points. Many of their squad are playing for a sustainable livelihood. They are playing for the financial security of their league, and to attract investment to improve facilities. They are playing to retain the hearts and minds of a population which, temporarily at least, has relegated the status of boxing and baseball below football. They are playing to establish a country’s identity. Panama players gather in a circle at the end of their fist World Cup 2018 match against Belgium. They lost 3-0. Credit: Victor R. Caivano / AP Ramon Cordoze, the Vice-President of Panama’s Football Federation, accepts the compliments for his fledgling football nation’s feat reaching the World Cup, but feels it must be put into even greater perspective. “People say this is the first time we have been to a World Cup but you must remember we have only been trying since 1978,” he says. “To get from where we were as a football nation to the World Cup in 40 years is not so long. “This year the domestic league celebrated what is only its 30th anniversary. “When I started working for the federation in 1996 we had no pitches. There were no sponsors. Our league was not professional. Even now it is difficult to work with the clubs because there are not enough pitches, so it is complicated. “The club where Roman Torres, the emblem of our football nation, played – Chepo – does not even exist now. "Our main source of revenue remains sponsorship. We had to find support for young players and establish sides from U13s through to the senior team. test - do not delete “All our players come from difficult backgrounds, from areas where people do not have a lot of money. But the majority of them now play in other countries and can earn a good life. The money they have earned from football has brought stability to their life. “Life would be very difficult for them without football. The Panama league is not recognised by the leagues in South America or in Europe, so for a Panama player to succeed there must be sacrifices and they have made them to get to where they are today. A player will have to go to another of those countries to impress. Mainly Panama players have been exported – usually to Columbia but also Mexico and USA. “The Panamanians are talented, they are enthusiastic and they have desire. They will work to get to the highest level, but it is our ambition to continue to develop our own clubs and league. “We hope this qualification is the start for us but we need to work on our domestic league and help the players continue their professionalism so they are at the level needed to play in Europe.” The Panama squad were given a Presidential send-off before they left for Russia. Head coach Hernan Dario Gomez (2-L) and players (L) Roman Torres, Felipe Baloy (3-L), Blas Perez (3-R), Gabriel Gomez (2-R) and Luis Tejada pose with Panama's President Juan Carlos Varela (centre) Credit: STRSTR/AFP/Getty Images The more Cordoze explains the obstacles, and how little time and money his federation has had to overcome them, the more extraordinary Panama’s accomplishment. Yet it could have been done earlier. “We were three minutes from reaching our ambition of a World Cup in Brazil in 2014. This time we managed it in the final three minutes of qualification,” he says, referencing Torres’ famed winner against Costa Rica in the CONCACAF qualifiers – relegating the United States to spectators this summer. “That is a day that will be remembered in Panama history,” adds Cordoze, the Panama government’s former Minister of Sport. “But this is not the first time these players have achieved something new for our country. In 2003 we qualified for the U20 World Cup. It was at a time when we were able to get more sponsors and that gave us an important base. Qualifying for that World Cup was a really important step. Since then we have been to five Under 20 World Cups and two Under 17 World Cups. Today we are able to support players from Under 13 through to the national team. That was impossible 20 years ago. World Cup 2018 squads: Home-based players “A lot of the players who had this success are now part of this squad. They have grown together. There is a lot of loyalty to the players who have been committed to the national team for so long. “Maybe some of them are older, but we also have young players introduced into the group – some from the World Cup of U20 in 2015. So we do have a mix because it is important to look to the future, also. “Now I see players becoming more professional, their attitude much better. They are more competitive and want to be professional players. The economic status of the federation has also improved. “Our national team now has an identity, that is the best change of all. We have become a positive symbol for the country. There was desperation in Panama for the World Cup kit – everyone was asking where and when they could get the shirt. “There is a pride in that jersey that was not always there. It is because of this group of players the love for football in Panama has grown, particularly over the last five years.” Team strength by category - World Cup forecaster No national anthem is quickening the pulse of its players more, nor being received more emotionally. One of those who contributed to qualifying but did not make the final squad, striker Roberto Nurse, testifies to the patriotic pull of a World Cup. “Football has the power to make the feelings in a country better,” he said. “People always ask us if there are some poor places in Panama. Yes, it is true, but many areas in central and South America have these problems. “I believe everybody in a society comes together when they have pride in their national football team. The people, the police, politicians – everyone senses an improvement in personality and in their mind because they are all behind the same feeling. Football has this power. This is of such amazing importance.” How the World Cup’s most valuable squads compare England, perceived as the wealthiest nation and home to so many pampered players, is naturally the most symbolic of all opponents to a third world football territory. “Everyone knows England started football,” says Cordoze, who instantly replied ‘Harry Kane’ when asked which of Gareth Southgate’s team is most admired. “Everyone knows they won the World Cup in 1966,” he said. “We also know what Iceland achieved in the European Championships so hopefully we will have a moment like this. “We know we will be facing a strong team in England, but we will face our rival with respect and enthusiasm. We know how difficult it will be but we will leave nothing on the field. “We go there to compete. They will be the favourites. But we plan to enjoy the experience. England started the history of football. Panama is only at the start of its football history. This could be the beginning of something big for us.” World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
From the moment Roman Torres lit an inferno to lead his country to the World Cup, Panama have represented the competition’s most extreme danger. Not to England, particularly, who should win comfortably tomorrow to avert the ignominy of what would be the greatest embarrassment in our nation’s sporting history. But to those seeking to avoid the habitual tendency to patronise smaller nations, pouring praise with the underlying hint that – really – they are just pleased to be there. In Panama’s case, no matter which angle is explored, there is an inescapable conclusion everything they achieve in Russia is a bonus. In Nizhny Novgorod, they can share England’s ambition over the course of 90 minutes, but the vast gulf in resources and infrastructure means Panama are yearning far more than three group points. Many of their squad are playing for a sustainable livelihood. They are playing for the financial security of their league, and to attract investment to improve facilities. They are playing to retain the hearts and minds of a population which, temporarily at least, has relegated the status of boxing and baseball below football. They are playing to establish a country’s identity. Panama players gather in a circle at the end of their fist World Cup 2018 match against Belgium. They lost 3-0. Credit: Victor R. Caivano / AP Ramon Cordoze, the Vice-President of Panama’s Football Federation, accepts the compliments for his fledgling football nation’s feat reaching the World Cup, but feels it must be put into even greater perspective. “People say this is the first time we have been to a World Cup but you must remember we have only been trying since 1978,” he says. “To get from where we were as a football nation to the World Cup in 40 years is not so long. “This year the domestic league celebrated what is only its 30th anniversary. “When I started working for the federation in 1996 we had no pitches. There were no sponsors. Our league was not professional. Even now it is difficult to work with the clubs because there are not enough pitches, so it is complicated. “The club where Roman Torres, the emblem of our football nation, played – Chepo – does not even exist now. "Our main source of revenue remains sponsorship. We had to find support for young players and establish sides from U13s through to the senior team. test - do not delete “All our players come from difficult backgrounds, from areas where people do not have a lot of money. But the majority of them now play in other countries and can earn a good life. The money they have earned from football has brought stability to their life. “Life would be very difficult for them without football. The Panama league is not recognised by the leagues in South America or in Europe, so for a Panama player to succeed there must be sacrifices and they have made them to get to where they are today. A player will have to go to another of those countries to impress. Mainly Panama players have been exported – usually to Columbia but also Mexico and USA. “The Panamanians are talented, they are enthusiastic and they have desire. They will work to get to the highest level, but it is our ambition to continue to develop our own clubs and league. “We hope this qualification is the start for us but we need to work on our domestic league and help the players continue their professionalism so they are at the level needed to play in Europe.” The Panama squad were given a Presidential send-off before they left for Russia. Head coach Hernan Dario Gomez (2-L) and players (L) Roman Torres, Felipe Baloy (3-L), Blas Perez (3-R), Gabriel Gomez (2-R) and Luis Tejada pose with Panama's President Juan Carlos Varela (centre) Credit: STRSTR/AFP/Getty Images The more Cordoze explains the obstacles, and how little time and money his federation has had to overcome them, the more extraordinary Panama’s accomplishment. Yet it could have been done earlier. “We were three minutes from reaching our ambition of a World Cup in Brazil in 2014. This time we managed it in the final three minutes of qualification,” he says, referencing Torres’ famed winner against Costa Rica in the CONCACAF qualifiers – relegating the United States to spectators this summer. “That is a day that will be remembered in Panama history,” adds Cordoze, the Panama government’s former Minister of Sport. “But this is not the first time these players have achieved something new for our country. In 2003 we qualified for the U20 World Cup. It was at a time when we were able to get more sponsors and that gave us an important base. Qualifying for that World Cup was a really important step. Since then we have been to five Under 20 World Cups and two Under 17 World Cups. Today we are able to support players from Under 13 through to the national team. That was impossible 20 years ago. World Cup 2018 squads: Home-based players “A lot of the players who had this success are now part of this squad. They have grown together. There is a lot of loyalty to the players who have been committed to the national team for so long. “Maybe some of them are older, but we also have young players introduced into the group – some from the World Cup of U20 in 2015. So we do have a mix because it is important to look to the future, also. “Now I see players becoming more professional, their attitude much better. They are more competitive and want to be professional players. The economic status of the federation has also improved. “Our national team now has an identity, that is the best change of all. We have become a positive symbol for the country. There was desperation in Panama for the World Cup kit – everyone was asking where and when they could get the shirt. “There is a pride in that jersey that was not always there. It is because of this group of players the love for football in Panama has grown, particularly over the last five years.” Team strength by category - World Cup forecaster No national anthem is quickening the pulse of its players more, nor being received more emotionally. One of those who contributed to qualifying but did not make the final squad, striker Roberto Nurse, testifies to the patriotic pull of a World Cup. “Football has the power to make the feelings in a country better,” he said. “People always ask us if there are some poor places in Panama. Yes, it is true, but many areas in central and South America have these problems. “I believe everybody in a society comes together when they have pride in their national football team. The people, the police, politicians – everyone senses an improvement in personality and in their mind because they are all behind the same feeling. Football has this power. This is of such amazing importance.” How the World Cup’s most valuable squads compare England, perceived as the wealthiest nation and home to so many pampered players, is naturally the most symbolic of all opponents to a third world football territory. “Everyone knows England started football,” says Cordoze, who instantly replied ‘Harry Kane’ when asked which of Gareth Southgate’s team is most admired. “Everyone knows they won the World Cup in 1966,” he said. “We also know what Iceland achieved in the European Championships so hopefully we will have a moment like this. “We know we will be facing a strong team in England, but we will face our rival with respect and enthusiasm. We know how difficult it will be but we will leave nothing on the field. “We go there to compete. They will be the favourites. But we plan to enjoy the experience. England started the history of football. Panama is only at the start of its football history. This could be the beginning of something big for us.” World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
“Life would be very difficult for them without football." Why the World Cup means so much to Panama
From the moment Roman Torres lit an inferno to lead his country to the World Cup, Panama have represented the competition’s most extreme danger. Not to England, particularly, who should win comfortably tomorrow to avert the ignominy of what would be the greatest embarrassment in our nation’s sporting history. But to those seeking to avoid the habitual tendency to patronise smaller nations, pouring praise with the underlying hint that – really – they are just pleased to be there. In Panama’s case, no matter which angle is explored, there is an inescapable conclusion everything they achieve in Russia is a bonus. In Nizhny Novgorod, they can share England’s ambition over the course of 90 minutes, but the vast gulf in resources and infrastructure means Panama are yearning far more than three group points. Many of their squad are playing for a sustainable livelihood. They are playing for the financial security of their league, and to attract investment to improve facilities. They are playing to retain the hearts and minds of a population which, temporarily at least, has relegated the status of boxing and baseball below football. They are playing to establish a country’s identity. Panama players gather in a circle at the end of their fist World Cup 2018 match against Belgium. They lost 3-0. Credit: Victor R. Caivano / AP Ramon Cordoze, the Vice-President of Panama’s Football Federation, accepts the compliments for his fledgling football nation’s feat reaching the World Cup, but feels it must be put into even greater perspective. “People say this is the first time we have been to a World Cup but you must remember we have only been trying since 1978,” he says. “To get from where we were as a football nation to the World Cup in 40 years is not so long. “This year the domestic league celebrated what is only its 30th anniversary. “When I started working for the federation in 1996 we had no pitches. There were no sponsors. Our league was not professional. Even now it is difficult to work with the clubs because there are not enough pitches, so it is complicated. “The club where Roman Torres, the emblem of our football nation, played – Chepo – does not even exist now. "Our main source of revenue remains sponsorship. We had to find support for young players and establish sides from U13s through to the senior team. test - do not delete “All our players come from difficult backgrounds, from areas where people do not have a lot of money. But the majority of them now play in other countries and can earn a good life. The money they have earned from football has brought stability to their life. “Life would be very difficult for them without football. The Panama league is not recognised by the leagues in South America or in Europe, so for a Panama player to succeed there must be sacrifices and they have made them to get to where they are today. A player will have to go to another of those countries to impress. Mainly Panama players have been exported – usually to Columbia but also Mexico and USA. “The Panamanians are talented, they are enthusiastic and they have desire. They will work to get to the highest level, but it is our ambition to continue to develop our own clubs and league. “We hope this qualification is the start for us but we need to work on our domestic league and help the players continue their professionalism so they are at the level needed to play in Europe.” The Panama squad were given a Presidential send-off before they left for Russia. Head coach Hernan Dario Gomez (2-L) and players (L) Roman Torres, Felipe Baloy (3-L), Blas Perez (3-R), Gabriel Gomez (2-R) and Luis Tejada pose with Panama's President Juan Carlos Varela (centre) Credit: STRSTR/AFP/Getty Images The more Cordoze explains the obstacles, and how little time and money his federation has had to overcome them, the more extraordinary Panama’s accomplishment. Yet it could have been done earlier. “We were three minutes from reaching our ambition of a World Cup in Brazil in 2014. This time we managed it in the final three minutes of qualification,” he says, referencing Torres’ famed winner against Costa Rica in the CONCACAF qualifiers – relegating the United States to spectators this summer. “That is a day that will be remembered in Panama history,” adds Cordoze, the Panama government’s former Minister of Sport. “But this is not the first time these players have achieved something new for our country. In 2003 we qualified for the U20 World Cup. It was at a time when we were able to get more sponsors and that gave us an important base. Qualifying for that World Cup was a really important step. Since then we have been to five Under 20 World Cups and two Under 17 World Cups. Today we are able to support players from Under 13 through to the national team. That was impossible 20 years ago. World Cup 2018 squads: Home-based players “A lot of the players who had this success are now part of this squad. They have grown together. There is a lot of loyalty to the players who have been committed to the national team for so long. “Maybe some of them are older, but we also have young players introduced into the group – some from the World Cup of U20 in 2015. So we do have a mix because it is important to look to the future, also. “Now I see players becoming more professional, their attitude much better. They are more competitive and want to be professional players. The economic status of the federation has also improved. “Our national team now has an identity, that is the best change of all. We have become a positive symbol for the country. There was desperation in Panama for the World Cup kit – everyone was asking where and when they could get the shirt. “There is a pride in that jersey that was not always there. It is because of this group of players the love for football in Panama has grown, particularly over the last five years.” Team strength by category - World Cup forecaster No national anthem is quickening the pulse of its players more, nor being received more emotionally. One of those who contributed to qualifying but did not make the final squad, striker Roberto Nurse, testifies to the patriotic pull of a World Cup. “Football has the power to make the feelings in a country better,” he said. “People always ask us if there are some poor places in Panama. Yes, it is true, but many areas in central and South America have these problems. “I believe everybody in a society comes together when they have pride in their national football team. The people, the police, politicians – everyone senses an improvement in personality and in their mind because they are all behind the same feeling. Football has this power. This is of such amazing importance.” How the World Cup’s most valuable squads compare England, perceived as the wealthiest nation and home to so many pampered players, is naturally the most symbolic of all opponents to a third world football territory. “Everyone knows England started football,” says Cordoze, who instantly replied ‘Harry Kane’ when asked which of Gareth Southgate’s team is most admired. “Everyone knows they won the World Cup in 1966,” he said. “We also know what Iceland achieved in the European Championships so hopefully we will have a moment like this. “We know we will be facing a strong team in England, but we will face our rival with respect and enthusiasm. We know how difficult it will be but we will leave nothing on the field. “We go there to compete. They will be the favourites. But we plan to enjoy the experience. England started the history of football. Panama is only at the start of its football history. This could be the beginning of something big for us.” World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
From the moment Roman Torres lit an inferno to lead his country to the World Cup, Panama have represented the competition’s most extreme danger. Not to England, particularly, who should win comfortably tomorrow to avert the ignominy of what would be the greatest embarrassment in our nation’s sporting history. But to those seeking to avoid the habitual tendency to patronise smaller nations, pouring praise with the underlying hint that – really – they are just pleased to be there. In Panama’s case, no matter which angle is explored, there is an inescapable conclusion everything they achieve in Russia is a bonus. In Nizhny Novgorod, they can share England’s ambition over the course of 90 minutes, but the vast gulf in resources and infrastructure means Panama are yearning far more than three group points. Many of their squad are playing for a sustainable livelihood. They are playing for the financial security of their league, and to attract investment to improve facilities. They are playing to retain the hearts and minds of a population which, temporarily at least, has relegated the status of boxing and baseball below football. They are playing to establish a country’s identity. Panama players gather in a circle at the end of their fist World Cup 2018 match against Belgium. They lost 3-0. Credit: Victor R. Caivano / AP Ramon Cordoze, the Vice-President of Panama’s Football Federation, accepts the compliments for his fledgling football nation’s feat reaching the World Cup, but feels it must be put into even greater perspective. “People say this is the first time we have been to a World Cup but you must remember we have only been trying since 1978,” he says. “To get from where we were as a football nation to the World Cup in 40 years is not so long. “This year the domestic league celebrated what is only its 30th anniversary. “When I started working for the federation in 1996 we had no pitches. There were no sponsors. Our league was not professional. Even now it is difficult to work with the clubs because there are not enough pitches, so it is complicated. “The club where Roman Torres, the emblem of our football nation, played – Chepo – does not even exist now. "Our main source of revenue remains sponsorship. We had to find support for young players and establish sides from U13s through to the senior team. test - do not delete “All our players come from difficult backgrounds, from areas where people do not have a lot of money. But the majority of them now play in other countries and can earn a good life. The money they have earned from football has brought stability to their life. “Life would be very difficult for them without football. The Panama league is not recognised by the leagues in South America or in Europe, so for a Panama player to succeed there must be sacrifices and they have made them to get to where they are today. A player will have to go to another of those countries to impress. Mainly Panama players have been exported – usually to Columbia but also Mexico and USA. “The Panamanians are talented, they are enthusiastic and they have desire. They will work to get to the highest level, but it is our ambition to continue to develop our own clubs and league. “We hope this qualification is the start for us but we need to work on our domestic league and help the players continue their professionalism so they are at the level needed to play in Europe.” The Panama squad were given a Presidential send-off before they left for Russia. Head coach Hernan Dario Gomez (2-L) and players (L) Roman Torres, Felipe Baloy (3-L), Blas Perez (3-R), Gabriel Gomez (2-R) and Luis Tejada pose with Panama's President Juan Carlos Varela (centre) Credit: STRSTR/AFP/Getty Images The more Cordoze explains the obstacles, and how little time and money his federation has had to overcome them, the more extraordinary Panama’s accomplishment. Yet it could have been done earlier. “We were three minutes from reaching our ambition of a World Cup in Brazil in 2014. This time we managed it in the final three minutes of qualification,” he says, referencing Torres’ famed winner against Costa Rica in the CONCACAF qualifiers – relegating the United States to spectators this summer. “That is a day that will be remembered in Panama history,” adds Cordoze, the Panama government’s former Minister of Sport. “But this is not the first time these players have achieved something new for our country. In 2003 we qualified for the U20 World Cup. It was at a time when we were able to get more sponsors and that gave us an important base. Qualifying for that World Cup was a really important step. Since then we have been to five Under 20 World Cups and two Under 17 World Cups. Today we are able to support players from Under 13 through to the national team. That was impossible 20 years ago. World Cup 2018 squads: Home-based players “A lot of the players who had this success are now part of this squad. They have grown together. There is a lot of loyalty to the players who have been committed to the national team for so long. “Maybe some of them are older, but we also have young players introduced into the group – some from the World Cup of U20 in 2015. So we do have a mix because it is important to look to the future, also. “Now I see players becoming more professional, their attitude much better. They are more competitive and want to be professional players. The economic status of the federation has also improved. “Our national team now has an identity, that is the best change of all. We have become a positive symbol for the country. There was desperation in Panama for the World Cup kit – everyone was asking where and when they could get the shirt. “There is a pride in that jersey that was not always there. It is because of this group of players the love for football in Panama has grown, particularly over the last five years.” Team strength by category - World Cup forecaster No national anthem is quickening the pulse of its players more, nor being received more emotionally. One of those who contributed to qualifying but did not make the final squad, striker Roberto Nurse, testifies to the patriotic pull of a World Cup. “Football has the power to make the feelings in a country better,” he said. “People always ask us if there are some poor places in Panama. Yes, it is true, but many areas in central and South America have these problems. “I believe everybody in a society comes together when they have pride in their national football team. The people, the police, politicians – everyone senses an improvement in personality and in their mind because they are all behind the same feeling. Football has this power. This is of such amazing importance.” How the World Cup’s most valuable squads compare England, perceived as the wealthiest nation and home to so many pampered players, is naturally the most symbolic of all opponents to a third world football territory. “Everyone knows England started football,” says Cordoze, who instantly replied ‘Harry Kane’ when asked which of Gareth Southgate’s team is most admired. “Everyone knows they won the World Cup in 1966,” he said. “We also know what Iceland achieved in the European Championships so hopefully we will have a moment like this. “We know we will be facing a strong team in England, but we will face our rival with respect and enthusiasm. We know how difficult it will be but we will leave nothing on the field. “We go there to compete. They will be the favourites. But we plan to enjoy the experience. England started the history of football. Panama is only at the start of its football history. This could be the beginning of something big for us.” World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
“Life would be very difficult for them without football." Why the World Cup means so much to Panama
From the moment Roman Torres lit an inferno to lead his country to the World Cup, Panama have represented the competition’s most extreme danger. Not to England, particularly, who should win comfortably tomorrow to avert the ignominy of what would be the greatest embarrassment in our nation’s sporting history. But to those seeking to avoid the habitual tendency to patronise smaller nations, pouring praise with the underlying hint that – really – they are just pleased to be there. In Panama’s case, no matter which angle is explored, there is an inescapable conclusion everything they achieve in Russia is a bonus. In Nizhny Novgorod, they can share England’s ambition over the course of 90 minutes, but the vast gulf in resources and infrastructure means Panama are yearning far more than three group points. Many of their squad are playing for a sustainable livelihood. They are playing for the financial security of their league, and to attract investment to improve facilities. They are playing to retain the hearts and minds of a population which, temporarily at least, has relegated the status of boxing and baseball below football. They are playing to establish a country’s identity. Panama players gather in a circle at the end of their fist World Cup 2018 match against Belgium. They lost 3-0. Credit: Victor R. Caivano / AP Ramon Cordoze, the Vice-President of Panama’s Football Federation, accepts the compliments for his fledgling football nation’s feat reaching the World Cup, but feels it must be put into even greater perspective. “People say this is the first time we have been to a World Cup but you must remember we have only been trying since 1978,” he says. “To get from where we were as a football nation to the World Cup in 40 years is not so long. “This year the domestic league celebrated what is only its 30th anniversary. “When I started working for the federation in 1996 we had no pitches. There were no sponsors. Our league was not professional. Even now it is difficult to work with the clubs because there are not enough pitches, so it is complicated. “The club where Roman Torres, the emblem of our football nation, played – Chepo – does not even exist now. "Our main source of revenue remains sponsorship. We had to find support for young players and establish sides from U13s through to the senior team. test - do not delete “All our players come from difficult backgrounds, from areas where people do not have a lot of money. But the majority of them now play in other countries and can earn a good life. The money they have earned from football has brought stability to their life. “Life would be very difficult for them without football. The Panama league is not recognised by the leagues in South America or in Europe, so for a Panama player to succeed there must be sacrifices and they have made them to get to where they are today. A player will have to go to another of those countries to impress. Mainly Panama players have been exported – usually to Columbia but also Mexico and USA. “The Panamanians are talented, they are enthusiastic and they have desire. They will work to get to the highest level, but it is our ambition to continue to develop our own clubs and league. “We hope this qualification is the start for us but we need to work on our domestic league and help the players continue their professionalism so they are at the level needed to play in Europe.” The Panama squad were given a Presidential send-off before they left for Russia. Head coach Hernan Dario Gomez (2-L) and players (L) Roman Torres, Felipe Baloy (3-L), Blas Perez (3-R), Gabriel Gomez (2-R) and Luis Tejada pose with Panama's President Juan Carlos Varela (centre) Credit: STRSTR/AFP/Getty Images The more Cordoze explains the obstacles, and how little time and money his federation has had to overcome them, the more extraordinary Panama’s accomplishment. Yet it could have been done earlier. “We were three minutes from reaching our ambition of a World Cup in Brazil in 2014. This time we managed it in the final three minutes of qualification,” he says, referencing Torres’ famed winner against Costa Rica in the CONCACAF qualifiers – relegating the United States to spectators this summer. “That is a day that will be remembered in Panama history,” adds Cordoze, the Panama government’s former Minister of Sport. “But this is not the first time these players have achieved something new for our country. In 2003 we qualified for the U20 World Cup. It was at a time when we were able to get more sponsors and that gave us an important base. Qualifying for that World Cup was a really important step. Since then we have been to five Under 20 World Cups and two Under 17 World Cups. Today we are able to support players from Under 13 through to the national team. That was impossible 20 years ago. World Cup 2018 squads: Home-based players “A lot of the players who had this success are now part of this squad. They have grown together. There is a lot of loyalty to the players who have been committed to the national team for so long. “Maybe some of them are older, but we also have young players introduced into the group – some from the World Cup of U20 in 2015. So we do have a mix because it is important to look to the future, also. “Now I see players becoming more professional, their attitude much better. They are more competitive and want to be professional players. The economic status of the federation has also improved. “Our national team now has an identity, that is the best change of all. We have become a positive symbol for the country. There was desperation in Panama for the World Cup kit – everyone was asking where and when they could get the shirt. “There is a pride in that jersey that was not always there. It is because of this group of players the love for football in Panama has grown, particularly over the last five years.” Team strength by category - World Cup forecaster No national anthem is quickening the pulse of its players more, nor being received more emotionally. One of those who contributed to qualifying but did not make the final squad, striker Roberto Nurse, testifies to the patriotic pull of a World Cup. “Football has the power to make the feelings in a country better,” he said. “People always ask us if there are some poor places in Panama. Yes, it is true, but many areas in central and South America have these problems. “I believe everybody in a society comes together when they have pride in their national football team. The people, the police, politicians – everyone senses an improvement in personality and in their mind because they are all behind the same feeling. Football has this power. This is of such amazing importance.” How the World Cup’s most valuable squads compare England, perceived as the wealthiest nation and home to so many pampered players, is naturally the most symbolic of all opponents to a third world football territory. “Everyone knows England started football,” says Cordoze, who instantly replied ‘Harry Kane’ when asked which of Gareth Southgate’s team is most admired. “Everyone knows they won the World Cup in 1966,” he said. “We also know what Iceland achieved in the European Championships so hopefully we will have a moment like this. “We know we will be facing a strong team in England, but we will face our rival with respect and enthusiasm. We know how difficult it will be but we will leave nothing on the field. “We go there to compete. They will be the favourites. But we plan to enjoy the experience. England started the history of football. Panama is only at the start of its football history. This could be the beginning of something big for us.” World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Because the GTS isn't already hardcore enough...
BMW M4 GTS Spied Testing With Extreme Aero Kit
Because the GTS isn't already hardcore enough...
Because the GTS isn't already hardcore enough...
BMW M4 GTS Spied Testing With Extreme Aero Kit
Because the GTS isn't already hardcore enough...
Because the GTS isn't already hardcore enough...
BMW M4 GTS Spied Testing With Extreme Aero Kit
Because the GTS isn't already hardcore enough...
Because the GTS isn't already hardcore enough...
BMW M4 GTS Spied Testing With Extreme Aero Kit
Because the GTS isn't already hardcore enough...
Because the GTS isn't already hardcore enough...
BMW M4 GTS Spied Testing With Extreme Aero Kit
Because the GTS isn't already hardcore enough...
Because the GTS isn't already hardcore enough...
BMW M4 GTS Spied Testing With Extreme Aero Kit
Because the GTS isn't already hardcore enough...
Because the GTS isn't already hardcore enough...
BMW M4 GTS Spied Testing With Extreme Aero Kit
Because the GTS isn't already hardcore enough...
Because the GTS isn't already hardcore enough...
BMW M4 GTS Spied Testing With Extreme Aero Kit
Because the GTS isn't already hardcore enough...
Because the GTS isn't already hardcore enough...
BMW M4 GTS Spied Testing With Extreme Aero Kit
Because the GTS isn't already hardcore enough...
Because the GTS isn't already hardcore enough...
BMW M4 GTS Spied Testing With Extreme Aero Kit
Because the GTS isn't already hardcore enough...
Pendant plus d'un mois, la Russie va accueillir la Coupe du monde pour la toute première fois de son histoire. De la fête, du football, des anecdotes... Voici l'intégralité du Mondial au cœur de l'actualité, jour après jour.0h : Pendant que les Français les plus respectables sombrent paisiblement devant Relooking extrême : spécial obésité avec la télécommande sur le ...
24 heures chronov
Pendant plus d'un mois, la Russie va accueillir la Coupe du monde pour la toute première fois de son histoire. De la fête, du football, des anecdotes... Voici l'intégralité du Mondial au cœur de l'actualité, jour après jour.0h : Pendant que les Français les plus respectables sombrent paisiblement devant Relooking extrême : spécial obésité avec la télécommande sur le ...
Eight goals in two games have averted Russia’s nightmare of spending tens of millions of dollars on a World Cup only to go out in the group stage. Mohamed Salah meanwhile has been restricted to a penalty, lots of physio on his injured shoulder and an awkward meeting with Chechnya’s warlord. Salah’s penalty kick when Egypt already trailed 3-0 was a small reward for his hard work in the treatment room and gym. It pales, though, beside the potential dividend for Russia from 5-0 and 3-1 victories against two of the tournament’s weaker sides. If all the hosts could hope for was to string their presence out to the point of respectability, their supporters now have something to be excited about beyond the stardust spread by other countries. If Saudi Arabia fail to beat Uruguay (and who would back them to win?) Russia will advance to the knock-out rounds for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Saint Petersburg Stadium was not full for this second home triumph, but the 64,468 here were giddy as three second-half goals flew in inside 15 minutes (the first, a ludicrous own goal). Salah performed honourably after missing the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay, but to expect him to walk straight back in and rescue Egypt was fanciful, especially as he lacks team-mates of the quality of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. His goal came in the 73rd minute after he was pulled down by the arm (this is becoming a pattern), apparently outside the Russia penalty box, until VAR showed it to be penalty. These Russia players are pretty much equal and indistinguishable. The Soviet system would have been proud of this mechanical team. It’s as if their training stopped at pass and run, which they do well, and dispensed with the subtleties of the game, such as ingenuity and vision around the penalty box. Denis Cheryshev has been the best of them, and their energy and commitment ought to be acknowledged. Not that they will feel they had much choice in those respects. Russia have made a brilliant start to the tournament on home soil Credit: AFP They are all Russia have, and were cast into a home World Cup as the lowest-ranked team in the tournament with the unenviable task of matching the grandeur of the stadiums. Plainly this is going to be beyond them, however uplifting their 5-0 opening night win against Saudi Arabia - the biggest curtain-raising victory by a host country since 1934 - and this own-goal assisted win over Salah and company. Standing between the new Russian empire and progress to the Round of 16 was an Egypt side now emotionally dependent on Salah. The lauding of him before the game was at a level not even Liverpool fans could hope to match. His name was cheered at least three times louder than any other Egypt player, and each glimpse of him on the big screen ignited a new Egyptian party. In the game, Salah started wide-right, dispensing with defensive duties to try his luck against Yury Zhirkov, an old hand steeled for the fight. Denis Cheryshev scores Russia's second goal Credit: REuters It took Zhirkov 21 minutes to land a bang on the shoulder Salah injured in a tangle with Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final in Kiev. The challenge was fair, but spun Salah round, and soon the Premier League’s golden boot winner moved to play more centrally. He was more effective there, his first real chance on goal coming with a turn and swivel on the edge of Russia’s penalty box. But the shot from the pirouette slid wide. Egypt’s campaign, though was about to take a comical turn, two minutes after the break, when Roman Zobnin miscued a shot after a bad punch by the goalkeeper, and Ahmed Fathy, the Egyptian captain, under pressure from Artem Dzyuba, took a wild swing at it and swiped it into his own net. Bare-chested Egyptian fans in Pharoah headgear looked on miserably. Egypt’s defence, like Saudi Arabia’s, disintegrated, conceding three times, twice abjectly . Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah dribbles past Russia's defender Sergey Ignashevich Credit: AFP With Salah’s team still reeling from the own goal, Mario Fernandes cut a cross back for Cheryshev to double the lead, and then Ali Gabr failed to control a dropping ball on the edge of his box and allowed it to run to Dzyuba, the former star Russian striker who lost his way. Dzyuba’s military salute for the goal was in tune with his combative work in unsettling Egypt’s back four. The defensive ineptitude of opponents is helping Russia, but their probable advance will help maintain the interest of those who are ultimately paying for most of it - the Russian public, who have been treated to eight goals and plenty of workmanlike enterprise from their team. Salah, in effect, lost his World Cup campaign in the Champions League final, though he fought his way back to leave a small mark here. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 9:03PM That's moved the boy Denis Level with He Who Must Not Be Mentioned in the race for the Golden Boot. 8:58PM Class piece from Jim White Seems absolutely ridiculous that these two fans have to travel to Russia to watch their team play football live. Why? Because they are women from Iran. https://t.co/pSLIeiuqvz— Jim White (@jimw1) June 19, 2018 8:57PM Uruguay will have enjoyed that. Now a World Cup last-16 place is theirs for the taking if they beat Saudi Arabia. 8:55PM Group A Table 8:54PM Nice! Best goal difference by a host nation through two #WorldCup games: +7 ���� 2018 Russia +7 ���� 1998 France (won title) +6 ���� 1934 Italy (won title) +5 ���� 1930 Uruguay (won title)— Paul Carr (@PaulCarrTM) June 19, 2018 8:52PM Full time: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Hard lines for Egypt, but Russia are having a bit of a moment and deserved their win. 8:49PM 90+ mins: there will be four minutes added Warda and Kudryashov square up. Kudryashov looks like he could eat Warda for breakfast and still have room for pancakes. The hosts are, barring an astonishing Saudi Arabia result, going through. 8:47PM 89 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Nice move, Salah nearly dancing through, they get the break of the ball and Warda, from the right, hits it wide of the post. 8:46PM 86 mins Warda with a useful cross in. Since they, erm, went 3-0 down Egypt have played with a lot more vim. Also, other attacking players have started trying to do something rather than just looking to Salah. This is the problem with a one man team, obvs. 8:45PM 85 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt having the odd 1/4 chance but to be honest this feels remote in the extreme as a possibility. 8:42PM 84 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kahraba on, Mohsen off. Yuri Zhirkov is replaced by Fedor Kudryashov. 8:38PM 80 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt getting greedy, now they want another pen. Mohsen hits the deck. Kutepov the accused. No penalty. And I'll tell you why not: because Mohsen had fouled HIM. 8:37PM 79 mins: Golovin controls the ball majestically, nips past Gabr and waits for the foul, and the inevitable freekick. Ref doesn't give it. Snigger. Smolov comes on for Dzubya. 8:33PM 75 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kuziaev comes on, the dangerman Cheryshev off. Russia have a decent opportunity to slam the coffin lid down when Samedov delivers a useful freekick to the back stick. Ignashevich's header is saved. 8:31PM VAR to the rescue Again, VAR gets there. But poor refereeing. Always been a penalty.— Matt Smith (@msmith850) June 19, 2018 8:31PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 1 (Salah 73 pen) He's wellied that! Bosh. No messing from Mo Salah. Is that an improbable lifeline? 8:30PM 71 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 0 Salah is hauled down. To most viewers, it is clear that it is inside the box. But not to the referee though. He gives it outside the box but fortunately the VAR comes to the rescue. A PENALTY IS AWARDED Credit: BBC 8:25PM 66 mins Fed by Salah with a nice ball, Trezeguet has a shot wide, and that will be Trezeguet's last contribution. He's getting the hook, and here comes Sobhi. 8:22PM 65 mins Warda on, Elneny off. Egypt have a freekick, Gabr tries to make amends for his defensive spinelessness with a header. No. 8:20PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 0 (Dzyuba 62) Another one! Oh dear, this is turning into a horrible night for the Pharoahs. Route one, big Dzyuba chests the ball down and it's men against boys as Gabr and Hegazi crumble and let him through. Hammers it home and that, my friends, is the night boat to Cairo. Artem Dzyuba of Russia scores Credit: Getty 8:16PM GOAL! Russia 2 Egypt 0 (Cheryshev 59) Ooh, that is going to be the killer blow, surely. Nice work from Figueira Fernandes, heart and energy down the right to join the attack. Pulls the ball back, and there is the deadly Denis Cheryshev to slot the ball home. That's his third of the tournament by the way, and it looks likely that it is going to send Russia through... and send poor Egypt home. 8:14PM No OG no fun There were no own-goals at all at the 1958 and 1962 World Cups. What miserable times they must have been.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) June 19, 2018 8:13PM 55 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 That was the moment? Maybe? The ball is played into the Russian box, knockdown, Salah has it at his feet eight yards out.... but he cannot get it out from under him and the desperate Russians can clear. Fully fit, he jinks and smashes that. But he is not confident in his body. 8:10PM 52 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Russians enjoying a couple of corners. At this rate (5 own goals in 17 matches), this World Cup will have 19 own goals. The record most in a single World Cup is 6, set in 1998. #WorldCup#RUS#EGY— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) June 19, 2018 8:04PM OWN GOAL! by Fathy: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Aw, that is rotten luck for Egypt, although their keeper must carry his fair share of blame. Golovin crosses it in, the keeper comes out with a flappy, silly punch. Shoulda caught that. Instead, he punches, the Russian 11 Zobnin drills it back in and a panicking Fathy stabs it into his own net. (Fathy OG 47 mins) Dreadful shot by Zobnin by the way, would have practically gone out for a corner had Fathy not intervened. Egypt's goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy (R) watches as the ball ends up in his net after a deflection by Egypt's defender Ahmed Fathi (L) Credit: AFP/Getty 8:03PM 46 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Always a shame to see a brilliant player not at his best due to injury. But hopefully Mo Salah can weave a bit of magic. 8:00PM This shows Salah's position (10) Average touch positions (half time) He's basically playing as a narrow advanced forward. Alan Shearer sums it up well on BBC: "Mo Salah, you can tell, is only 70-75% fit and they know that - they're protecting him, he's not running back and they're just trying to get the ball up to him." 7:57PM Pretty fair Russia vs Egypt shots on goal 7:46PM Half time: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That'll do it for the half, not many chances, but plenty of energy. 7:44PM 42 mins Fun, B- quality, end-to-end stuff, here are the Russians with a corner. Gabr involved in a good old fashioned grappling contest with Dzyuba. Risky business in these VAR times... 7:42PM 40 mins There's our boy! Class from Salah, Mohsen dummies, Salah gets it and spins away from his man. Peach of a curling effort but not quite. 7:40PM 37 mins Lovely counter by Egypt, but it starts in bizarre fashion when the ball hits the ref, wrong-footing everyone! Elneny with a great ball in and Mohsen should have done a lot better. 7:35PM 34 mins Nice ball in! Mohsen just misses out to Figueira Fernandes of Russia. More even now. 7:34PM 33 mins Better spell from Egypt. Passing it, higher up the pitch. Looking slicker, ball into the area from Shafy is flicked on. Salah nearly there at the back stick! Corner. Delivery is poor. 7:33PM 30 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Enjoyable game so far. Russia unsophisticated but useful, got some pace, got some who can deliver the ball, attack in numbers. Egypt are unbalanced. They need to just get a bit of the ball, play themselves into this. 7:28PM 27 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Decent from Salah as he holds it up to tee up Trézéguet , whose shot is charged down. But it is a momentary respite: here come the Russians again. 7:27PM 25 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 This Egypt defence are making some blunders and I think they are going to be sorry. A ball is played in by Cheryshev. Keeper El-Shenawy comes, and is barged off it by Hegazi. Don't panic! 7:25PM 22 mins Salah is not doing a lot. And as I say, he is not offering anything defensively, just standing out on the right wing. Here come the Russians down the left. Gazinskii crosses and the big lad Dzyuba gets up well but glances his header too fine. 7:19PM 18 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Zhirkov takes a freekick but is wasteful with the delivery. But Russia get a lucky break when it rebounds out to Cheryshev. he has a crack, and it is not far over. 7:16PM 16 mins Lovely run from Trézéguet down the inside-left, he tries to bend it in at the far post and he is not far at all from achieving that end. 7:15PM 14 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 El Said spins away from Kutepov and was fouled. From a corner, Egypt have a headed chance. Attempt Saved: Russia 0 - 0 Egypt (Marwan Mohsen, 15 min) Behind for another corner. Another good ball in, cleared but only as far as the corner flag. Good spell for the visitors, their best of the match so far. 7:13PM 13 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That's it! Salah gets a long ball on the right, gives it inside and goes into the box. He is stopped by multiple Russians. 7:11PM 11 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Samedov and Figueira Fernandes link up well down the right but the latter cannot quite find the final ball. 7:10PM 10 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Very encouraging start from the hosts. Egypt pinned back. Salah hasn't featured. Also: Salah is not tracking back, which is fine in and of itself but somebody else needs to help out the right back in which case. 7:08PM 8 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 It's all Russia. Egypt cannot get out. 7:08PM 6 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Defensive blunder by Egypt! Sloppy, dawdling play out from the back, Golovin pinches it and races forward. He is disappointed not to have done better with the shot. 7:07PM 5 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Russia have the game's first corner.. Taken short, and it is played in by Samedov, headed by the veteran Ignashevich. Not troubling anyone, that. 7:04PM 3 mins Plenty of atmos, some beefy challenges but neither side able to dominate so far. Russia looking for raking balls to their hefty forward Artem Dzyuba. 7:01PM 1 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Egypt, in white, kick off. 7:01PM And Egypt Egypt side Credit: BBC 6:58PM Here's how Russia should line up Credit: BBC 6:56PM Russian anthem Powerful stuff. 6:55PM Egyptian anthem being belted out around the stadium, they seem to have got a few in. Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah... he's in! Credit: AFP/Getty 6:50PM Noice Russia ���� fans gather outside the entrance to Red Square as anticipation mounts ahead of the hosts’ group match against Egypt ���� in St. Petersburg. Mo Salah starts for The Pharaohs #RUSEGY ⁦@FIFAWorldCup⁩ ⁦@RT_com⁩ pic.twitter.com/TEqBth3fTC— Kate Partridge (@KatePartridge33) June 19, 2018 6:49PM Danny Murphy Bit over-dressed, aren't you? Like you just stepped out of a bookies: Danny Murphy Credit: BBC 6:48PM Fans Credit: BBC 6:35PM Who's having a good tournament? 6:34PM Where's your money, then? Here is our betting guide to a tasty fixture. Russia: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Zobnin, Gazinsky, Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev, Dzyuba. Subs: Lunev, Semenov, Kuzyaev, Dzagoev, Smolov, Kudryashov, Granat, Aleksey Miranchuk, Anton Miranchuk, Erokhin, Smolnikov, Gabulov. Egypt: El Shenawy, Fathi, Gabr, Hegazi, Abdel-Shafy, Hamed, Elneny, Salah, Said, Trezeguet, Mohsen. Subs: El Hadary, Elmohamady, Gaber, Morsy, Kahraba, Ashraf, Sobhi, Hamdy, Shikabala, Samir, Warda, Ekramy. Referee: Enrique Caceres (Paraguay) 6:21PM Salah news! The Premier League's top scorer adds some much-needed bite to an Egyptian attack that struggled to threaten Uruguay in a 1-0 loss Friday. On the other side, Russia winger Denis Cheryshev has promoted to the starting lineup after scoring twice as a substitute in Thursday's tournament-opening 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia. Egypt: Mohamed Elshenawy, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Abdelshafy, Ahmed Fathi, Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Elneny, Abdalla Said, Mohamed Salah, Mahmoud Hassan, Marwan Mohsen. Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kutepov, Sergei Ignashevich, Denis Cheryshev, Yuri Gazinsky, Fyodor Smolov, Roman Zobnin, Alexander Golovin, Yuri Zhirkov, Alexander Samedov. 6:20PM Heartwarming news! Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Blatter posed for photographs with people on his arrival at a five-star hotel downtown. The 82-year-old former FIFA president is banned from official football duty until October 2021 for financial misconduct during this 17-year rule. This is Blatter's first public appearance outside his native Switzerland since July 2015 when the World Cup qualifying draw was conducted in St. Petersburg. Blatter shared the stage that day with Putin and could meet with the Russian president this week. The FIFA ban does not prevent Blatter attending games and he is expected to see Portugal play Morocco on Wednesday at Luzhniki Stadium. 5:49PM And please welcome your hosts.... Russia! Starting Eleven @TeamRussia vs @Pharaohs#Rusia2018#RUSEGYpic.twitter.com/HLD5EZt081— Сборная России (@TeamRussia) June 19, 2018 Playing in their controversial 4-4-4 formation and giving a start to an old geezer who has come in the wrong PE kit. 5:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Saint Petersburg Stadium 5:46PM More on Mo Egypt striker Mohamed Salah will make his first appearance at the World Cup after being named in the starting line-up for tonight's match with Russia, the Egyptian Football Association has announced. The Liverpool forward has been sidelined since injuring his shoulder during last month's Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid. Salah, who was an unused substitute in Egypt's Group A opener against Uruguay on Friday, will lead his side as they face hosts Russia at Krestovsky Stadium in an attempt to bounce back from that defeat with a result. 5:45PM Here's all our reaction to the England game Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men 5:44PM Liverpool sending good vibes @MoSalah starts. ������#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/UbZbrhIFPR— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 19, 2018 5:43PM Teams إليكم تشكيل #الفراعنة لمباراة الليلة #worldcup#ThePharaohs#RUSEGY#RUS �� #Egypic.twitter.com/fMV9pNzzYk— Egypt National Football Team (@Pharaohs) June 19, 2018 5:39PM He's in Mo Salah starts! Full team news coming up. Great news: Mo Salah starts for Egypt.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 19, 2018 5:35PM All hail the Egyptian King! Good evening, and welcome to our live blog of the first of the second round of group games. Everyone, with the exception of the Russian football team and fans, is surely hoping that Mo Salah is fit enough to play in this match, and fit enough to give a good account of himself. Ronaldo has already lit up the tournament, Messi was poor, Suarez looked a bit fat and off the pace, De Bruyne had his moments, and now it is the chance for one of the other top, top, top, top players to make his mark, we hope. his Egypt side will play the hosts badly needing a result. Egypt lost by the single goal to Uruguay the other day and cannot afford another slip up. As for the hosts, they got the tournament off to an unexpectedly joyous start in the first game when they walloped Saudi Arabia. Of all the teams I have seen in the competition only the Saudis could be said to be without merit or ability, and I full expect all the other teams in this group to have the full three points off them. But anyone will be doing well to better the goal difference good times that Russia have got for themselves. In all likelihood, Uruguay are going to have six points within the next 24 hours and that means that this game is a very important fixture for Egypt. We will have the team news as soon as it comes in, the match itself starts at 7pm UK time. Meanwhile, why not follow the end of Poland V Senegal here with JJ Bull?
Russia move to brink of qualification for knockout rounds after second-half blitz sees off Egypt
Eight goals in two games have averted Russia’s nightmare of spending tens of millions of dollars on a World Cup only to go out in the group stage. Mohamed Salah meanwhile has been restricted to a penalty, lots of physio on his injured shoulder and an awkward meeting with Chechnya’s warlord. Salah’s penalty kick when Egypt already trailed 3-0 was a small reward for his hard work in the treatment room and gym. It pales, though, beside the potential dividend for Russia from 5-0 and 3-1 victories against two of the tournament’s weaker sides. If all the hosts could hope for was to string their presence out to the point of respectability, their supporters now have something to be excited about beyond the stardust spread by other countries. If Saudi Arabia fail to beat Uruguay (and who would back them to win?) Russia will advance to the knock-out rounds for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Saint Petersburg Stadium was not full for this second home triumph, but the 64,468 here were giddy as three second-half goals flew in inside 15 minutes (the first, a ludicrous own goal). Salah performed honourably after missing the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay, but to expect him to walk straight back in and rescue Egypt was fanciful, especially as he lacks team-mates of the quality of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. His goal came in the 73rd minute after he was pulled down by the arm (this is becoming a pattern), apparently outside the Russia penalty box, until VAR showed it to be penalty. These Russia players are pretty much equal and indistinguishable. The Soviet system would have been proud of this mechanical team. It’s as if their training stopped at pass and run, which they do well, and dispensed with the subtleties of the game, such as ingenuity and vision around the penalty box. Denis Cheryshev has been the best of them, and their energy and commitment ought to be acknowledged. Not that they will feel they had much choice in those respects. Russia have made a brilliant start to the tournament on home soil Credit: AFP They are all Russia have, and were cast into a home World Cup as the lowest-ranked team in the tournament with the unenviable task of matching the grandeur of the stadiums. Plainly this is going to be beyond them, however uplifting their 5-0 opening night win against Saudi Arabia - the biggest curtain-raising victory by a host country since 1934 - and this own-goal assisted win over Salah and company. Standing between the new Russian empire and progress to the Round of 16 was an Egypt side now emotionally dependent on Salah. The lauding of him before the game was at a level not even Liverpool fans could hope to match. His name was cheered at least three times louder than any other Egypt player, and each glimpse of him on the big screen ignited a new Egyptian party. In the game, Salah started wide-right, dispensing with defensive duties to try his luck against Yury Zhirkov, an old hand steeled for the fight. Denis Cheryshev scores Russia's second goal Credit: REuters It took Zhirkov 21 minutes to land a bang on the shoulder Salah injured in a tangle with Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final in Kiev. The challenge was fair, but spun Salah round, and soon the Premier League’s golden boot winner moved to play more centrally. He was more effective there, his first real chance on goal coming with a turn and swivel on the edge of Russia’s penalty box. But the shot from the pirouette slid wide. Egypt’s campaign, though was about to take a comical turn, two minutes after the break, when Roman Zobnin miscued a shot after a bad punch by the goalkeeper, and Ahmed Fathy, the Egyptian captain, under pressure from Artem Dzyuba, took a wild swing at it and swiped it into his own net. Bare-chested Egyptian fans in Pharoah headgear looked on miserably. Egypt’s defence, like Saudi Arabia’s, disintegrated, conceding three times, twice abjectly . Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah dribbles past Russia's defender Sergey Ignashevich Credit: AFP With Salah’s team still reeling from the own goal, Mario Fernandes cut a cross back for Cheryshev to double the lead, and then Ali Gabr failed to control a dropping ball on the edge of his box and allowed it to run to Dzyuba, the former star Russian striker who lost his way. Dzyuba’s military salute for the goal was in tune with his combative work in unsettling Egypt’s back four. The defensive ineptitude of opponents is helping Russia, but their probable advance will help maintain the interest of those who are ultimately paying for most of it - the Russian public, who have been treated to eight goals and plenty of workmanlike enterprise from their team. Salah, in effect, lost his World Cup campaign in the Champions League final, though he fought his way back to leave a small mark here. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 9:03PM That's moved the boy Denis Level with He Who Must Not Be Mentioned in the race for the Golden Boot. 8:58PM Class piece from Jim White Seems absolutely ridiculous that these two fans have to travel to Russia to watch their team play football live. Why? Because they are women from Iran. https://t.co/pSLIeiuqvz— Jim White (@jimw1) June 19, 2018 8:57PM Uruguay will have enjoyed that. Now a World Cup last-16 place is theirs for the taking if they beat Saudi Arabia. 8:55PM Group A Table 8:54PM Nice! Best goal difference by a host nation through two #WorldCup games: +7 ���� 2018 Russia +7 ���� 1998 France (won title) +6 ���� 1934 Italy (won title) +5 ���� 1930 Uruguay (won title)— Paul Carr (@PaulCarrTM) June 19, 2018 8:52PM Full time: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Hard lines for Egypt, but Russia are having a bit of a moment and deserved their win. 8:49PM 90+ mins: there will be four minutes added Warda and Kudryashov square up. Kudryashov looks like he could eat Warda for breakfast and still have room for pancakes. The hosts are, barring an astonishing Saudi Arabia result, going through. 8:47PM 89 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Nice move, Salah nearly dancing through, they get the break of the ball and Warda, from the right, hits it wide of the post. 8:46PM 86 mins Warda with a useful cross in. Since they, erm, went 3-0 down Egypt have played with a lot more vim. Also, other attacking players have started trying to do something rather than just looking to Salah. This is the problem with a one man team, obvs. 8:45PM 85 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt having the odd 1/4 chance but to be honest this feels remote in the extreme as a possibility. 8:42PM 84 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kahraba on, Mohsen off. Yuri Zhirkov is replaced by Fedor Kudryashov. 8:38PM 80 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt getting greedy, now they want another pen. Mohsen hits the deck. Kutepov the accused. No penalty. And I'll tell you why not: because Mohsen had fouled HIM. 8:37PM 79 mins: Golovin controls the ball majestically, nips past Gabr and waits for the foul, and the inevitable freekick. Ref doesn't give it. Snigger. Smolov comes on for Dzubya. 8:33PM 75 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kuziaev comes on, the dangerman Cheryshev off. Russia have a decent opportunity to slam the coffin lid down when Samedov delivers a useful freekick to the back stick. Ignashevich's header is saved. 8:31PM VAR to the rescue Again, VAR gets there. But poor refereeing. Always been a penalty.— Matt Smith (@msmith850) June 19, 2018 8:31PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 1 (Salah 73 pen) He's wellied that! Bosh. No messing from Mo Salah. Is that an improbable lifeline? 8:30PM 71 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 0 Salah is hauled down. To most viewers, it is clear that it is inside the box. But not to the referee though. He gives it outside the box but fortunately the VAR comes to the rescue. A PENALTY IS AWARDED Credit: BBC 8:25PM 66 mins Fed by Salah with a nice ball, Trezeguet has a shot wide, and that will be Trezeguet's last contribution. He's getting the hook, and here comes Sobhi. 8:22PM 65 mins Warda on, Elneny off. Egypt have a freekick, Gabr tries to make amends for his defensive spinelessness with a header. No. 8:20PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 0 (Dzyuba 62) Another one! Oh dear, this is turning into a horrible night for the Pharoahs. Route one, big Dzyuba chests the ball down and it's men against boys as Gabr and Hegazi crumble and let him through. Hammers it home and that, my friends, is the night boat to Cairo. Artem Dzyuba of Russia scores Credit: Getty 8:16PM GOAL! Russia 2 Egypt 0 (Cheryshev 59) Ooh, that is going to be the killer blow, surely. Nice work from Figueira Fernandes, heart and energy down the right to join the attack. Pulls the ball back, and there is the deadly Denis Cheryshev to slot the ball home. That's his third of the tournament by the way, and it looks likely that it is going to send Russia through... and send poor Egypt home. 8:14PM No OG no fun There were no own-goals at all at the 1958 and 1962 World Cups. What miserable times they must have been.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) June 19, 2018 8:13PM 55 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 That was the moment? Maybe? The ball is played into the Russian box, knockdown, Salah has it at his feet eight yards out.... but he cannot get it out from under him and the desperate Russians can clear. Fully fit, he jinks and smashes that. But he is not confident in his body. 8:10PM 52 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Russians enjoying a couple of corners. At this rate (5 own goals in 17 matches), this World Cup will have 19 own goals. The record most in a single World Cup is 6, set in 1998. #WorldCup#RUS#EGY— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) June 19, 2018 8:04PM OWN GOAL! by Fathy: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Aw, that is rotten luck for Egypt, although their keeper must carry his fair share of blame. Golovin crosses it in, the keeper comes out with a flappy, silly punch. Shoulda caught that. Instead, he punches, the Russian 11 Zobnin drills it back in and a panicking Fathy stabs it into his own net. (Fathy OG 47 mins) Dreadful shot by Zobnin by the way, would have practically gone out for a corner had Fathy not intervened. Egypt's goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy (R) watches as the ball ends up in his net after a deflection by Egypt's defender Ahmed Fathi (L) Credit: AFP/Getty 8:03PM 46 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Always a shame to see a brilliant player not at his best due to injury. But hopefully Mo Salah can weave a bit of magic. 8:00PM This shows Salah's position (10) Average touch positions (half time) He's basically playing as a narrow advanced forward. Alan Shearer sums it up well on BBC: "Mo Salah, you can tell, is only 70-75% fit and they know that - they're protecting him, he's not running back and they're just trying to get the ball up to him." 7:57PM Pretty fair Russia vs Egypt shots on goal 7:46PM Half time: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That'll do it for the half, not many chances, but plenty of energy. 7:44PM 42 mins Fun, B- quality, end-to-end stuff, here are the Russians with a corner. Gabr involved in a good old fashioned grappling contest with Dzyuba. Risky business in these VAR times... 7:42PM 40 mins There's our boy! Class from Salah, Mohsen dummies, Salah gets it and spins away from his man. Peach of a curling effort but not quite. 7:40PM 37 mins Lovely counter by Egypt, but it starts in bizarre fashion when the ball hits the ref, wrong-footing everyone! Elneny with a great ball in and Mohsen should have done a lot better. 7:35PM 34 mins Nice ball in! Mohsen just misses out to Figueira Fernandes of Russia. More even now. 7:34PM 33 mins Better spell from Egypt. Passing it, higher up the pitch. Looking slicker, ball into the area from Shafy is flicked on. Salah nearly there at the back stick! Corner. Delivery is poor. 7:33PM 30 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Enjoyable game so far. Russia unsophisticated but useful, got some pace, got some who can deliver the ball, attack in numbers. Egypt are unbalanced. They need to just get a bit of the ball, play themselves into this. 7:28PM 27 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Decent from Salah as he holds it up to tee up Trézéguet , whose shot is charged down. But it is a momentary respite: here come the Russians again. 7:27PM 25 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 This Egypt defence are making some blunders and I think they are going to be sorry. A ball is played in by Cheryshev. Keeper El-Shenawy comes, and is barged off it by Hegazi. Don't panic! 7:25PM 22 mins Salah is not doing a lot. And as I say, he is not offering anything defensively, just standing out on the right wing. Here come the Russians down the left. Gazinskii crosses and the big lad Dzyuba gets up well but glances his header too fine. 7:19PM 18 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Zhirkov takes a freekick but is wasteful with the delivery. But Russia get a lucky break when it rebounds out to Cheryshev. he has a crack, and it is not far over. 7:16PM 16 mins Lovely run from Trézéguet down the inside-left, he tries to bend it in at the far post and he is not far at all from achieving that end. 7:15PM 14 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 El Said spins away from Kutepov and was fouled. From a corner, Egypt have a headed chance. Attempt Saved: Russia 0 - 0 Egypt (Marwan Mohsen, 15 min) Behind for another corner. Another good ball in, cleared but only as far as the corner flag. Good spell for the visitors, their best of the match so far. 7:13PM 13 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That's it! Salah gets a long ball on the right, gives it inside and goes into the box. He is stopped by multiple Russians. 7:11PM 11 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Samedov and Figueira Fernandes link up well down the right but the latter cannot quite find the final ball. 7:10PM 10 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Very encouraging start from the hosts. Egypt pinned back. Salah hasn't featured. Also: Salah is not tracking back, which is fine in and of itself but somebody else needs to help out the right back in which case. 7:08PM 8 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 It's all Russia. Egypt cannot get out. 7:08PM 6 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Defensive blunder by Egypt! Sloppy, dawdling play out from the back, Golovin pinches it and races forward. He is disappointed not to have done better with the shot. 7:07PM 5 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Russia have the game's first corner.. Taken short, and it is played in by Samedov, headed by the veteran Ignashevich. Not troubling anyone, that. 7:04PM 3 mins Plenty of atmos, some beefy challenges but neither side able to dominate so far. Russia looking for raking balls to their hefty forward Artem Dzyuba. 7:01PM 1 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Egypt, in white, kick off. 7:01PM And Egypt Egypt side Credit: BBC 6:58PM Here's how Russia should line up Credit: BBC 6:56PM Russian anthem Powerful stuff. 6:55PM Egyptian anthem being belted out around the stadium, they seem to have got a few in. Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah... he's in! Credit: AFP/Getty 6:50PM Noice Russia ���� fans gather outside the entrance to Red Square as anticipation mounts ahead of the hosts’ group match against Egypt ���� in St. Petersburg. Mo Salah starts for The Pharaohs #RUSEGY ⁦@FIFAWorldCup⁩ ⁦@RT_com⁩ pic.twitter.com/TEqBth3fTC— Kate Partridge (@KatePartridge33) June 19, 2018 6:49PM Danny Murphy Bit over-dressed, aren't you? Like you just stepped out of a bookies: Danny Murphy Credit: BBC 6:48PM Fans Credit: BBC 6:35PM Who's having a good tournament? 6:34PM Where's your money, then? Here is our betting guide to a tasty fixture. Russia: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Zobnin, Gazinsky, Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev, Dzyuba. Subs: Lunev, Semenov, Kuzyaev, Dzagoev, Smolov, Kudryashov, Granat, Aleksey Miranchuk, Anton Miranchuk, Erokhin, Smolnikov, Gabulov. Egypt: El Shenawy, Fathi, Gabr, Hegazi, Abdel-Shafy, Hamed, Elneny, Salah, Said, Trezeguet, Mohsen. Subs: El Hadary, Elmohamady, Gaber, Morsy, Kahraba, Ashraf, Sobhi, Hamdy, Shikabala, Samir, Warda, Ekramy. Referee: Enrique Caceres (Paraguay) 6:21PM Salah news! The Premier League's top scorer adds some much-needed bite to an Egyptian attack that struggled to threaten Uruguay in a 1-0 loss Friday. On the other side, Russia winger Denis Cheryshev has promoted to the starting lineup after scoring twice as a substitute in Thursday's tournament-opening 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia. Egypt: Mohamed Elshenawy, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Abdelshafy, Ahmed Fathi, Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Elneny, Abdalla Said, Mohamed Salah, Mahmoud Hassan, Marwan Mohsen. Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kutepov, Sergei Ignashevich, Denis Cheryshev, Yuri Gazinsky, Fyodor Smolov, Roman Zobnin, Alexander Golovin, Yuri Zhirkov, Alexander Samedov. 6:20PM Heartwarming news! Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Blatter posed for photographs with people on his arrival at a five-star hotel downtown. The 82-year-old former FIFA president is banned from official football duty until October 2021 for financial misconduct during this 17-year rule. This is Blatter's first public appearance outside his native Switzerland since July 2015 when the World Cup qualifying draw was conducted in St. Petersburg. Blatter shared the stage that day with Putin and could meet with the Russian president this week. The FIFA ban does not prevent Blatter attending games and he is expected to see Portugal play Morocco on Wednesday at Luzhniki Stadium. 5:49PM And please welcome your hosts.... Russia! Starting Eleven @TeamRussia vs @Pharaohs#Rusia2018#RUSEGYpic.twitter.com/HLD5EZt081— Сборная России (@TeamRussia) June 19, 2018 Playing in their controversial 4-4-4 formation and giving a start to an old geezer who has come in the wrong PE kit. 5:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Saint Petersburg Stadium 5:46PM More on Mo Egypt striker Mohamed Salah will make his first appearance at the World Cup after being named in the starting line-up for tonight's match with Russia, the Egyptian Football Association has announced. The Liverpool forward has been sidelined since injuring his shoulder during last month's Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid. Salah, who was an unused substitute in Egypt's Group A opener against Uruguay on Friday, will lead his side as they face hosts Russia at Krestovsky Stadium in an attempt to bounce back from that defeat with a result. 5:45PM Here's all our reaction to the England game Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men 5:44PM Liverpool sending good vibes @MoSalah starts. ������#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/UbZbrhIFPR— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 19, 2018 5:43PM Teams إليكم تشكيل #الفراعنة لمباراة الليلة #worldcup#ThePharaohs#RUSEGY#RUS �� #Egypic.twitter.com/fMV9pNzzYk— Egypt National Football Team (@Pharaohs) June 19, 2018 5:39PM He's in Mo Salah starts! Full team news coming up. Great news: Mo Salah starts for Egypt.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 19, 2018 5:35PM All hail the Egyptian King! Good evening, and welcome to our live blog of the first of the second round of group games. Everyone, with the exception of the Russian football team and fans, is surely hoping that Mo Salah is fit enough to play in this match, and fit enough to give a good account of himself. Ronaldo has already lit up the tournament, Messi was poor, Suarez looked a bit fat and off the pace, De Bruyne had his moments, and now it is the chance for one of the other top, top, top, top players to make his mark, we hope. his Egypt side will play the hosts badly needing a result. Egypt lost by the single goal to Uruguay the other day and cannot afford another slip up. As for the hosts, they got the tournament off to an unexpectedly joyous start in the first game when they walloped Saudi Arabia. Of all the teams I have seen in the competition only the Saudis could be said to be without merit or ability, and I full expect all the other teams in this group to have the full three points off them. But anyone will be doing well to better the goal difference good times that Russia have got for themselves. In all likelihood, Uruguay are going to have six points within the next 24 hours and that means that this game is a very important fixture for Egypt. We will have the team news as soon as it comes in, the match itself starts at 7pm UK time. Meanwhile, why not follow the end of Poland V Senegal here with JJ Bull?
Eight goals in two games have averted Russia’s nightmare of spending tens of millions of dollars on a World Cup only to go out in the group stage. Mohamed Salah meanwhile has been restricted to a penalty, lots of physio on his injured shoulder and an awkward meeting with Chechnya’s warlord. Salah’s penalty kick when Egypt already trailed 3-0 was a small reward for his hard work in the treatment room and gym. It pales, though, beside the potential dividend for Russia from 5-0 and 3-1 victories against two of the tournament’s weaker sides. If all the hosts could hope for was to string their presence out to the point of respectability, their supporters now have something to be excited about beyond the stardust spread by other countries. If Saudi Arabia fail to beat Uruguay (and who would back them to win?) Russia will advance to the knock-out rounds for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Saint Petersburg Stadium was not full for this second home triumph, but the 64,468 here were giddy as three second-half goals flew in inside 15 minutes (the first, a ludicrous own goal). Salah performed honourably after missing the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay, but to expect him to walk straight back in and rescue Egypt was fanciful, especially as he lacks team-mates of the quality of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. His goal came in the 73rd minute after he was pulled down by the arm (this is becoming a pattern), apparently outside the Russia penalty box, until VAR showed it to be penalty. These Russia players are pretty much equal and indistinguishable. The Soviet system would have been proud of this mechanical team. It’s as if their training stopped at pass and run, which they do well, and dispensed with the subtleties of the game, such as ingenuity and vision around the penalty box. Denis Cheryshev has been the best of them, and their energy and commitment ought to be acknowledged. Not that they will feel they had much choice in those respects. Russia have made a brilliant start to the tournament on home soil Credit: AFP They are all Russia have, and were cast into a home World Cup as the lowest-ranked team in the tournament with the unenviable task of matching the grandeur of the stadiums. Plainly this is going to be beyond them, however uplifting their 5-0 opening night win against Saudi Arabia - the biggest curtain-raising victory by a host country since 1934 - and this own-goal assisted win over Salah and company. Standing between the new Russian empire and progress to the Round of 16 was an Egypt side now emotionally dependent on Salah. The lauding of him before the game was at a level not even Liverpool fans could hope to match. His name was cheered at least three times louder than any other Egypt player, and each glimpse of him on the big screen ignited a new Egyptian party. In the game, Salah started wide-right, dispensing with defensive duties to try his luck against Yury Zhirkov, an old hand steeled for the fight. Denis Cheryshev scores Russia's second goal Credit: REuters It took Zhirkov 21 minutes to land a bang on the shoulder Salah injured in a tangle with Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final in Kiev. The challenge was fair, but spun Salah round, and soon the Premier League’s golden boot winner moved to play more centrally. He was more effective there, his first real chance on goal coming with a turn and swivel on the edge of Russia’s penalty box. But the shot from the pirouette slid wide. Egypt’s campaign, though was about to take a comical turn, two minutes after the break, when Roman Zobnin miscued a shot after a bad punch by the goalkeeper, and Ahmed Fathy, the Egyptian captain, under pressure from Artem Dzyuba, took a wild swing at it and swiped it into his own net. Bare-chested Egyptian fans in Pharoah headgear looked on miserably. Egypt’s defence, like Saudi Arabia’s, disintegrated, conceding three times, twice abjectly . Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah dribbles past Russia's defender Sergey Ignashevich Credit: AFP With Salah’s team still reeling from the own goal, Mario Fernandes cut a cross back for Cheryshev to double the lead, and then Ali Gabr failed to control a dropping ball on the edge of his box and allowed it to run to Dzyuba, the former star Russian striker who lost his way. Dzyuba’s military salute for the goal was in tune with his combative work in unsettling Egypt’s back four. The defensive ineptitude of opponents is helping Russia, but their probable advance will help maintain the interest of those who are ultimately paying for most of it - the Russian public, who have been treated to eight goals and plenty of workmanlike enterprise from their team. Salah, in effect, lost his World Cup campaign in the Champions League final, though he fought his way back to leave a small mark here. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 9:03PM That's moved the boy Denis Level with He Who Must Not Be Mentioned in the race for the Golden Boot. 8:58PM Class piece from Jim White Seems absolutely ridiculous that these two fans have to travel to Russia to watch their team play football live. Why? Because they are women from Iran. https://t.co/pSLIeiuqvz— Jim White (@jimw1) June 19, 2018 8:57PM Uruguay will have enjoyed that. Now a World Cup last-16 place is theirs for the taking if they beat Saudi Arabia. 8:55PM Group A Table 8:54PM Nice! Best goal difference by a host nation through two #WorldCup games: +7 ���� 2018 Russia +7 ���� 1998 France (won title) +6 ���� 1934 Italy (won title) +5 ���� 1930 Uruguay (won title)— Paul Carr (@PaulCarrTM) June 19, 2018 8:52PM Full time: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Hard lines for Egypt, but Russia are having a bit of a moment and deserved their win. 8:49PM 90+ mins: there will be four minutes added Warda and Kudryashov square up. Kudryashov looks like he could eat Warda for breakfast and still have room for pancakes. The hosts are, barring an astonishing Saudi Arabia result, going through. 8:47PM 89 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Nice move, Salah nearly dancing through, they get the break of the ball and Warda, from the right, hits it wide of the post. 8:46PM 86 mins Warda with a useful cross in. Since they, erm, went 3-0 down Egypt have played with a lot more vim. Also, other attacking players have started trying to do something rather than just looking to Salah. This is the problem with a one man team, obvs. 8:45PM 85 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt having the odd 1/4 chance but to be honest this feels remote in the extreme as a possibility. 8:42PM 84 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kahraba on, Mohsen off. Yuri Zhirkov is replaced by Fedor Kudryashov. 8:38PM 80 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt getting greedy, now they want another pen. Mohsen hits the deck. Kutepov the accused. No penalty. And I'll tell you why not: because Mohsen had fouled HIM. 8:37PM 79 mins: Golovin controls the ball majestically, nips past Gabr and waits for the foul, and the inevitable freekick. Ref doesn't give it. Snigger. Smolov comes on for Dzubya. 8:33PM 75 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kuziaev comes on, the dangerman Cheryshev off. Russia have a decent opportunity to slam the coffin lid down when Samedov delivers a useful freekick to the back stick. Ignashevich's header is saved. 8:31PM VAR to the rescue Again, VAR gets there. But poor refereeing. Always been a penalty.— Matt Smith (@msmith850) June 19, 2018 8:31PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 1 (Salah 73 pen) He's wellied that! Bosh. No messing from Mo Salah. Is that an improbable lifeline? 8:30PM 71 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 0 Salah is hauled down. To most viewers, it is clear that it is inside the box. But not to the referee though. He gives it outside the box but fortunately the VAR comes to the rescue. A PENALTY IS AWARDED Credit: BBC 8:25PM 66 mins Fed by Salah with a nice ball, Trezeguet has a shot wide, and that will be Trezeguet's last contribution. He's getting the hook, and here comes Sobhi. 8:22PM 65 mins Warda on, Elneny off. Egypt have a freekick, Gabr tries to make amends for his defensive spinelessness with a header. No. 8:20PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 0 (Dzyuba 62) Another one! Oh dear, this is turning into a horrible night for the Pharoahs. Route one, big Dzyuba chests the ball down and it's men against boys as Gabr and Hegazi crumble and let him through. Hammers it home and that, my friends, is the night boat to Cairo. Artem Dzyuba of Russia scores Credit: Getty 8:16PM GOAL! Russia 2 Egypt 0 (Cheryshev 59) Ooh, that is going to be the killer blow, surely. Nice work from Figueira Fernandes, heart and energy down the right to join the attack. Pulls the ball back, and there is the deadly Denis Cheryshev to slot the ball home. That's his third of the tournament by the way, and it looks likely that it is going to send Russia through... and send poor Egypt home. 8:14PM No OG no fun There were no own-goals at all at the 1958 and 1962 World Cups. What miserable times they must have been.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) June 19, 2018 8:13PM 55 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 That was the moment? Maybe? The ball is played into the Russian box, knockdown, Salah has it at his feet eight yards out.... but he cannot get it out from under him and the desperate Russians can clear. Fully fit, he jinks and smashes that. But he is not confident in his body. 8:10PM 52 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Russians enjoying a couple of corners. At this rate (5 own goals in 17 matches), this World Cup will have 19 own goals. The record most in a single World Cup is 6, set in 1998. #WorldCup#RUS#EGY— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) June 19, 2018 8:04PM OWN GOAL! by Fathy: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Aw, that is rotten luck for Egypt, although their keeper must carry his fair share of blame. Golovin crosses it in, the keeper comes out with a flappy, silly punch. Shoulda caught that. Instead, he punches, the Russian 11 Zobnin drills it back in and a panicking Fathy stabs it into his own net. (Fathy OG 47 mins) Dreadful shot by Zobnin by the way, would have practically gone out for a corner had Fathy not intervened. Egypt's goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy (R) watches as the ball ends up in his net after a deflection by Egypt's defender Ahmed Fathi (L) Credit: AFP/Getty 8:03PM 46 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Always a shame to see a brilliant player not at his best due to injury. But hopefully Mo Salah can weave a bit of magic. 8:00PM This shows Salah's position (10) Average touch positions (half time) He's basically playing as a narrow advanced forward. Alan Shearer sums it up well on BBC: "Mo Salah, you can tell, is only 70-75% fit and they know that - they're protecting him, he's not running back and they're just trying to get the ball up to him." 7:57PM Pretty fair Russia vs Egypt shots on goal 7:46PM Half time: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That'll do it for the half, not many chances, but plenty of energy. 7:44PM 42 mins Fun, B- quality, end-to-end stuff, here are the Russians with a corner. Gabr involved in a good old fashioned grappling contest with Dzyuba. Risky business in these VAR times... 7:42PM 40 mins There's our boy! Class from Salah, Mohsen dummies, Salah gets it and spins away from his man. Peach of a curling effort but not quite. 7:40PM 37 mins Lovely counter by Egypt, but it starts in bizarre fashion when the ball hits the ref, wrong-footing everyone! Elneny with a great ball in and Mohsen should have done a lot better. 7:35PM 34 mins Nice ball in! Mohsen just misses out to Figueira Fernandes of Russia. More even now. 7:34PM 33 mins Better spell from Egypt. Passing it, higher up the pitch. Looking slicker, ball into the area from Shafy is flicked on. Salah nearly there at the back stick! Corner. Delivery is poor. 7:33PM 30 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Enjoyable game so far. Russia unsophisticated but useful, got some pace, got some who can deliver the ball, attack in numbers. Egypt are unbalanced. They need to just get a bit of the ball, play themselves into this. 7:28PM 27 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Decent from Salah as he holds it up to tee up Trézéguet , whose shot is charged down. But it is a momentary respite: here come the Russians again. 7:27PM 25 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 This Egypt defence are making some blunders and I think they are going to be sorry. A ball is played in by Cheryshev. Keeper El-Shenawy comes, and is barged off it by Hegazi. Don't panic! 7:25PM 22 mins Salah is not doing a lot. And as I say, he is not offering anything defensively, just standing out on the right wing. Here come the Russians down the left. Gazinskii crosses and the big lad Dzyuba gets up well but glances his header too fine. 7:19PM 18 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Zhirkov takes a freekick but is wasteful with the delivery. But Russia get a lucky break when it rebounds out to Cheryshev. he has a crack, and it is not far over. 7:16PM 16 mins Lovely run from Trézéguet down the inside-left, he tries to bend it in at the far post and he is not far at all from achieving that end. 7:15PM 14 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 El Said spins away from Kutepov and was fouled. From a corner, Egypt have a headed chance. Attempt Saved: Russia 0 - 0 Egypt (Marwan Mohsen, 15 min) Behind for another corner. Another good ball in, cleared but only as far as the corner flag. Good spell for the visitors, their best of the match so far. 7:13PM 13 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That's it! Salah gets a long ball on the right, gives it inside and goes into the box. He is stopped by multiple Russians. 7:11PM 11 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Samedov and Figueira Fernandes link up well down the right but the latter cannot quite find the final ball. 7:10PM 10 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Very encouraging start from the hosts. Egypt pinned back. Salah hasn't featured. Also: Salah is not tracking back, which is fine in and of itself but somebody else needs to help out the right back in which case. 7:08PM 8 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 It's all Russia. Egypt cannot get out. 7:08PM 6 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Defensive blunder by Egypt! Sloppy, dawdling play out from the back, Golovin pinches it and races forward. He is disappointed not to have done better with the shot. 7:07PM 5 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Russia have the game's first corner.. Taken short, and it is played in by Samedov, headed by the veteran Ignashevich. Not troubling anyone, that. 7:04PM 3 mins Plenty of atmos, some beefy challenges but neither side able to dominate so far. Russia looking for raking balls to their hefty forward Artem Dzyuba. 7:01PM 1 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Egypt, in white, kick off. 7:01PM And Egypt Egypt side Credit: BBC 6:58PM Here's how Russia should line up Credit: BBC 6:56PM Russian anthem Powerful stuff. 6:55PM Egyptian anthem being belted out around the stadium, they seem to have got a few in. Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah... he's in! Credit: AFP/Getty 6:50PM Noice Russia ���� fans gather outside the entrance to Red Square as anticipation mounts ahead of the hosts’ group match against Egypt ���� in St. Petersburg. Mo Salah starts for The Pharaohs #RUSEGY ⁦@FIFAWorldCup⁩ ⁦@RT_com⁩ pic.twitter.com/TEqBth3fTC— Kate Partridge (@KatePartridge33) June 19, 2018 6:49PM Danny Murphy Bit over-dressed, aren't you? Like you just stepped out of a bookies: Danny Murphy Credit: BBC 6:48PM Fans Credit: BBC 6:35PM Who's having a good tournament? 6:34PM Where's your money, then? Here is our betting guide to a tasty fixture. Russia: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Zobnin, Gazinsky, Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev, Dzyuba. Subs: Lunev, Semenov, Kuzyaev, Dzagoev, Smolov, Kudryashov, Granat, Aleksey Miranchuk, Anton Miranchuk, Erokhin, Smolnikov, Gabulov. Egypt: El Shenawy, Fathi, Gabr, Hegazi, Abdel-Shafy, Hamed, Elneny, Salah, Said, Trezeguet, Mohsen. Subs: El Hadary, Elmohamady, Gaber, Morsy, Kahraba, Ashraf, Sobhi, Hamdy, Shikabala, Samir, Warda, Ekramy. Referee: Enrique Caceres (Paraguay) 6:21PM Salah news! The Premier League's top scorer adds some much-needed bite to an Egyptian attack that struggled to threaten Uruguay in a 1-0 loss Friday. On the other side, Russia winger Denis Cheryshev has promoted to the starting lineup after scoring twice as a substitute in Thursday's tournament-opening 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia. Egypt: Mohamed Elshenawy, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Abdelshafy, Ahmed Fathi, Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Elneny, Abdalla Said, Mohamed Salah, Mahmoud Hassan, Marwan Mohsen. Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kutepov, Sergei Ignashevich, Denis Cheryshev, Yuri Gazinsky, Fyodor Smolov, Roman Zobnin, Alexander Golovin, Yuri Zhirkov, Alexander Samedov. 6:20PM Heartwarming news! Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Blatter posed for photographs with people on his arrival at a five-star hotel downtown. The 82-year-old former FIFA president is banned from official football duty until October 2021 for financial misconduct during this 17-year rule. This is Blatter's first public appearance outside his native Switzerland since July 2015 when the World Cup qualifying draw was conducted in St. Petersburg. Blatter shared the stage that day with Putin and could meet with the Russian president this week. The FIFA ban does not prevent Blatter attending games and he is expected to see Portugal play Morocco on Wednesday at Luzhniki Stadium. 5:49PM And please welcome your hosts.... Russia! Starting Eleven @TeamRussia vs @Pharaohs#Rusia2018#RUSEGYpic.twitter.com/HLD5EZt081— Сборная России (@TeamRussia) June 19, 2018 Playing in their controversial 4-4-4 formation and giving a start to an old geezer who has come in the wrong PE kit. 5:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Saint Petersburg Stadium 5:46PM More on Mo Egypt striker Mohamed Salah will make his first appearance at the World Cup after being named in the starting line-up for tonight's match with Russia, the Egyptian Football Association has announced. The Liverpool forward has been sidelined since injuring his shoulder during last month's Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid. Salah, who was an unused substitute in Egypt's Group A opener against Uruguay on Friday, will lead his side as they face hosts Russia at Krestovsky Stadium in an attempt to bounce back from that defeat with a result. 5:45PM Here's all our reaction to the England game Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men 5:44PM Liverpool sending good vibes @MoSalah starts. ������#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/UbZbrhIFPR— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 19, 2018 5:43PM Teams إليكم تشكيل #الفراعنة لمباراة الليلة #worldcup#ThePharaohs#RUSEGY#RUS �� #Egypic.twitter.com/fMV9pNzzYk— Egypt National Football Team (@Pharaohs) June 19, 2018 5:39PM He's in Mo Salah starts! Full team news coming up. Great news: Mo Salah starts for Egypt.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 19, 2018 5:35PM All hail the Egyptian King! Good evening, and welcome to our live blog of the first of the second round of group games. Everyone, with the exception of the Russian football team and fans, is surely hoping that Mo Salah is fit enough to play in this match, and fit enough to give a good account of himself. Ronaldo has already lit up the tournament, Messi was poor, Suarez looked a bit fat and off the pace, De Bruyne had his moments, and now it is the chance for one of the other top, top, top, top players to make his mark, we hope. his Egypt side will play the hosts badly needing a result. Egypt lost by the single goal to Uruguay the other day and cannot afford another slip up. As for the hosts, they got the tournament off to an unexpectedly joyous start in the first game when they walloped Saudi Arabia. Of all the teams I have seen in the competition only the Saudis could be said to be without merit or ability, and I full expect all the other teams in this group to have the full three points off them. But anyone will be doing well to better the goal difference good times that Russia have got for themselves. In all likelihood, Uruguay are going to have six points within the next 24 hours and that means that this game is a very important fixture for Egypt. We will have the team news as soon as it comes in, the match itself starts at 7pm UK time. Meanwhile, why not follow the end of Poland V Senegal here with JJ Bull?
Russia move to brink of qualification for knockout rounds after second-half blitz sees off Egypt
Eight goals in two games have averted Russia’s nightmare of spending tens of millions of dollars on a World Cup only to go out in the group stage. Mohamed Salah meanwhile has been restricted to a penalty, lots of physio on his injured shoulder and an awkward meeting with Chechnya’s warlord. Salah’s penalty kick when Egypt already trailed 3-0 was a small reward for his hard work in the treatment room and gym. It pales, though, beside the potential dividend for Russia from 5-0 and 3-1 victories against two of the tournament’s weaker sides. If all the hosts could hope for was to string their presence out to the point of respectability, their supporters now have something to be excited about beyond the stardust spread by other countries. If Saudi Arabia fail to beat Uruguay (and who would back them to win?) Russia will advance to the knock-out rounds for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Saint Petersburg Stadium was not full for this second home triumph, but the 64,468 here were giddy as three second-half goals flew in inside 15 minutes (the first, a ludicrous own goal). Salah performed honourably after missing the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay, but to expect him to walk straight back in and rescue Egypt was fanciful, especially as he lacks team-mates of the quality of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. His goal came in the 73rd minute after he was pulled down by the arm (this is becoming a pattern), apparently outside the Russia penalty box, until VAR showed it to be penalty. These Russia players are pretty much equal and indistinguishable. The Soviet system would have been proud of this mechanical team. It’s as if their training stopped at pass and run, which they do well, and dispensed with the subtleties of the game, such as ingenuity and vision around the penalty box. Denis Cheryshev has been the best of them, and their energy and commitment ought to be acknowledged. Not that they will feel they had much choice in those respects. Russia have made a brilliant start to the tournament on home soil Credit: AFP They are all Russia have, and were cast into a home World Cup as the lowest-ranked team in the tournament with the unenviable task of matching the grandeur of the stadiums. Plainly this is going to be beyond them, however uplifting their 5-0 opening night win against Saudi Arabia - the biggest curtain-raising victory by a host country since 1934 - and this own-goal assisted win over Salah and company. Standing between the new Russian empire and progress to the Round of 16 was an Egypt side now emotionally dependent on Salah. The lauding of him before the game was at a level not even Liverpool fans could hope to match. His name was cheered at least three times louder than any other Egypt player, and each glimpse of him on the big screen ignited a new Egyptian party. In the game, Salah started wide-right, dispensing with defensive duties to try his luck against Yury Zhirkov, an old hand steeled for the fight. Denis Cheryshev scores Russia's second goal Credit: REuters It took Zhirkov 21 minutes to land a bang on the shoulder Salah injured in a tangle with Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final in Kiev. The challenge was fair, but spun Salah round, and soon the Premier League’s golden boot winner moved to play more centrally. He was more effective there, his first real chance on goal coming with a turn and swivel on the edge of Russia’s penalty box. But the shot from the pirouette slid wide. Egypt’s campaign, though was about to take a comical turn, two minutes after the break, when Roman Zobnin miscued a shot after a bad punch by the goalkeeper, and Ahmed Fathy, the Egyptian captain, under pressure from Artem Dzyuba, took a wild swing at it and swiped it into his own net. Bare-chested Egyptian fans in Pharoah headgear looked on miserably. Egypt’s defence, like Saudi Arabia’s, disintegrated, conceding three times, twice abjectly . Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah dribbles past Russia's defender Sergey Ignashevich Credit: AFP With Salah’s team still reeling from the own goal, Mario Fernandes cut a cross back for Cheryshev to double the lead, and then Ali Gabr failed to control a dropping ball on the edge of his box and allowed it to run to Dzyuba, the former star Russian striker who lost his way. Dzyuba’s military salute for the goal was in tune with his combative work in unsettling Egypt’s back four. The defensive ineptitude of opponents is helping Russia, but their probable advance will help maintain the interest of those who are ultimately paying for most of it - the Russian public, who have been treated to eight goals and plenty of workmanlike enterprise from their team. Salah, in effect, lost his World Cup campaign in the Champions League final, though he fought his way back to leave a small mark here. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 9:03PM That's moved the boy Denis Level with He Who Must Not Be Mentioned in the race for the Golden Boot. 8:58PM Class piece from Jim White Seems absolutely ridiculous that these two fans have to travel to Russia to watch their team play football live. Why? Because they are women from Iran. https://t.co/pSLIeiuqvz— Jim White (@jimw1) June 19, 2018 8:57PM Uruguay will have enjoyed that. Now a World Cup last-16 place is theirs for the taking if they beat Saudi Arabia. 8:55PM Group A Table 8:54PM Nice! Best goal difference by a host nation through two #WorldCup games: +7 ���� 2018 Russia +7 ���� 1998 France (won title) +6 ���� 1934 Italy (won title) +5 ���� 1930 Uruguay (won title)— Paul Carr (@PaulCarrTM) June 19, 2018 8:52PM Full time: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Hard lines for Egypt, but Russia are having a bit of a moment and deserved their win. 8:49PM 90+ mins: there will be four minutes added Warda and Kudryashov square up. Kudryashov looks like he could eat Warda for breakfast and still have room for pancakes. The hosts are, barring an astonishing Saudi Arabia result, going through. 8:47PM 89 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Nice move, Salah nearly dancing through, they get the break of the ball and Warda, from the right, hits it wide of the post. 8:46PM 86 mins Warda with a useful cross in. Since they, erm, went 3-0 down Egypt have played with a lot more vim. Also, other attacking players have started trying to do something rather than just looking to Salah. This is the problem with a one man team, obvs. 8:45PM 85 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt having the odd 1/4 chance but to be honest this feels remote in the extreme as a possibility. 8:42PM 84 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kahraba on, Mohsen off. Yuri Zhirkov is replaced by Fedor Kudryashov. 8:38PM 80 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt getting greedy, now they want another pen. Mohsen hits the deck. Kutepov the accused. No penalty. And I'll tell you why not: because Mohsen had fouled HIM. 8:37PM 79 mins: Golovin controls the ball majestically, nips past Gabr and waits for the foul, and the inevitable freekick. Ref doesn't give it. Snigger. Smolov comes on for Dzubya. 8:33PM 75 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kuziaev comes on, the dangerman Cheryshev off. Russia have a decent opportunity to slam the coffin lid down when Samedov delivers a useful freekick to the back stick. Ignashevich's header is saved. 8:31PM VAR to the rescue Again, VAR gets there. But poor refereeing. Always been a penalty.— Matt Smith (@msmith850) June 19, 2018 8:31PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 1 (Salah 73 pen) He's wellied that! Bosh. No messing from Mo Salah. Is that an improbable lifeline? 8:30PM 71 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 0 Salah is hauled down. To most viewers, it is clear that it is inside the box. But not to the referee though. He gives it outside the box but fortunately the VAR comes to the rescue. A PENALTY IS AWARDED Credit: BBC 8:25PM 66 mins Fed by Salah with a nice ball, Trezeguet has a shot wide, and that will be Trezeguet's last contribution. He's getting the hook, and here comes Sobhi. 8:22PM 65 mins Warda on, Elneny off. Egypt have a freekick, Gabr tries to make amends for his defensive spinelessness with a header. No. 8:20PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 0 (Dzyuba 62) Another one! Oh dear, this is turning into a horrible night for the Pharoahs. Route one, big Dzyuba chests the ball down and it's men against boys as Gabr and Hegazi crumble and let him through. Hammers it home and that, my friends, is the night boat to Cairo. Artem Dzyuba of Russia scores Credit: Getty 8:16PM GOAL! Russia 2 Egypt 0 (Cheryshev 59) Ooh, that is going to be the killer blow, surely. Nice work from Figueira Fernandes, heart and energy down the right to join the attack. Pulls the ball back, and there is the deadly Denis Cheryshev to slot the ball home. That's his third of the tournament by the way, and it looks likely that it is going to send Russia through... and send poor Egypt home. 8:14PM No OG no fun There were no own-goals at all at the 1958 and 1962 World Cups. What miserable times they must have been.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) June 19, 2018 8:13PM 55 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 That was the moment? Maybe? The ball is played into the Russian box, knockdown, Salah has it at his feet eight yards out.... but he cannot get it out from under him and the desperate Russians can clear. Fully fit, he jinks and smashes that. But he is not confident in his body. 8:10PM 52 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Russians enjoying a couple of corners. At this rate (5 own goals in 17 matches), this World Cup will have 19 own goals. The record most in a single World Cup is 6, set in 1998. #WorldCup#RUS#EGY— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) June 19, 2018 8:04PM OWN GOAL! by Fathy: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Aw, that is rotten luck for Egypt, although their keeper must carry his fair share of blame. Golovin crosses it in, the keeper comes out with a flappy, silly punch. Shoulda caught that. Instead, he punches, the Russian 11 Zobnin drills it back in and a panicking Fathy stabs it into his own net. (Fathy OG 47 mins) Dreadful shot by Zobnin by the way, would have practically gone out for a corner had Fathy not intervened. Egypt's goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy (R) watches as the ball ends up in his net after a deflection by Egypt's defender Ahmed Fathi (L) Credit: AFP/Getty 8:03PM 46 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Always a shame to see a brilliant player not at his best due to injury. But hopefully Mo Salah can weave a bit of magic. 8:00PM This shows Salah's position (10) Average touch positions (half time) He's basically playing as a narrow advanced forward. Alan Shearer sums it up well on BBC: "Mo Salah, you can tell, is only 70-75% fit and they know that - they're protecting him, he's not running back and they're just trying to get the ball up to him." 7:57PM Pretty fair Russia vs Egypt shots on goal 7:46PM Half time: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That'll do it for the half, not many chances, but plenty of energy. 7:44PM 42 mins Fun, B- quality, end-to-end stuff, here are the Russians with a corner. Gabr involved in a good old fashioned grappling contest with Dzyuba. Risky business in these VAR times... 7:42PM 40 mins There's our boy! Class from Salah, Mohsen dummies, Salah gets it and spins away from his man. Peach of a curling effort but not quite. 7:40PM 37 mins Lovely counter by Egypt, but it starts in bizarre fashion when the ball hits the ref, wrong-footing everyone! Elneny with a great ball in and Mohsen should have done a lot better. 7:35PM 34 mins Nice ball in! Mohsen just misses out to Figueira Fernandes of Russia. More even now. 7:34PM 33 mins Better spell from Egypt. Passing it, higher up the pitch. Looking slicker, ball into the area from Shafy is flicked on. Salah nearly there at the back stick! Corner. Delivery is poor. 7:33PM 30 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Enjoyable game so far. Russia unsophisticated but useful, got some pace, got some who can deliver the ball, attack in numbers. Egypt are unbalanced. They need to just get a bit of the ball, play themselves into this. 7:28PM 27 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Decent from Salah as he holds it up to tee up Trézéguet , whose shot is charged down. But it is a momentary respite: here come the Russians again. 7:27PM 25 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 This Egypt defence are making some blunders and I think they are going to be sorry. A ball is played in by Cheryshev. Keeper El-Shenawy comes, and is barged off it by Hegazi. Don't panic! 7:25PM 22 mins Salah is not doing a lot. And as I say, he is not offering anything defensively, just standing out on the right wing. Here come the Russians down the left. Gazinskii crosses and the big lad Dzyuba gets up well but glances his header too fine. 7:19PM 18 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Zhirkov takes a freekick but is wasteful with the delivery. But Russia get a lucky break when it rebounds out to Cheryshev. he has a crack, and it is not far over. 7:16PM 16 mins Lovely run from Trézéguet down the inside-left, he tries to bend it in at the far post and he is not far at all from achieving that end. 7:15PM 14 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 El Said spins away from Kutepov and was fouled. From a corner, Egypt have a headed chance. Attempt Saved: Russia 0 - 0 Egypt (Marwan Mohsen, 15 min) Behind for another corner. Another good ball in, cleared but only as far as the corner flag. Good spell for the visitors, their best of the match so far. 7:13PM 13 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That's it! Salah gets a long ball on the right, gives it inside and goes into the box. He is stopped by multiple Russians. 7:11PM 11 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Samedov and Figueira Fernandes link up well down the right but the latter cannot quite find the final ball. 7:10PM 10 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Very encouraging start from the hosts. Egypt pinned back. Salah hasn't featured. Also: Salah is not tracking back, which is fine in and of itself but somebody else needs to help out the right back in which case. 7:08PM 8 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 It's all Russia. Egypt cannot get out. 7:08PM 6 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Defensive blunder by Egypt! Sloppy, dawdling play out from the back, Golovin pinches it and races forward. He is disappointed not to have done better with the shot. 7:07PM 5 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Russia have the game's first corner.. Taken short, and it is played in by Samedov, headed by the veteran Ignashevich. Not troubling anyone, that. 7:04PM 3 mins Plenty of atmos, some beefy challenges but neither side able to dominate so far. Russia looking for raking balls to their hefty forward Artem Dzyuba. 7:01PM 1 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Egypt, in white, kick off. 7:01PM And Egypt Egypt side Credit: BBC 6:58PM Here's how Russia should line up Credit: BBC 6:56PM Russian anthem Powerful stuff. 6:55PM Egyptian anthem being belted out around the stadium, they seem to have got a few in. Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah... he's in! Credit: AFP/Getty 6:50PM Noice Russia ���� fans gather outside the entrance to Red Square as anticipation mounts ahead of the hosts’ group match against Egypt ���� in St. Petersburg. Mo Salah starts for The Pharaohs #RUSEGY ⁦@FIFAWorldCup⁩ ⁦@RT_com⁩ pic.twitter.com/TEqBth3fTC— Kate Partridge (@KatePartridge33) June 19, 2018 6:49PM Danny Murphy Bit over-dressed, aren't you? Like you just stepped out of a bookies: Danny Murphy Credit: BBC 6:48PM Fans Credit: BBC 6:35PM Who's having a good tournament? 6:34PM Where's your money, then? Here is our betting guide to a tasty fixture. Russia: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Zobnin, Gazinsky, Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev, Dzyuba. Subs: Lunev, Semenov, Kuzyaev, Dzagoev, Smolov, Kudryashov, Granat, Aleksey Miranchuk, Anton Miranchuk, Erokhin, Smolnikov, Gabulov. Egypt: El Shenawy, Fathi, Gabr, Hegazi, Abdel-Shafy, Hamed, Elneny, Salah, Said, Trezeguet, Mohsen. Subs: El Hadary, Elmohamady, Gaber, Morsy, Kahraba, Ashraf, Sobhi, Hamdy, Shikabala, Samir, Warda, Ekramy. Referee: Enrique Caceres (Paraguay) 6:21PM Salah news! The Premier League's top scorer adds some much-needed bite to an Egyptian attack that struggled to threaten Uruguay in a 1-0 loss Friday. On the other side, Russia winger Denis Cheryshev has promoted to the starting lineup after scoring twice as a substitute in Thursday's tournament-opening 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia. Egypt: Mohamed Elshenawy, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Abdelshafy, Ahmed Fathi, Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Elneny, Abdalla Said, Mohamed Salah, Mahmoud Hassan, Marwan Mohsen. Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kutepov, Sergei Ignashevich, Denis Cheryshev, Yuri Gazinsky, Fyodor Smolov, Roman Zobnin, Alexander Golovin, Yuri Zhirkov, Alexander Samedov. 6:20PM Heartwarming news! Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Blatter posed for photographs with people on his arrival at a five-star hotel downtown. The 82-year-old former FIFA president is banned from official football duty until October 2021 for financial misconduct during this 17-year rule. This is Blatter's first public appearance outside his native Switzerland since July 2015 when the World Cup qualifying draw was conducted in St. Petersburg. Blatter shared the stage that day with Putin and could meet with the Russian president this week. The FIFA ban does not prevent Blatter attending games and he is expected to see Portugal play Morocco on Wednesday at Luzhniki Stadium. 5:49PM And please welcome your hosts.... Russia! Starting Eleven @TeamRussia vs @Pharaohs#Rusia2018#RUSEGYpic.twitter.com/HLD5EZt081— Сборная России (@TeamRussia) June 19, 2018 Playing in their controversial 4-4-4 formation and giving a start to an old geezer who has come in the wrong PE kit. 5:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Saint Petersburg Stadium 5:46PM More on Mo Egypt striker Mohamed Salah will make his first appearance at the World Cup after being named in the starting line-up for tonight's match with Russia, the Egyptian Football Association has announced. The Liverpool forward has been sidelined since injuring his shoulder during last month's Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid. Salah, who was an unused substitute in Egypt's Group A opener against Uruguay on Friday, will lead his side as they face hosts Russia at Krestovsky Stadium in an attempt to bounce back from that defeat with a result. 5:45PM Here's all our reaction to the England game Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men 5:44PM Liverpool sending good vibes @MoSalah starts. ������#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/UbZbrhIFPR— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 19, 2018 5:43PM Teams إليكم تشكيل #الفراعنة لمباراة الليلة #worldcup#ThePharaohs#RUSEGY#RUS �� #Egypic.twitter.com/fMV9pNzzYk— Egypt National Football Team (@Pharaohs) June 19, 2018 5:39PM He's in Mo Salah starts! Full team news coming up. Great news: Mo Salah starts for Egypt.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 19, 2018 5:35PM All hail the Egyptian King! Good evening, and welcome to our live blog of the first of the second round of group games. Everyone, with the exception of the Russian football team and fans, is surely hoping that Mo Salah is fit enough to play in this match, and fit enough to give a good account of himself. Ronaldo has already lit up the tournament, Messi was poor, Suarez looked a bit fat and off the pace, De Bruyne had his moments, and now it is the chance for one of the other top, top, top, top players to make his mark, we hope. his Egypt side will play the hosts badly needing a result. Egypt lost by the single goal to Uruguay the other day and cannot afford another slip up. As for the hosts, they got the tournament off to an unexpectedly joyous start in the first game when they walloped Saudi Arabia. Of all the teams I have seen in the competition only the Saudis could be said to be without merit or ability, and I full expect all the other teams in this group to have the full three points off them. But anyone will be doing well to better the goal difference good times that Russia have got for themselves. In all likelihood, Uruguay are going to have six points within the next 24 hours and that means that this game is a very important fixture for Egypt. We will have the team news as soon as it comes in, the match itself starts at 7pm UK time. Meanwhile, why not follow the end of Poland V Senegal here with JJ Bull?
Eight goals in two games have averted Russia’s nightmare of spending tens of millions of dollars on a World Cup only to go out in the group stage. Mohamed Salah meanwhile has been restricted to a penalty, lots of physio on his injured shoulder and an awkward meeting with Chechnya’s warlord. Salah’s penalty kick when Egypt already trailed 3-0 was a small reward for his hard work in the treatment room and gym. It pales, though, beside the potential dividend for Russia from 5-0 and 3-1 victories against two of the tournament’s weaker sides. If all the hosts could hope for was to string their presence out to the point of respectability, their supporters now have something to be excited about beyond the stardust spread by other countries. If Saudi Arabia fail to beat Uruguay (and who would back them to win?) Russia will advance to the knock-out rounds for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Saint Petersburg Stadium was not full for this second home triumph, but the 64,468 here were giddy as three second-half goals flew in inside 15 minutes (the first, a ludicrous own goal). Salah performed honourably after missing the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay, but to expect him to walk straight back in and rescue Egypt was fanciful, especially as he lacks team-mates of the quality of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. His goal came in the 73rd minute after he was pulled down by the arm (this is becoming a pattern), apparently outside the Russia penalty box, until VAR showed it to be penalty. These Russia players are pretty much equal and indistinguishable. The Soviet system would have been proud of this mechanical team. It’s as if their training stopped at pass and run, which they do well, and dispensed with the subtleties of the game, such as ingenuity and vision around the penalty box. Denis Cheryshev has been the best of them, and their energy and commitment ought to be acknowledged. Not that they will feel they had much choice in those respects. Russia have made a brilliant start to the tournament on home soil Credit: AFP They are all Russia have, and were cast into a home World Cup as the lowest-ranked team in the tournament with the unenviable task of matching the grandeur of the stadiums. Plainly this is going to be beyond them, however uplifting their 5-0 opening night win against Saudi Arabia - the biggest curtain-raising victory by a host country since 1934 - and this own-goal assisted win over Salah and company. Standing between the new Russian empire and progress to the Round of 16 was an Egypt side now emotionally dependent on Salah. The lauding of him before the game was at a level not even Liverpool fans could hope to match. His name was cheered at least three times louder than any other Egypt player, and each glimpse of him on the big screen ignited a new Egyptian party. In the game, Salah started wide-right, dispensing with defensive duties to try his luck against Yury Zhirkov, an old hand steeled for the fight. Denis Cheryshev scores Russia's second goal Credit: REuters It took Zhirkov 21 minutes to land a bang on the shoulder Salah injured in a tangle with Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final in Kiev. The challenge was fair, but spun Salah round, and soon the Premier League’s golden boot winner moved to play more centrally. He was more effective there, his first real chance on goal coming with a turn and swivel on the edge of Russia’s penalty box. But the shot from the pirouette slid wide. Egypt’s campaign, though was about to take a comical turn, two minutes after the break, when Roman Zobnin miscued a shot after a bad punch by the goalkeeper, and Ahmed Fathy, the Egyptian captain, under pressure from Artem Dzyuba, took a wild swing at it and swiped it into his own net. Bare-chested Egyptian fans in Pharoah headgear looked on miserably. Egypt’s defence, like Saudi Arabia’s, disintegrated, conceding three times, twice abjectly . Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah dribbles past Russia's defender Sergey Ignashevich Credit: AFP With Salah’s team still reeling from the own goal, Mario Fernandes cut a cross back for Cheryshev to double the lead, and then Ali Gabr failed to control a dropping ball on the edge of his box and allowed it to run to Dzyuba, the former star Russian striker who lost his way. Dzyuba’s military salute for the goal was in tune with his combative work in unsettling Egypt’s back four. The defensive ineptitude of opponents is helping Russia, but their probable advance will help maintain the interest of those who are ultimately paying for most of it - the Russian public, who have been treated to eight goals and plenty of workmanlike enterprise from their team. Salah, in effect, lost his World Cup campaign in the Champions League final, though he fought his way back to leave a small mark here. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 9:03PM That's moved the boy Denis Level with He Who Must Not Be Mentioned in the race for the Golden Boot. 8:58PM Class piece from Jim White Seems absolutely ridiculous that these two fans have to travel to Russia to watch their team play football live. Why? Because they are women from Iran. https://t.co/pSLIeiuqvz— Jim White (@jimw1) June 19, 2018 8:57PM Uruguay will have enjoyed that. Now a World Cup last-16 place is theirs for the taking if they beat Saudi Arabia. 8:55PM Group A Table 8:54PM Nice! Best goal difference by a host nation through two #WorldCup games: +7 ���� 2018 Russia +7 ���� 1998 France (won title) +6 ���� 1934 Italy (won title) +5 ���� 1930 Uruguay (won title)— Paul Carr (@PaulCarrTM) June 19, 2018 8:52PM Full time: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Hard lines for Egypt, but Russia are having a bit of a moment and deserved their win. 8:49PM 90+ mins: there will be four minutes added Warda and Kudryashov square up. Kudryashov looks like he could eat Warda for breakfast and still have room for pancakes. The hosts are, barring an astonishing Saudi Arabia result, going through. 8:47PM 89 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Nice move, Salah nearly dancing through, they get the break of the ball and Warda, from the right, hits it wide of the post. 8:46PM 86 mins Warda with a useful cross in. Since they, erm, went 3-0 down Egypt have played with a lot more vim. Also, other attacking players have started trying to do something rather than just looking to Salah. This is the problem with a one man team, obvs. 8:45PM 85 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt having the odd 1/4 chance but to be honest this feels remote in the extreme as a possibility. 8:42PM 84 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kahraba on, Mohsen off. Yuri Zhirkov is replaced by Fedor Kudryashov. 8:38PM 80 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt getting greedy, now they want another pen. Mohsen hits the deck. Kutepov the accused. No penalty. And I'll tell you why not: because Mohsen had fouled HIM. 8:37PM 79 mins: Golovin controls the ball majestically, nips past Gabr and waits for the foul, and the inevitable freekick. Ref doesn't give it. Snigger. Smolov comes on for Dzubya. 8:33PM 75 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kuziaev comes on, the dangerman Cheryshev off. Russia have a decent opportunity to slam the coffin lid down when Samedov delivers a useful freekick to the back stick. Ignashevich's header is saved. 8:31PM VAR to the rescue Again, VAR gets there. But poor refereeing. Always been a penalty.— Matt Smith (@msmith850) June 19, 2018 8:31PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 1 (Salah 73 pen) He's wellied that! Bosh. No messing from Mo Salah. Is that an improbable lifeline? 8:30PM 71 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 0 Salah is hauled down. To most viewers, it is clear that it is inside the box. But not to the referee though. He gives it outside the box but fortunately the VAR comes to the rescue. A PENALTY IS AWARDED Credit: BBC 8:25PM 66 mins Fed by Salah with a nice ball, Trezeguet has a shot wide, and that will be Trezeguet's last contribution. He's getting the hook, and here comes Sobhi. 8:22PM 65 mins Warda on, Elneny off. Egypt have a freekick, Gabr tries to make amends for his defensive spinelessness with a header. No. 8:20PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 0 (Dzyuba 62) Another one! Oh dear, this is turning into a horrible night for the Pharoahs. Route one, big Dzyuba chests the ball down and it's men against boys as Gabr and Hegazi crumble and let him through. Hammers it home and that, my friends, is the night boat to Cairo. Artem Dzyuba of Russia scores Credit: Getty 8:16PM GOAL! Russia 2 Egypt 0 (Cheryshev 59) Ooh, that is going to be the killer blow, surely. Nice work from Figueira Fernandes, heart and energy down the right to join the attack. Pulls the ball back, and there is the deadly Denis Cheryshev to slot the ball home. That's his third of the tournament by the way, and it looks likely that it is going to send Russia through... and send poor Egypt home. 8:14PM No OG no fun There were no own-goals at all at the 1958 and 1962 World Cups. What miserable times they must have been.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) June 19, 2018 8:13PM 55 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 That was the moment? Maybe? The ball is played into the Russian box, knockdown, Salah has it at his feet eight yards out.... but he cannot get it out from under him and the desperate Russians can clear. Fully fit, he jinks and smashes that. But he is not confident in his body. 8:10PM 52 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Russians enjoying a couple of corners. At this rate (5 own goals in 17 matches), this World Cup will have 19 own goals. The record most in a single World Cup is 6, set in 1998. #WorldCup#RUS#EGY— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) June 19, 2018 8:04PM OWN GOAL! by Fathy: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Aw, that is rotten luck for Egypt, although their keeper must carry his fair share of blame. Golovin crosses it in, the keeper comes out with a flappy, silly punch. Shoulda caught that. Instead, he punches, the Russian 11 Zobnin drills it back in and a panicking Fathy stabs it into his own net. (Fathy OG 47 mins) Dreadful shot by Zobnin by the way, would have practically gone out for a corner had Fathy not intervened. Egypt's goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy (R) watches as the ball ends up in his net after a deflection by Egypt's defender Ahmed Fathi (L) Credit: AFP/Getty 8:03PM 46 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Always a shame to see a brilliant player not at his best due to injury. But hopefully Mo Salah can weave a bit of magic. 8:00PM This shows Salah's position (10) Average touch positions (half time) He's basically playing as a narrow advanced forward. Alan Shearer sums it up well on BBC: "Mo Salah, you can tell, is only 70-75% fit and they know that - they're protecting him, he's not running back and they're just trying to get the ball up to him." 7:57PM Pretty fair Russia vs Egypt shots on goal 7:46PM Half time: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That'll do it for the half, not many chances, but plenty of energy. 7:44PM 42 mins Fun, B- quality, end-to-end stuff, here are the Russians with a corner. Gabr involved in a good old fashioned grappling contest with Dzyuba. Risky business in these VAR times... 7:42PM 40 mins There's our boy! Class from Salah, Mohsen dummies, Salah gets it and spins away from his man. Peach of a curling effort but not quite. 7:40PM 37 mins Lovely counter by Egypt, but it starts in bizarre fashion when the ball hits the ref, wrong-footing everyone! Elneny with a great ball in and Mohsen should have done a lot better. 7:35PM 34 mins Nice ball in! Mohsen just misses out to Figueira Fernandes of Russia. More even now. 7:34PM 33 mins Better spell from Egypt. Passing it, higher up the pitch. Looking slicker, ball into the area from Shafy is flicked on. Salah nearly there at the back stick! Corner. Delivery is poor. 7:33PM 30 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Enjoyable game so far. Russia unsophisticated but useful, got some pace, got some who can deliver the ball, attack in numbers. Egypt are unbalanced. They need to just get a bit of the ball, play themselves into this. 7:28PM 27 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Decent from Salah as he holds it up to tee up Trézéguet , whose shot is charged down. But it is a momentary respite: here come the Russians again. 7:27PM 25 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 This Egypt defence are making some blunders and I think they are going to be sorry. A ball is played in by Cheryshev. Keeper El-Shenawy comes, and is barged off it by Hegazi. Don't panic! 7:25PM 22 mins Salah is not doing a lot. And as I say, he is not offering anything defensively, just standing out on the right wing. Here come the Russians down the left. Gazinskii crosses and the big lad Dzyuba gets up well but glances his header too fine. 7:19PM 18 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Zhirkov takes a freekick but is wasteful with the delivery. But Russia get a lucky break when it rebounds out to Cheryshev. he has a crack, and it is not far over. 7:16PM 16 mins Lovely run from Trézéguet down the inside-left, he tries to bend it in at the far post and he is not far at all from achieving that end. 7:15PM 14 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 El Said spins away from Kutepov and was fouled. From a corner, Egypt have a headed chance. Attempt Saved: Russia 0 - 0 Egypt (Marwan Mohsen, 15 min) Behind for another corner. Another good ball in, cleared but only as far as the corner flag. Good spell for the visitors, their best of the match so far. 7:13PM 13 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That's it! Salah gets a long ball on the right, gives it inside and goes into the box. He is stopped by multiple Russians. 7:11PM 11 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Samedov and Figueira Fernandes link up well down the right but the latter cannot quite find the final ball. 7:10PM 10 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Very encouraging start from the hosts. Egypt pinned back. Salah hasn't featured. Also: Salah is not tracking back, which is fine in and of itself but somebody else needs to help out the right back in which case. 7:08PM 8 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 It's all Russia. Egypt cannot get out. 7:08PM 6 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Defensive blunder by Egypt! Sloppy, dawdling play out from the back, Golovin pinches it and races forward. He is disappointed not to have done better with the shot. 7:07PM 5 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Russia have the game's first corner.. Taken short, and it is played in by Samedov, headed by the veteran Ignashevich. Not troubling anyone, that. 7:04PM 3 mins Plenty of atmos, some beefy challenges but neither side able to dominate so far. Russia looking for raking balls to their hefty forward Artem Dzyuba. 7:01PM 1 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Egypt, in white, kick off. 7:01PM And Egypt Egypt side Credit: BBC 6:58PM Here's how Russia should line up Credit: BBC 6:56PM Russian anthem Powerful stuff. 6:55PM Egyptian anthem being belted out around the stadium, they seem to have got a few in. Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah... he's in! Credit: AFP/Getty 6:50PM Noice Russia ���� fans gather outside the entrance to Red Square as anticipation mounts ahead of the hosts’ group match against Egypt ���� in St. Petersburg. Mo Salah starts for The Pharaohs #RUSEGY ⁦@FIFAWorldCup⁩ ⁦@RT_com⁩ pic.twitter.com/TEqBth3fTC— Kate Partridge (@KatePartridge33) June 19, 2018 6:49PM Danny Murphy Bit over-dressed, aren't you? Like you just stepped out of a bookies: Danny Murphy Credit: BBC 6:48PM Fans Credit: BBC 6:35PM Who's having a good tournament? 6:34PM Where's your money, then? Here is our betting guide to a tasty fixture. Russia: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Zobnin, Gazinsky, Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev, Dzyuba. Subs: Lunev, Semenov, Kuzyaev, Dzagoev, Smolov, Kudryashov, Granat, Aleksey Miranchuk, Anton Miranchuk, Erokhin, Smolnikov, Gabulov. Egypt: El Shenawy, Fathi, Gabr, Hegazi, Abdel-Shafy, Hamed, Elneny, Salah, Said, Trezeguet, Mohsen. Subs: El Hadary, Elmohamady, Gaber, Morsy, Kahraba, Ashraf, Sobhi, Hamdy, Shikabala, Samir, Warda, Ekramy. Referee: Enrique Caceres (Paraguay) 6:21PM Salah news! The Premier League's top scorer adds some much-needed bite to an Egyptian attack that struggled to threaten Uruguay in a 1-0 loss Friday. On the other side, Russia winger Denis Cheryshev has promoted to the starting lineup after scoring twice as a substitute in Thursday's tournament-opening 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia. Egypt: Mohamed Elshenawy, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Abdelshafy, Ahmed Fathi, Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Elneny, Abdalla Said, Mohamed Salah, Mahmoud Hassan, Marwan Mohsen. Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kutepov, Sergei Ignashevich, Denis Cheryshev, Yuri Gazinsky, Fyodor Smolov, Roman Zobnin, Alexander Golovin, Yuri Zhirkov, Alexander Samedov. 6:20PM Heartwarming news! Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Blatter posed for photographs with people on his arrival at a five-star hotel downtown. The 82-year-old former FIFA president is banned from official football duty until October 2021 for financial misconduct during this 17-year rule. This is Blatter's first public appearance outside his native Switzerland since July 2015 when the World Cup qualifying draw was conducted in St. Petersburg. Blatter shared the stage that day with Putin and could meet with the Russian president this week. The FIFA ban does not prevent Blatter attending games and he is expected to see Portugal play Morocco on Wednesday at Luzhniki Stadium. 5:49PM And please welcome your hosts.... Russia! Starting Eleven @TeamRussia vs @Pharaohs#Rusia2018#RUSEGYpic.twitter.com/HLD5EZt081— Сборная России (@TeamRussia) June 19, 2018 Playing in their controversial 4-4-4 formation and giving a start to an old geezer who has come in the wrong PE kit. 5:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Saint Petersburg Stadium 5:46PM More on Mo Egypt striker Mohamed Salah will make his first appearance at the World Cup after being named in the starting line-up for tonight's match with Russia, the Egyptian Football Association has announced. The Liverpool forward has been sidelined since injuring his shoulder during last month's Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid. Salah, who was an unused substitute in Egypt's Group A opener against Uruguay on Friday, will lead his side as they face hosts Russia at Krestovsky Stadium in an attempt to bounce back from that defeat with a result. 5:45PM Here's all our reaction to the England game Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men 5:44PM Liverpool sending good vibes @MoSalah starts. ������#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/UbZbrhIFPR— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 19, 2018 5:43PM Teams إليكم تشكيل #الفراعنة لمباراة الليلة #worldcup#ThePharaohs#RUSEGY#RUS �� #Egypic.twitter.com/fMV9pNzzYk— Egypt National Football Team (@Pharaohs) June 19, 2018 5:39PM He's in Mo Salah starts! Full team news coming up. Great news: Mo Salah starts for Egypt.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 19, 2018 5:35PM All hail the Egyptian King! Good evening, and welcome to our live blog of the first of the second round of group games. Everyone, with the exception of the Russian football team and fans, is surely hoping that Mo Salah is fit enough to play in this match, and fit enough to give a good account of himself. Ronaldo has already lit up the tournament, Messi was poor, Suarez looked a bit fat and off the pace, De Bruyne had his moments, and now it is the chance for one of the other top, top, top, top players to make his mark, we hope. his Egypt side will play the hosts badly needing a result. Egypt lost by the single goal to Uruguay the other day and cannot afford another slip up. As for the hosts, they got the tournament off to an unexpectedly joyous start in the first game when they walloped Saudi Arabia. Of all the teams I have seen in the competition only the Saudis could be said to be without merit or ability, and I full expect all the other teams in this group to have the full three points off them. But anyone will be doing well to better the goal difference good times that Russia have got for themselves. In all likelihood, Uruguay are going to have six points within the next 24 hours and that means that this game is a very important fixture for Egypt. We will have the team news as soon as it comes in, the match itself starts at 7pm UK time. Meanwhile, why not follow the end of Poland V Senegal here with JJ Bull?
Russia move to brink of qualification for knockout rounds after second-half blitz sees off Egypt
Eight goals in two games have averted Russia’s nightmare of spending tens of millions of dollars on a World Cup only to go out in the group stage. Mohamed Salah meanwhile has been restricted to a penalty, lots of physio on his injured shoulder and an awkward meeting with Chechnya’s warlord. Salah’s penalty kick when Egypt already trailed 3-0 was a small reward for his hard work in the treatment room and gym. It pales, though, beside the potential dividend for Russia from 5-0 and 3-1 victories against two of the tournament’s weaker sides. If all the hosts could hope for was to string their presence out to the point of respectability, their supporters now have something to be excited about beyond the stardust spread by other countries. If Saudi Arabia fail to beat Uruguay (and who would back them to win?) Russia will advance to the knock-out rounds for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Saint Petersburg Stadium was not full for this second home triumph, but the 64,468 here were giddy as three second-half goals flew in inside 15 minutes (the first, a ludicrous own goal). Salah performed honourably after missing the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay, but to expect him to walk straight back in and rescue Egypt was fanciful, especially as he lacks team-mates of the quality of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. His goal came in the 73rd minute after he was pulled down by the arm (this is becoming a pattern), apparently outside the Russia penalty box, until VAR showed it to be penalty. These Russia players are pretty much equal and indistinguishable. The Soviet system would have been proud of this mechanical team. It’s as if their training stopped at pass and run, which they do well, and dispensed with the subtleties of the game, such as ingenuity and vision around the penalty box. Denis Cheryshev has been the best of them, and their energy and commitment ought to be acknowledged. Not that they will feel they had much choice in those respects. Russia have made a brilliant start to the tournament on home soil Credit: AFP They are all Russia have, and were cast into a home World Cup as the lowest-ranked team in the tournament with the unenviable task of matching the grandeur of the stadiums. Plainly this is going to be beyond them, however uplifting their 5-0 opening night win against Saudi Arabia - the biggest curtain-raising victory by a host country since 1934 - and this own-goal assisted win over Salah and company. Standing between the new Russian empire and progress to the Round of 16 was an Egypt side now emotionally dependent on Salah. The lauding of him before the game was at a level not even Liverpool fans could hope to match. His name was cheered at least three times louder than any other Egypt player, and each glimpse of him on the big screen ignited a new Egyptian party. In the game, Salah started wide-right, dispensing with defensive duties to try his luck against Yury Zhirkov, an old hand steeled for the fight. Denis Cheryshev scores Russia's second goal Credit: REuters It took Zhirkov 21 minutes to land a bang on the shoulder Salah injured in a tangle with Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final in Kiev. The challenge was fair, but spun Salah round, and soon the Premier League’s golden boot winner moved to play more centrally. He was more effective there, his first real chance on goal coming with a turn and swivel on the edge of Russia’s penalty box. But the shot from the pirouette slid wide. Egypt’s campaign, though was about to take a comical turn, two minutes after the break, when Roman Zobnin miscued a shot after a bad punch by the goalkeeper, and Ahmed Fathy, the Egyptian captain, under pressure from Artem Dzyuba, took a wild swing at it and swiped it into his own net. Bare-chested Egyptian fans in Pharoah headgear looked on miserably. Egypt’s defence, like Saudi Arabia’s, disintegrated, conceding three times, twice abjectly . Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah dribbles past Russia's defender Sergey Ignashevich Credit: AFP With Salah’s team still reeling from the own goal, Mario Fernandes cut a cross back for Cheryshev to double the lead, and then Ali Gabr failed to control a dropping ball on the edge of his box and allowed it to run to Dzyuba, the former star Russian striker who lost his way. Dzyuba’s military salute for the goal was in tune with his combative work in unsettling Egypt’s back four. The defensive ineptitude of opponents is helping Russia, but their probable advance will help maintain the interest of those who are ultimately paying for most of it - the Russian public, who have been treated to eight goals and plenty of workmanlike enterprise from their team. Salah, in effect, lost his World Cup campaign in the Champions League final, though he fought his way back to leave a small mark here. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 9:03PM That's moved the boy Denis Level with He Who Must Not Be Mentioned in the race for the Golden Boot. 8:58PM Class piece from Jim White Seems absolutely ridiculous that these two fans have to travel to Russia to watch their team play football live. Why? Because they are women from Iran. https://t.co/pSLIeiuqvz— Jim White (@jimw1) June 19, 2018 8:57PM Uruguay will have enjoyed that. Now a World Cup last-16 place is theirs for the taking if they beat Saudi Arabia. 8:55PM Group A Table 8:54PM Nice! Best goal difference by a host nation through two #WorldCup games: +7 ���� 2018 Russia +7 ���� 1998 France (won title) +6 ���� 1934 Italy (won title) +5 ���� 1930 Uruguay (won title)— Paul Carr (@PaulCarrTM) June 19, 2018 8:52PM Full time: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Hard lines for Egypt, but Russia are having a bit of a moment and deserved their win. 8:49PM 90+ mins: there will be four minutes added Warda and Kudryashov square up. Kudryashov looks like he could eat Warda for breakfast and still have room for pancakes. The hosts are, barring an astonishing Saudi Arabia result, going through. 8:47PM 89 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Nice move, Salah nearly dancing through, they get the break of the ball and Warda, from the right, hits it wide of the post. 8:46PM 86 mins Warda with a useful cross in. Since they, erm, went 3-0 down Egypt have played with a lot more vim. Also, other attacking players have started trying to do something rather than just looking to Salah. This is the problem with a one man team, obvs. 8:45PM 85 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt having the odd 1/4 chance but to be honest this feels remote in the extreme as a possibility. 8:42PM 84 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kahraba on, Mohsen off. Yuri Zhirkov is replaced by Fedor Kudryashov. 8:38PM 80 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt getting greedy, now they want another pen. Mohsen hits the deck. Kutepov the accused. No penalty. And I'll tell you why not: because Mohsen had fouled HIM. 8:37PM 79 mins: Golovin controls the ball majestically, nips past Gabr and waits for the foul, and the inevitable freekick. Ref doesn't give it. Snigger. Smolov comes on for Dzubya. 8:33PM 75 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kuziaev comes on, the dangerman Cheryshev off. Russia have a decent opportunity to slam the coffin lid down when Samedov delivers a useful freekick to the back stick. Ignashevich's header is saved. 8:31PM VAR to the rescue Again, VAR gets there. But poor refereeing. Always been a penalty.— Matt Smith (@msmith850) June 19, 2018 8:31PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 1 (Salah 73 pen) He's wellied that! Bosh. No messing from Mo Salah. Is that an improbable lifeline? 8:30PM 71 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 0 Salah is hauled down. To most viewers, it is clear that it is inside the box. But not to the referee though. He gives it outside the box but fortunately the VAR comes to the rescue. A PENALTY IS AWARDED Credit: BBC 8:25PM 66 mins Fed by Salah with a nice ball, Trezeguet has a shot wide, and that will be Trezeguet's last contribution. He's getting the hook, and here comes Sobhi. 8:22PM 65 mins Warda on, Elneny off. Egypt have a freekick, Gabr tries to make amends for his defensive spinelessness with a header. No. 8:20PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 0 (Dzyuba 62) Another one! Oh dear, this is turning into a horrible night for the Pharoahs. Route one, big Dzyuba chests the ball down and it's men against boys as Gabr and Hegazi crumble and let him through. Hammers it home and that, my friends, is the night boat to Cairo. Artem Dzyuba of Russia scores Credit: Getty 8:16PM GOAL! Russia 2 Egypt 0 (Cheryshev 59) Ooh, that is going to be the killer blow, surely. Nice work from Figueira Fernandes, heart and energy down the right to join the attack. Pulls the ball back, and there is the deadly Denis Cheryshev to slot the ball home. That's his third of the tournament by the way, and it looks likely that it is going to send Russia through... and send poor Egypt home. 8:14PM No OG no fun There were no own-goals at all at the 1958 and 1962 World Cups. What miserable times they must have been.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) June 19, 2018 8:13PM 55 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 That was the moment? Maybe? The ball is played into the Russian box, knockdown, Salah has it at his feet eight yards out.... but he cannot get it out from under him and the desperate Russians can clear. Fully fit, he jinks and smashes that. But he is not confident in his body. 8:10PM 52 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Russians enjoying a couple of corners. At this rate (5 own goals in 17 matches), this World Cup will have 19 own goals. The record most in a single World Cup is 6, set in 1998. #WorldCup#RUS#EGY— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) June 19, 2018 8:04PM OWN GOAL! by Fathy: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Aw, that is rotten luck for Egypt, although their keeper must carry his fair share of blame. Golovin crosses it in, the keeper comes out with a flappy, silly punch. Shoulda caught that. Instead, he punches, the Russian 11 Zobnin drills it back in and a panicking Fathy stabs it into his own net. (Fathy OG 47 mins) Dreadful shot by Zobnin by the way, would have practically gone out for a corner had Fathy not intervened. Egypt's goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy (R) watches as the ball ends up in his net after a deflection by Egypt's defender Ahmed Fathi (L) Credit: AFP/Getty 8:03PM 46 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Always a shame to see a brilliant player not at his best due to injury. But hopefully Mo Salah can weave a bit of magic. 8:00PM This shows Salah's position (10) Average touch positions (half time) He's basically playing as a narrow advanced forward. Alan Shearer sums it up well on BBC: "Mo Salah, you can tell, is only 70-75% fit and they know that - they're protecting him, he's not running back and they're just trying to get the ball up to him." 7:57PM Pretty fair Russia vs Egypt shots on goal 7:46PM Half time: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That'll do it for the half, not many chances, but plenty of energy. 7:44PM 42 mins Fun, B- quality, end-to-end stuff, here are the Russians with a corner. Gabr involved in a good old fashioned grappling contest with Dzyuba. Risky business in these VAR times... 7:42PM 40 mins There's our boy! Class from Salah, Mohsen dummies, Salah gets it and spins away from his man. Peach of a curling effort but not quite. 7:40PM 37 mins Lovely counter by Egypt, but it starts in bizarre fashion when the ball hits the ref, wrong-footing everyone! Elneny with a great ball in and Mohsen should have done a lot better. 7:35PM 34 mins Nice ball in! Mohsen just misses out to Figueira Fernandes of Russia. More even now. 7:34PM 33 mins Better spell from Egypt. Passing it, higher up the pitch. Looking slicker, ball into the area from Shafy is flicked on. Salah nearly there at the back stick! Corner. Delivery is poor. 7:33PM 30 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Enjoyable game so far. Russia unsophisticated but useful, got some pace, got some who can deliver the ball, attack in numbers. Egypt are unbalanced. They need to just get a bit of the ball, play themselves into this. 7:28PM 27 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Decent from Salah as he holds it up to tee up Trézéguet , whose shot is charged down. But it is a momentary respite: here come the Russians again. 7:27PM 25 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 This Egypt defence are making some blunders and I think they are going to be sorry. A ball is played in by Cheryshev. Keeper El-Shenawy comes, and is barged off it by Hegazi. Don't panic! 7:25PM 22 mins Salah is not doing a lot. And as I say, he is not offering anything defensively, just standing out on the right wing. Here come the Russians down the left. Gazinskii crosses and the big lad Dzyuba gets up well but glances his header too fine. 7:19PM 18 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Zhirkov takes a freekick but is wasteful with the delivery. But Russia get a lucky break when it rebounds out to Cheryshev. he has a crack, and it is not far over. 7:16PM 16 mins Lovely run from Trézéguet down the inside-left, he tries to bend it in at the far post and he is not far at all from achieving that end. 7:15PM 14 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 El Said spins away from Kutepov and was fouled. From a corner, Egypt have a headed chance. Attempt Saved: Russia 0 - 0 Egypt (Marwan Mohsen, 15 min) Behind for another corner. Another good ball in, cleared but only as far as the corner flag. Good spell for the visitors, their best of the match so far. 7:13PM 13 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That's it! Salah gets a long ball on the right, gives it inside and goes into the box. He is stopped by multiple Russians. 7:11PM 11 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Samedov and Figueira Fernandes link up well down the right but the latter cannot quite find the final ball. 7:10PM 10 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Very encouraging start from the hosts. Egypt pinned back. Salah hasn't featured. Also: Salah is not tracking back, which is fine in and of itself but somebody else needs to help out the right back in which case. 7:08PM 8 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 It's all Russia. Egypt cannot get out. 7:08PM 6 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Defensive blunder by Egypt! Sloppy, dawdling play out from the back, Golovin pinches it and races forward. He is disappointed not to have done better with the shot. 7:07PM 5 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Russia have the game's first corner.. Taken short, and it is played in by Samedov, headed by the veteran Ignashevich. Not troubling anyone, that. 7:04PM 3 mins Plenty of atmos, some beefy challenges but neither side able to dominate so far. Russia looking for raking balls to their hefty forward Artem Dzyuba. 7:01PM 1 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Egypt, in white, kick off. 7:01PM And Egypt Egypt side Credit: BBC 6:58PM Here's how Russia should line up Credit: BBC 6:56PM Russian anthem Powerful stuff. 6:55PM Egyptian anthem being belted out around the stadium, they seem to have got a few in. Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah... he's in! Credit: AFP/Getty 6:50PM Noice Russia ���� fans gather outside the entrance to Red Square as anticipation mounts ahead of the hosts’ group match against Egypt ���� in St. Petersburg. Mo Salah starts for The Pharaohs #RUSEGY ⁦@FIFAWorldCup⁩ ⁦@RT_com⁩ pic.twitter.com/TEqBth3fTC— Kate Partridge (@KatePartridge33) June 19, 2018 6:49PM Danny Murphy Bit over-dressed, aren't you? Like you just stepped out of a bookies: Danny Murphy Credit: BBC 6:48PM Fans Credit: BBC 6:35PM Who's having a good tournament? 6:34PM Where's your money, then? Here is our betting guide to a tasty fixture. Russia: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Zobnin, Gazinsky, Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev, Dzyuba. Subs: Lunev, Semenov, Kuzyaev, Dzagoev, Smolov, Kudryashov, Granat, Aleksey Miranchuk, Anton Miranchuk, Erokhin, Smolnikov, Gabulov. Egypt: El Shenawy, Fathi, Gabr, Hegazi, Abdel-Shafy, Hamed, Elneny, Salah, Said, Trezeguet, Mohsen. Subs: El Hadary, Elmohamady, Gaber, Morsy, Kahraba, Ashraf, Sobhi, Hamdy, Shikabala, Samir, Warda, Ekramy. Referee: Enrique Caceres (Paraguay) 6:21PM Salah news! The Premier League's top scorer adds some much-needed bite to an Egyptian attack that struggled to threaten Uruguay in a 1-0 loss Friday. On the other side, Russia winger Denis Cheryshev has promoted to the starting lineup after scoring twice as a substitute in Thursday's tournament-opening 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia. Egypt: Mohamed Elshenawy, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Abdelshafy, Ahmed Fathi, Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Elneny, Abdalla Said, Mohamed Salah, Mahmoud Hassan, Marwan Mohsen. Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kutepov, Sergei Ignashevich, Denis Cheryshev, Yuri Gazinsky, Fyodor Smolov, Roman Zobnin, Alexander Golovin, Yuri Zhirkov, Alexander Samedov. 6:20PM Heartwarming news! Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Blatter posed for photographs with people on his arrival at a five-star hotel downtown. The 82-year-old former FIFA president is banned from official football duty until October 2021 for financial misconduct during this 17-year rule. This is Blatter's first public appearance outside his native Switzerland since July 2015 when the World Cup qualifying draw was conducted in St. Petersburg. Blatter shared the stage that day with Putin and could meet with the Russian president this week. The FIFA ban does not prevent Blatter attending games and he is expected to see Portugal play Morocco on Wednesday at Luzhniki Stadium. 5:49PM And please welcome your hosts.... Russia! Starting Eleven @TeamRussia vs @Pharaohs#Rusia2018#RUSEGYpic.twitter.com/HLD5EZt081— Сборная России (@TeamRussia) June 19, 2018 Playing in their controversial 4-4-4 formation and giving a start to an old geezer who has come in the wrong PE kit. 5:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Saint Petersburg Stadium 5:46PM More on Mo Egypt striker Mohamed Salah will make his first appearance at the World Cup after being named in the starting line-up for tonight's match with Russia, the Egyptian Football Association has announced. The Liverpool forward has been sidelined since injuring his shoulder during last month's Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid. Salah, who was an unused substitute in Egypt's Group A opener against Uruguay on Friday, will lead his side as they face hosts Russia at Krestovsky Stadium in an attempt to bounce back from that defeat with a result. 5:45PM Here's all our reaction to the England game Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men 5:44PM Liverpool sending good vibes @MoSalah starts. ������#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/UbZbrhIFPR— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 19, 2018 5:43PM Teams إليكم تشكيل #الفراعنة لمباراة الليلة #worldcup#ThePharaohs#RUSEGY#RUS �� #Egypic.twitter.com/fMV9pNzzYk— Egypt National Football Team (@Pharaohs) June 19, 2018 5:39PM He's in Mo Salah starts! Full team news coming up. Great news: Mo Salah starts for Egypt.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 19, 2018 5:35PM All hail the Egyptian King! Good evening, and welcome to our live blog of the first of the second round of group games. Everyone, with the exception of the Russian football team and fans, is surely hoping that Mo Salah is fit enough to play in this match, and fit enough to give a good account of himself. Ronaldo has already lit up the tournament, Messi was poor, Suarez looked a bit fat and off the pace, De Bruyne had his moments, and now it is the chance for one of the other top, top, top, top players to make his mark, we hope. his Egypt side will play the hosts badly needing a result. Egypt lost by the single goal to Uruguay the other day and cannot afford another slip up. As for the hosts, they got the tournament off to an unexpectedly joyous start in the first game when they walloped Saudi Arabia. Of all the teams I have seen in the competition only the Saudis could be said to be without merit or ability, and I full expect all the other teams in this group to have the full three points off them. But anyone will be doing well to better the goal difference good times that Russia have got for themselves. In all likelihood, Uruguay are going to have six points within the next 24 hours and that means that this game is a very important fixture for Egypt. We will have the team news as soon as it comes in, the match itself starts at 7pm UK time. Meanwhile, why not follow the end of Poland V Senegal here with JJ Bull?
Eight goals in two games have averted Russia’s nightmare of spending tens of millions of dollars on a World Cup only to go out in the group stage. Mohamed Salah meanwhile has been restricted to a penalty, lots of physio on his injured shoulder and an awkward meeting with Chechnya’s warlord. Salah’s penalty kick when Egypt already trailed 3-0 was a small reward for his hard work in the treatment room and gym. It pales, though, beside the potential dividend for Russia from 5-0 and 3-1 victories against two of the tournament’s weaker sides. If all the hosts could hope for was to string their presence out to the point of respectability, their supporters now have something to be excited about beyond the stardust spread by other countries. If Saudi Arabia fail to beat Uruguay (and who would back them to win?) Russia will advance to the knock-out rounds for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Saint Petersburg Stadium was not full for this second home triumph, but the 64,468 here were giddy as three second-half goals flew in inside 15 minutes (the first, a ludicrous own goal). Salah performed honourably after missing the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay, but to expect him to walk straight back in and rescue Egypt was fanciful, especially as he lacks team-mates of the quality of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. His goal came in the 73rd minute after he was pulled down by the arm (this is becoming a pattern), apparently outside the Russia penalty box, until VAR showed it to be penalty. These Russia players are pretty much equal and indistinguishable. The Soviet system would have been proud of this mechanical team. It’s as if their training stopped at pass and run, which they do well, and dispensed with the subtleties of the game, such as ingenuity and vision around the penalty box. Denis Cheryshev has been the best of them, and their energy and commitment ought to be acknowledged. Not that they will feel they had much choice in those respects. Russia have made a brilliant start to the tournament on home soil Credit: AFP They are all Russia have, and were cast into a home World Cup as the lowest-ranked team in the tournament with the unenviable task of matching the grandeur of the stadiums. Plainly this is going to be beyond them, however uplifting their 5-0 opening night win against Saudi Arabia - the biggest curtain-raising victory by a host country since 1934 - and this own-goal assisted win over Salah and company. Standing between the new Russian empire and progress to the Round of 16 was an Egypt side now emotionally dependent on Salah. The lauding of him before the game was at a level not even Liverpool fans could hope to match. His name was cheered at least three times louder than any other Egypt player, and each glimpse of him on the big screen ignited a new Egyptian party. In the game, Salah started wide-right, dispensing with defensive duties to try his luck against Yury Zhirkov, an old hand steeled for the fight. Denis Cheryshev scores Russia's second goal Credit: REuters It took Zhirkov 21 minutes to land a bang on the shoulder Salah injured in a tangle with Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final in Kiev. The challenge was fair, but spun Salah round, and soon the Premier League’s golden boot winner moved to play more centrally. He was more effective there, his first real chance on goal coming with a turn and swivel on the edge of Russia’s penalty box. But the shot from the pirouette slid wide. Egypt’s campaign, though was about to take a comical turn, two minutes after the break, when Roman Zobnin miscued a shot after a bad punch by the goalkeeper, and Ahmed Fathy, the Egyptian captain, under pressure from Artem Dzyuba, took a wild swing at it and swiped it into his own net. Bare-chested Egyptian fans in Pharoah headgear looked on miserably. Egypt’s defence, like Saudi Arabia’s, disintegrated, conceding three times, twice abjectly . Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah dribbles past Russia's defender Sergey Ignashevich Credit: AFP With Salah’s team still reeling from the own goal, Mario Fernandes cut a cross back for Cheryshev to double the lead, and then Ali Gabr failed to control a dropping ball on the edge of his box and allowed it to run to Dzyuba, the former star Russian striker who lost his way. Dzyuba’s military salute for the goal was in tune with his combative work in unsettling Egypt’s back four. The defensive ineptitude of opponents is helping Russia, but their probable advance will help maintain the interest of those who are ultimately paying for most of it - the Russian public, who have been treated to eight goals and plenty of workmanlike enterprise from their team. Salah, in effect, lost his World Cup campaign in the Champions League final, though he fought his way back to leave a small mark here. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 9:03PM That's moved the boy Denis Level with He Who Must Not Be Mentioned in the race for the Golden Boot. 8:58PM Class piece from Jim White Seems absolutely ridiculous that these two fans have to travel to Russia to watch their team play football live. Why? Because they are women from Iran. https://t.co/pSLIeiuqvz— Jim White (@jimw1) June 19, 2018 8:57PM Uruguay will have enjoyed that. Now a World Cup last-16 place is theirs for the taking if they beat Saudi Arabia. 8:55PM Group A Table 8:54PM Nice! Best goal difference by a host nation through two #WorldCup games: +7 ���� 2018 Russia +7 ���� 1998 France (won title) +6 ���� 1934 Italy (won title) +5 ���� 1930 Uruguay (won title)— Paul Carr (@PaulCarrTM) June 19, 2018 8:52PM Full time: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Hard lines for Egypt, but Russia are having a bit of a moment and deserved their win. 8:49PM 90+ mins: there will be four minutes added Warda and Kudryashov square up. Kudryashov looks like he could eat Warda for breakfast and still have room for pancakes. The hosts are, barring an astonishing Saudi Arabia result, going through. 8:47PM 89 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Nice move, Salah nearly dancing through, they get the break of the ball and Warda, from the right, hits it wide of the post. 8:46PM 86 mins Warda with a useful cross in. Since they, erm, went 3-0 down Egypt have played with a lot more vim. Also, other attacking players have started trying to do something rather than just looking to Salah. This is the problem with a one man team, obvs. 8:45PM 85 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt having the odd 1/4 chance but to be honest this feels remote in the extreme as a possibility. 8:42PM 84 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kahraba on, Mohsen off. Yuri Zhirkov is replaced by Fedor Kudryashov. 8:38PM 80 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt getting greedy, now they want another pen. Mohsen hits the deck. Kutepov the accused. No penalty. And I'll tell you why not: because Mohsen had fouled HIM. 8:37PM 79 mins: Golovin controls the ball majestically, nips past Gabr and waits for the foul, and the inevitable freekick. Ref doesn't give it. Snigger. Smolov comes on for Dzubya. 8:33PM 75 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kuziaev comes on, the dangerman Cheryshev off. Russia have a decent opportunity to slam the coffin lid down when Samedov delivers a useful freekick to the back stick. Ignashevich's header is saved. 8:31PM VAR to the rescue Again, VAR gets there. But poor refereeing. Always been a penalty.— Matt Smith (@msmith850) June 19, 2018 8:31PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 1 (Salah 73 pen) He's wellied that! Bosh. No messing from Mo Salah. Is that an improbable lifeline? 8:30PM 71 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 0 Salah is hauled down. To most viewers, it is clear that it is inside the box. But not to the referee though. He gives it outside the box but fortunately the VAR comes to the rescue. A PENALTY IS AWARDED Credit: BBC 8:25PM 66 mins Fed by Salah with a nice ball, Trezeguet has a shot wide, and that will be Trezeguet's last contribution. He's getting the hook, and here comes Sobhi. 8:22PM 65 mins Warda on, Elneny off. Egypt have a freekick, Gabr tries to make amends for his defensive spinelessness with a header. No. 8:20PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 0 (Dzyuba 62) Another one! Oh dear, this is turning into a horrible night for the Pharoahs. Route one, big Dzyuba chests the ball down and it's men against boys as Gabr and Hegazi crumble and let him through. Hammers it home and that, my friends, is the night boat to Cairo. Artem Dzyuba of Russia scores Credit: Getty 8:16PM GOAL! Russia 2 Egypt 0 (Cheryshev 59) Ooh, that is going to be the killer blow, surely. Nice work from Figueira Fernandes, heart and energy down the right to join the attack. Pulls the ball back, and there is the deadly Denis Cheryshev to slot the ball home. That's his third of the tournament by the way, and it looks likely that it is going to send Russia through... and send poor Egypt home. 8:14PM No OG no fun There were no own-goals at all at the 1958 and 1962 World Cups. What miserable times they must have been.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) June 19, 2018 8:13PM 55 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 That was the moment? Maybe? The ball is played into the Russian box, knockdown, Salah has it at his feet eight yards out.... but he cannot get it out from under him and the desperate Russians can clear. Fully fit, he jinks and smashes that. But he is not confident in his body. 8:10PM 52 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Russians enjoying a couple of corners. At this rate (5 own goals in 17 matches), this World Cup will have 19 own goals. The record most in a single World Cup is 6, set in 1998. #WorldCup#RUS#EGY— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) June 19, 2018 8:04PM OWN GOAL! by Fathy: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Aw, that is rotten luck for Egypt, although their keeper must carry his fair share of blame. Golovin crosses it in, the keeper comes out with a flappy, silly punch. Shoulda caught that. Instead, he punches, the Russian 11 Zobnin drills it back in and a panicking Fathy stabs it into his own net. (Fathy OG 47 mins) Dreadful shot by Zobnin by the way, would have practically gone out for a corner had Fathy not intervened. Egypt's goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy (R) watches as the ball ends up in his net after a deflection by Egypt's defender Ahmed Fathi (L) Credit: AFP/Getty 8:03PM 46 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Always a shame to see a brilliant player not at his best due to injury. But hopefully Mo Salah can weave a bit of magic. 8:00PM This shows Salah's position (10) Average touch positions (half time) He's basically playing as a narrow advanced forward. Alan Shearer sums it up well on BBC: "Mo Salah, you can tell, is only 70-75% fit and they know that - they're protecting him, he's not running back and they're just trying to get the ball up to him." 7:57PM Pretty fair Russia vs Egypt shots on goal 7:46PM Half time: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That'll do it for the half, not many chances, but plenty of energy. 7:44PM 42 mins Fun, B- quality, end-to-end stuff, here are the Russians with a corner. Gabr involved in a good old fashioned grappling contest with Dzyuba. Risky business in these VAR times... 7:42PM 40 mins There's our boy! Class from Salah, Mohsen dummies, Salah gets it and spins away from his man. Peach of a curling effort but not quite. 7:40PM 37 mins Lovely counter by Egypt, but it starts in bizarre fashion when the ball hits the ref, wrong-footing everyone! Elneny with a great ball in and Mohsen should have done a lot better. 7:35PM 34 mins Nice ball in! Mohsen just misses out to Figueira Fernandes of Russia. More even now. 7:34PM 33 mins Better spell from Egypt. Passing it, higher up the pitch. Looking slicker, ball into the area from Shafy is flicked on. Salah nearly there at the back stick! Corner. Delivery is poor. 7:33PM 30 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Enjoyable game so far. Russia unsophisticated but useful, got some pace, got some who can deliver the ball, attack in numbers. Egypt are unbalanced. They need to just get a bit of the ball, play themselves into this. 7:28PM 27 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Decent from Salah as he holds it up to tee up Trézéguet , whose shot is charged down. But it is a momentary respite: here come the Russians again. 7:27PM 25 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 This Egypt defence are making some blunders and I think they are going to be sorry. A ball is played in by Cheryshev. Keeper El-Shenawy comes, and is barged off it by Hegazi. Don't panic! 7:25PM 22 mins Salah is not doing a lot. And as I say, he is not offering anything defensively, just standing out on the right wing. Here come the Russians down the left. Gazinskii crosses and the big lad Dzyuba gets up well but glances his header too fine. 7:19PM 18 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Zhirkov takes a freekick but is wasteful with the delivery. But Russia get a lucky break when it rebounds out to Cheryshev. he has a crack, and it is not far over. 7:16PM 16 mins Lovely run from Trézéguet down the inside-left, he tries to bend it in at the far post and he is not far at all from achieving that end. 7:15PM 14 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 El Said spins away from Kutepov and was fouled. From a corner, Egypt have a headed chance. Attempt Saved: Russia 0 - 0 Egypt (Marwan Mohsen, 15 min) Behind for another corner. Another good ball in, cleared but only as far as the corner flag. Good spell for the visitors, their best of the match so far. 7:13PM 13 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That's it! Salah gets a long ball on the right, gives it inside and goes into the box. He is stopped by multiple Russians. 7:11PM 11 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Samedov and Figueira Fernandes link up well down the right but the latter cannot quite find the final ball. 7:10PM 10 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Very encouraging start from the hosts. Egypt pinned back. Salah hasn't featured. Also: Salah is not tracking back, which is fine in and of itself but somebody else needs to help out the right back in which case. 7:08PM 8 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 It's all Russia. Egypt cannot get out. 7:08PM 6 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Defensive blunder by Egypt! Sloppy, dawdling play out from the back, Golovin pinches it and races forward. He is disappointed not to have done better with the shot. 7:07PM 5 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Russia have the game's first corner.. Taken short, and it is played in by Samedov, headed by the veteran Ignashevich. Not troubling anyone, that. 7:04PM 3 mins Plenty of atmos, some beefy challenges but neither side able to dominate so far. Russia looking for raking balls to their hefty forward Artem Dzyuba. 7:01PM 1 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Egypt, in white, kick off. 7:01PM And Egypt Egypt side Credit: BBC 6:58PM Here's how Russia should line up Credit: BBC 6:56PM Russian anthem Powerful stuff. 6:55PM Egyptian anthem being belted out around the stadium, they seem to have got a few in. Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah... he's in! Credit: AFP/Getty 6:50PM Noice Russia ���� fans gather outside the entrance to Red Square as anticipation mounts ahead of the hosts’ group match against Egypt ���� in St. Petersburg. Mo Salah starts for The Pharaohs #RUSEGY ⁦@FIFAWorldCup⁩ ⁦@RT_com⁩ pic.twitter.com/TEqBth3fTC— Kate Partridge (@KatePartridge33) June 19, 2018 6:49PM Danny Murphy Bit over-dressed, aren't you? Like you just stepped out of a bookies: Danny Murphy Credit: BBC 6:48PM Fans Credit: BBC 6:35PM Who's having a good tournament? 6:34PM Where's your money, then? Here is our betting guide to a tasty fixture. Russia: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Zobnin, Gazinsky, Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev, Dzyuba. Subs: Lunev, Semenov, Kuzyaev, Dzagoev, Smolov, Kudryashov, Granat, Aleksey Miranchuk, Anton Miranchuk, Erokhin, Smolnikov, Gabulov. Egypt: El Shenawy, Fathi, Gabr, Hegazi, Abdel-Shafy, Hamed, Elneny, Salah, Said, Trezeguet, Mohsen. Subs: El Hadary, Elmohamady, Gaber, Morsy, Kahraba, Ashraf, Sobhi, Hamdy, Shikabala, Samir, Warda, Ekramy. Referee: Enrique Caceres (Paraguay) 6:21PM Salah news! The Premier League's top scorer adds some much-needed bite to an Egyptian attack that struggled to threaten Uruguay in a 1-0 loss Friday. On the other side, Russia winger Denis Cheryshev has promoted to the starting lineup after scoring twice as a substitute in Thursday's tournament-opening 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia. Egypt: Mohamed Elshenawy, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Abdelshafy, Ahmed Fathi, Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Elneny, Abdalla Said, Mohamed Salah, Mahmoud Hassan, Marwan Mohsen. Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kutepov, Sergei Ignashevich, Denis Cheryshev, Yuri Gazinsky, Fyodor Smolov, Roman Zobnin, Alexander Golovin, Yuri Zhirkov, Alexander Samedov. 6:20PM Heartwarming news! Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Blatter posed for photographs with people on his arrival at a five-star hotel downtown. The 82-year-old former FIFA president is banned from official football duty until October 2021 for financial misconduct during this 17-year rule. This is Blatter's first public appearance outside his native Switzerland since July 2015 when the World Cup qualifying draw was conducted in St. Petersburg. Blatter shared the stage that day with Putin and could meet with the Russian president this week. The FIFA ban does not prevent Blatter attending games and he is expected to see Portugal play Morocco on Wednesday at Luzhniki Stadium. 5:49PM And please welcome your hosts.... Russia! Starting Eleven @TeamRussia vs @Pharaohs#Rusia2018#RUSEGYpic.twitter.com/HLD5EZt081— Сборная России (@TeamRussia) June 19, 2018 Playing in their controversial 4-4-4 formation and giving a start to an old geezer who has come in the wrong PE kit. 5:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Saint Petersburg Stadium 5:46PM More on Mo Egypt striker Mohamed Salah will make his first appearance at the World Cup after being named in the starting line-up for tonight's match with Russia, the Egyptian Football Association has announced. The Liverpool forward has been sidelined since injuring his shoulder during last month's Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid. Salah, who was an unused substitute in Egypt's Group A opener against Uruguay on Friday, will lead his side as they face hosts Russia at Krestovsky Stadium in an attempt to bounce back from that defeat with a result. 5:45PM Here's all our reaction to the England game Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men 5:44PM Liverpool sending good vibes @MoSalah starts. ������#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/UbZbrhIFPR— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 19, 2018 5:43PM Teams إليكم تشكيل #الفراعنة لمباراة الليلة #worldcup#ThePharaohs#RUSEGY#RUS �� #Egypic.twitter.com/fMV9pNzzYk— Egypt National Football Team (@Pharaohs) June 19, 2018 5:39PM He's in Mo Salah starts! Full team news coming up. Great news: Mo Salah starts for Egypt.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 19, 2018 5:35PM All hail the Egyptian King! Good evening, and welcome to our live blog of the first of the second round of group games. Everyone, with the exception of the Russian football team and fans, is surely hoping that Mo Salah is fit enough to play in this match, and fit enough to give a good account of himself. Ronaldo has already lit up the tournament, Messi was poor, Suarez looked a bit fat and off the pace, De Bruyne had his moments, and now it is the chance for one of the other top, top, top, top players to make his mark, we hope. his Egypt side will play the hosts badly needing a result. Egypt lost by the single goal to Uruguay the other day and cannot afford another slip up. As for the hosts, they got the tournament off to an unexpectedly joyous start in the first game when they walloped Saudi Arabia. Of all the teams I have seen in the competition only the Saudis could be said to be without merit or ability, and I full expect all the other teams in this group to have the full three points off them. But anyone will be doing well to better the goal difference good times that Russia have got for themselves. In all likelihood, Uruguay are going to have six points within the next 24 hours and that means that this game is a very important fixture for Egypt. We will have the team news as soon as it comes in, the match itself starts at 7pm UK time. Meanwhile, why not follow the end of Poland V Senegal here with JJ Bull?
Russia move to brink of qualification for knockout rounds after second-half blitz sees off Egypt
Eight goals in two games have averted Russia’s nightmare of spending tens of millions of dollars on a World Cup only to go out in the group stage. Mohamed Salah meanwhile has been restricted to a penalty, lots of physio on his injured shoulder and an awkward meeting with Chechnya’s warlord. Salah’s penalty kick when Egypt already trailed 3-0 was a small reward for his hard work in the treatment room and gym. It pales, though, beside the potential dividend for Russia from 5-0 and 3-1 victories against two of the tournament’s weaker sides. If all the hosts could hope for was to string their presence out to the point of respectability, their supporters now have something to be excited about beyond the stardust spread by other countries. If Saudi Arabia fail to beat Uruguay (and who would back them to win?) Russia will advance to the knock-out rounds for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Saint Petersburg Stadium was not full for this second home triumph, but the 64,468 here were giddy as three second-half goals flew in inside 15 minutes (the first, a ludicrous own goal). Salah performed honourably after missing the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay, but to expect him to walk straight back in and rescue Egypt was fanciful, especially as he lacks team-mates of the quality of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. His goal came in the 73rd minute after he was pulled down by the arm (this is becoming a pattern), apparently outside the Russia penalty box, until VAR showed it to be penalty. These Russia players are pretty much equal and indistinguishable. The Soviet system would have been proud of this mechanical team. It’s as if their training stopped at pass and run, which they do well, and dispensed with the subtleties of the game, such as ingenuity and vision around the penalty box. Denis Cheryshev has been the best of them, and their energy and commitment ought to be acknowledged. Not that they will feel they had much choice in those respects. Russia have made a brilliant start to the tournament on home soil Credit: AFP They are all Russia have, and were cast into a home World Cup as the lowest-ranked team in the tournament with the unenviable task of matching the grandeur of the stadiums. Plainly this is going to be beyond them, however uplifting their 5-0 opening night win against Saudi Arabia - the biggest curtain-raising victory by a host country since 1934 - and this own-goal assisted win over Salah and company. Standing between the new Russian empire and progress to the Round of 16 was an Egypt side now emotionally dependent on Salah. The lauding of him before the game was at a level not even Liverpool fans could hope to match. His name was cheered at least three times louder than any other Egypt player, and each glimpse of him on the big screen ignited a new Egyptian party. In the game, Salah started wide-right, dispensing with defensive duties to try his luck against Yury Zhirkov, an old hand steeled for the fight. Denis Cheryshev scores Russia's second goal Credit: REuters It took Zhirkov 21 minutes to land a bang on the shoulder Salah injured in a tangle with Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final in Kiev. The challenge was fair, but spun Salah round, and soon the Premier League’s golden boot winner moved to play more centrally. He was more effective there, his first real chance on goal coming with a turn and swivel on the edge of Russia’s penalty box. But the shot from the pirouette slid wide. Egypt’s campaign, though was about to take a comical turn, two minutes after the break, when Roman Zobnin miscued a shot after a bad punch by the goalkeeper, and Ahmed Fathy, the Egyptian captain, under pressure from Artem Dzyuba, took a wild swing at it and swiped it into his own net. Bare-chested Egyptian fans in Pharoah headgear looked on miserably. Egypt’s defence, like Saudi Arabia’s, disintegrated, conceding three times, twice abjectly . Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah dribbles past Russia's defender Sergey Ignashevich Credit: AFP With Salah’s team still reeling from the own goal, Mario Fernandes cut a cross back for Cheryshev to double the lead, and then Ali Gabr failed to control a dropping ball on the edge of his box and allowed it to run to Dzyuba, the former star Russian striker who lost his way. Dzyuba’s military salute for the goal was in tune with his combative work in unsettling Egypt’s back four. The defensive ineptitude of opponents is helping Russia, but their probable advance will help maintain the interest of those who are ultimately paying for most of it - the Russian public, who have been treated to eight goals and plenty of workmanlike enterprise from their team. Salah, in effect, lost his World Cup campaign in the Champions League final, though he fought his way back to leave a small mark here. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 9:03PM That's moved the boy Denis Level with He Who Must Not Be Mentioned in the race for the Golden Boot. 8:58PM Class piece from Jim White Seems absolutely ridiculous that these two fans have to travel to Russia to watch their team play football live. Why? Because they are women from Iran. https://t.co/pSLIeiuqvz— Jim White (@jimw1) June 19, 2018 8:57PM Uruguay will have enjoyed that. Now a World Cup last-16 place is theirs for the taking if they beat Saudi Arabia. 8:55PM Group A Table 8:54PM Nice! Best goal difference by a host nation through two #WorldCup games: +7 ���� 2018 Russia +7 ���� 1998 France (won title) +6 ���� 1934 Italy (won title) +5 ���� 1930 Uruguay (won title)— Paul Carr (@PaulCarrTM) June 19, 2018 8:52PM Full time: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Hard lines for Egypt, but Russia are having a bit of a moment and deserved their win. 8:49PM 90+ mins: there will be four minutes added Warda and Kudryashov square up. Kudryashov looks like he could eat Warda for breakfast and still have room for pancakes. The hosts are, barring an astonishing Saudi Arabia result, going through. 8:47PM 89 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Nice move, Salah nearly dancing through, they get the break of the ball and Warda, from the right, hits it wide of the post. 8:46PM 86 mins Warda with a useful cross in. Since they, erm, went 3-0 down Egypt have played with a lot more vim. Also, other attacking players have started trying to do something rather than just looking to Salah. This is the problem with a one man team, obvs. 8:45PM 85 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt having the odd 1/4 chance but to be honest this feels remote in the extreme as a possibility. 8:42PM 84 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kahraba on, Mohsen off. Yuri Zhirkov is replaced by Fedor Kudryashov. 8:38PM 80 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt getting greedy, now they want another pen. Mohsen hits the deck. Kutepov the accused. No penalty. And I'll tell you why not: because Mohsen had fouled HIM. 8:37PM 79 mins: Golovin controls the ball majestically, nips past Gabr and waits for the foul, and the inevitable freekick. Ref doesn't give it. Snigger. Smolov comes on for Dzubya. 8:33PM 75 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kuziaev comes on, the dangerman Cheryshev off. Russia have a decent opportunity to slam the coffin lid down when Samedov delivers a useful freekick to the back stick. Ignashevich's header is saved. 8:31PM VAR to the rescue Again, VAR gets there. But poor refereeing. Always been a penalty.— Matt Smith (@msmith850) June 19, 2018 8:31PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 1 (Salah 73 pen) He's wellied that! Bosh. No messing from Mo Salah. Is that an improbable lifeline? 8:30PM 71 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 0 Salah is hauled down. To most viewers, it is clear that it is inside the box. But not to the referee though. He gives it outside the box but fortunately the VAR comes to the rescue. A PENALTY IS AWARDED Credit: BBC 8:25PM 66 mins Fed by Salah with a nice ball, Trezeguet has a shot wide, and that will be Trezeguet's last contribution. He's getting the hook, and here comes Sobhi. 8:22PM 65 mins Warda on, Elneny off. Egypt have a freekick, Gabr tries to make amends for his defensive spinelessness with a header. No. 8:20PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 0 (Dzyuba 62) Another one! Oh dear, this is turning into a horrible night for the Pharoahs. Route one, big Dzyuba chests the ball down and it's men against boys as Gabr and Hegazi crumble and let him through. Hammers it home and that, my friends, is the night boat to Cairo. Artem Dzyuba of Russia scores Credit: Getty 8:16PM GOAL! Russia 2 Egypt 0 (Cheryshev 59) Ooh, that is going to be the killer blow, surely. Nice work from Figueira Fernandes, heart and energy down the right to join the attack. Pulls the ball back, and there is the deadly Denis Cheryshev to slot the ball home. That's his third of the tournament by the way, and it looks likely that it is going to send Russia through... and send poor Egypt home. 8:14PM No OG no fun There were no own-goals at all at the 1958 and 1962 World Cups. What miserable times they must have been.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) June 19, 2018 8:13PM 55 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 That was the moment? Maybe? The ball is played into the Russian box, knockdown, Salah has it at his feet eight yards out.... but he cannot get it out from under him and the desperate Russians can clear. Fully fit, he jinks and smashes that. But he is not confident in his body. 8:10PM 52 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Russians enjoying a couple of corners. At this rate (5 own goals in 17 matches), this World Cup will have 19 own goals. The record most in a single World Cup is 6, set in 1998. #WorldCup#RUS#EGY— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) June 19, 2018 8:04PM OWN GOAL! by Fathy: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Aw, that is rotten luck for Egypt, although their keeper must carry his fair share of blame. Golovin crosses it in, the keeper comes out with a flappy, silly punch. Shoulda caught that. Instead, he punches, the Russian 11 Zobnin drills it back in and a panicking Fathy stabs it into his own net. (Fathy OG 47 mins) Dreadful shot by Zobnin by the way, would have practically gone out for a corner had Fathy not intervened. Egypt's goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy (R) watches as the ball ends up in his net after a deflection by Egypt's defender Ahmed Fathi (L) Credit: AFP/Getty 8:03PM 46 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Always a shame to see a brilliant player not at his best due to injury. But hopefully Mo Salah can weave a bit of magic. 8:00PM This shows Salah's position (10) Average touch positions (half time) He's basically playing as a narrow advanced forward. Alan Shearer sums it up well on BBC: "Mo Salah, you can tell, is only 70-75% fit and they know that - they're protecting him, he's not running back and they're just trying to get the ball up to him." 7:57PM Pretty fair Russia vs Egypt shots on goal 7:46PM Half time: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That'll do it for the half, not many chances, but plenty of energy. 7:44PM 42 mins Fun, B- quality, end-to-end stuff, here are the Russians with a corner. Gabr involved in a good old fashioned grappling contest with Dzyuba. Risky business in these VAR times... 7:42PM 40 mins There's our boy! Class from Salah, Mohsen dummies, Salah gets it and spins away from his man. Peach of a curling effort but not quite. 7:40PM 37 mins Lovely counter by Egypt, but it starts in bizarre fashion when the ball hits the ref, wrong-footing everyone! Elneny with a great ball in and Mohsen should have done a lot better. 7:35PM 34 mins Nice ball in! Mohsen just misses out to Figueira Fernandes of Russia. More even now. 7:34PM 33 mins Better spell from Egypt. Passing it, higher up the pitch. Looking slicker, ball into the area from Shafy is flicked on. Salah nearly there at the back stick! Corner. Delivery is poor. 7:33PM 30 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Enjoyable game so far. Russia unsophisticated but useful, got some pace, got some who can deliver the ball, attack in numbers. Egypt are unbalanced. They need to just get a bit of the ball, play themselves into this. 7:28PM 27 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Decent from Salah as he holds it up to tee up Trézéguet , whose shot is charged down. But it is a momentary respite: here come the Russians again. 7:27PM 25 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 This Egypt defence are making some blunders and I think they are going to be sorry. A ball is played in by Cheryshev. Keeper El-Shenawy comes, and is barged off it by Hegazi. Don't panic! 7:25PM 22 mins Salah is not doing a lot. And as I say, he is not offering anything defensively, just standing out on the right wing. Here come the Russians down the left. Gazinskii crosses and the big lad Dzyuba gets up well but glances his header too fine. 7:19PM 18 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Zhirkov takes a freekick but is wasteful with the delivery. But Russia get a lucky break when it rebounds out to Cheryshev. he has a crack, and it is not far over. 7:16PM 16 mins Lovely run from Trézéguet down the inside-left, he tries to bend it in at the far post and he is not far at all from achieving that end. 7:15PM 14 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 El Said spins away from Kutepov and was fouled. From a corner, Egypt have a headed chance. Attempt Saved: Russia 0 - 0 Egypt (Marwan Mohsen, 15 min) Behind for another corner. Another good ball in, cleared but only as far as the corner flag. Good spell for the visitors, their best of the match so far. 7:13PM 13 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That's it! Salah gets a long ball on the right, gives it inside and goes into the box. He is stopped by multiple Russians. 7:11PM 11 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Samedov and Figueira Fernandes link up well down the right but the latter cannot quite find the final ball. 7:10PM 10 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Very encouraging start from the hosts. Egypt pinned back. Salah hasn't featured. Also: Salah is not tracking back, which is fine in and of itself but somebody else needs to help out the right back in which case. 7:08PM 8 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 It's all Russia. Egypt cannot get out. 7:08PM 6 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Defensive blunder by Egypt! Sloppy, dawdling play out from the back, Golovin pinches it and races forward. He is disappointed not to have done better with the shot. 7:07PM 5 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Russia have the game's first corner.. Taken short, and it is played in by Samedov, headed by the veteran Ignashevich. Not troubling anyone, that. 7:04PM 3 mins Plenty of atmos, some beefy challenges but neither side able to dominate so far. Russia looking for raking balls to their hefty forward Artem Dzyuba. 7:01PM 1 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Egypt, in white, kick off. 7:01PM And Egypt Egypt side Credit: BBC 6:58PM Here's how Russia should line up Credit: BBC 6:56PM Russian anthem Powerful stuff. 6:55PM Egyptian anthem being belted out around the stadium, they seem to have got a few in. Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah... he's in! Credit: AFP/Getty 6:50PM Noice Russia ���� fans gather outside the entrance to Red Square as anticipation mounts ahead of the hosts’ group match against Egypt ���� in St. Petersburg. Mo Salah starts for The Pharaohs #RUSEGY ⁦@FIFAWorldCup⁩ ⁦@RT_com⁩ pic.twitter.com/TEqBth3fTC— Kate Partridge (@KatePartridge33) June 19, 2018 6:49PM Danny Murphy Bit over-dressed, aren't you? Like you just stepped out of a bookies: Danny Murphy Credit: BBC 6:48PM Fans Credit: BBC 6:35PM Who's having a good tournament? 6:34PM Where's your money, then? Here is our betting guide to a tasty fixture. Russia: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Zobnin, Gazinsky, Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev, Dzyuba. Subs: Lunev, Semenov, Kuzyaev, Dzagoev, Smolov, Kudryashov, Granat, Aleksey Miranchuk, Anton Miranchuk, Erokhin, Smolnikov, Gabulov. Egypt: El Shenawy, Fathi, Gabr, Hegazi, Abdel-Shafy, Hamed, Elneny, Salah, Said, Trezeguet, Mohsen. Subs: El Hadary, Elmohamady, Gaber, Morsy, Kahraba, Ashraf, Sobhi, Hamdy, Shikabala, Samir, Warda, Ekramy. Referee: Enrique Caceres (Paraguay) 6:21PM Salah news! The Premier League's top scorer adds some much-needed bite to an Egyptian attack that struggled to threaten Uruguay in a 1-0 loss Friday. On the other side, Russia winger Denis Cheryshev has promoted to the starting lineup after scoring twice as a substitute in Thursday's tournament-opening 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia. Egypt: Mohamed Elshenawy, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Abdelshafy, Ahmed Fathi, Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Elneny, Abdalla Said, Mohamed Salah, Mahmoud Hassan, Marwan Mohsen. Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kutepov, Sergei Ignashevich, Denis Cheryshev, Yuri Gazinsky, Fyodor Smolov, Roman Zobnin, Alexander Golovin, Yuri Zhirkov, Alexander Samedov. 6:20PM Heartwarming news! Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Blatter posed for photographs with people on his arrival at a five-star hotel downtown. The 82-year-old former FIFA president is banned from official football duty until October 2021 for financial misconduct during this 17-year rule. This is Blatter's first public appearance outside his native Switzerland since July 2015 when the World Cup qualifying draw was conducted in St. Petersburg. Blatter shared the stage that day with Putin and could meet with the Russian president this week. The FIFA ban does not prevent Blatter attending games and he is expected to see Portugal play Morocco on Wednesday at Luzhniki Stadium. 5:49PM And please welcome your hosts.... Russia! Starting Eleven @TeamRussia vs @Pharaohs#Rusia2018#RUSEGYpic.twitter.com/HLD5EZt081— Сборная России (@TeamRussia) June 19, 2018 Playing in their controversial 4-4-4 formation and giving a start to an old geezer who has come in the wrong PE kit. 5:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Saint Petersburg Stadium 5:46PM More on Mo Egypt striker Mohamed Salah will make his first appearance at the World Cup after being named in the starting line-up for tonight's match with Russia, the Egyptian Football Association has announced. The Liverpool forward has been sidelined since injuring his shoulder during last month's Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid. Salah, who was an unused substitute in Egypt's Group A opener against Uruguay on Friday, will lead his side as they face hosts Russia at Krestovsky Stadium in an attempt to bounce back from that defeat with a result. 5:45PM Here's all our reaction to the England game Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men 5:44PM Liverpool sending good vibes @MoSalah starts. ������#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/UbZbrhIFPR— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 19, 2018 5:43PM Teams إليكم تشكيل #الفراعنة لمباراة الليلة #worldcup#ThePharaohs#RUSEGY#RUS �� #Egypic.twitter.com/fMV9pNzzYk— Egypt National Football Team (@Pharaohs) June 19, 2018 5:39PM He's in Mo Salah starts! Full team news coming up. Great news: Mo Salah starts for Egypt.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 19, 2018 5:35PM All hail the Egyptian King! Good evening, and welcome to our live blog of the first of the second round of group games. Everyone, with the exception of the Russian football team and fans, is surely hoping that Mo Salah is fit enough to play in this match, and fit enough to give a good account of himself. Ronaldo has already lit up the tournament, Messi was poor, Suarez looked a bit fat and off the pace, De Bruyne had his moments, and now it is the chance for one of the other top, top, top, top players to make his mark, we hope. his Egypt side will play the hosts badly needing a result. Egypt lost by the single goal to Uruguay the other day and cannot afford another slip up. As for the hosts, they got the tournament off to an unexpectedly joyous start in the first game when they walloped Saudi Arabia. Of all the teams I have seen in the competition only the Saudis could be said to be without merit or ability, and I full expect all the other teams in this group to have the full three points off them. But anyone will be doing well to better the goal difference good times that Russia have got for themselves. In all likelihood, Uruguay are going to have six points within the next 24 hours and that means that this game is a very important fixture for Egypt. We will have the team news as soon as it comes in, the match itself starts at 7pm UK time. Meanwhile, why not follow the end of Poland V Senegal here with JJ Bull?
Eight goals in two games have averted Russia’s nightmare of spending tens of millions of dollars on a World Cup only to go out in the group stage. Mohamed Salah meanwhile has been restricted to a penalty, lots of physio on his injured shoulder and an awkward meeting with Chechnya’s warlord. Salah’s penalty kick when Egypt already trailed 3-0 was a small reward for his hard work in the treatment room and gym. It pales, though, beside the potential dividend for Russia from 5-0 and 3-1 victories against two of the tournament’s weaker sides. If all the hosts could hope for was to string their presence out to the point of respectability, their supporters now have something to be excited about beyond the stardust spread by other countries. If Saudi Arabia fail to beat Uruguay (and who would back them to win?) Russia will advance to the knock-out rounds for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Saint Petersburg Stadium was not full for this second home triumph, but the 64,468 here were giddy as three second-half goals flew in inside 15 minutes (the first, a ludicrous own goal). Salah performed honourably after missing the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay, but to expect him to walk straight back in and rescue Egypt was fanciful, especially as he lacks team-mates of the quality of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. His goal came in the 73rd minute after he was pulled down by the arm (this is becoming a pattern), apparently outside the Russia penalty box, until VAR showed it to be penalty. These Russia players are pretty much equal and indistinguishable. The Soviet system would have been proud of this mechanical team. It’s as if their training stopped at pass and run, which they do well, and dispensed with the subtleties of the game, such as ingenuity and vision around the penalty box. Denis Cheryshev has been the best of them, and their energy and commitment ought to be acknowledged. Not that they will feel they had much choice in those respects. Russia have made a brilliant start to the tournament on home soil Credit: AFP They are all Russia have, and were cast into a home World Cup as the lowest-ranked team in the tournament with the unenviable task of matching the grandeur of the stadiums. Plainly this is going to be beyond them, however uplifting their 5-0 opening night win against Saudi Arabia - the biggest curtain-raising victory by a host country since 1934 - and this own-goal assisted win over Salah and company. Standing between the new Russian empire and progress to the Round of 16 was an Egypt side now emotionally dependent on Salah. The lauding of him before the game was at a level not even Liverpool fans could hope to match. His name was cheered at least three times louder than any other Egypt player, and each glimpse of him on the big screen ignited a new Egyptian party. In the game, Salah started wide-right, dispensing with defensive duties to try his luck against Yury Zhirkov, an old hand steeled for the fight. Denis Cheryshev scores Russia's second goal Credit: REuters It took Zhirkov 21 minutes to land a bang on the shoulder Salah injured in a tangle with Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final in Kiev. The challenge was fair, but spun Salah round, and soon the Premier League’s golden boot winner moved to play more centrally. He was more effective there, his first real chance on goal coming with a turn and swivel on the edge of Russia’s penalty box. But the shot from the pirouette slid wide. Egypt’s campaign, though was about to take a comical turn, two minutes after the break, when Roman Zobnin miscued a shot after a bad punch by the goalkeeper, and Ahmed Fathy, the Egyptian captain, under pressure from Artem Dzyuba, took a wild swing at it and swiped it into his own net. Bare-chested Egyptian fans in Pharoah headgear looked on miserably. Egypt’s defence, like Saudi Arabia’s, disintegrated, conceding three times, twice abjectly . Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah dribbles past Russia's defender Sergey Ignashevich Credit: AFP With Salah’s team still reeling from the own goal, Mario Fernandes cut a cross back for Cheryshev to double the lead, and then Ali Gabr failed to control a dropping ball on the edge of his box and allowed it to run to Dzyuba, the former star Russian striker who lost his way. Dzyuba’s military salute for the goal was in tune with his combative work in unsettling Egypt’s back four. The defensive ineptitude of opponents is helping Russia, but their probable advance will help maintain the interest of those who are ultimately paying for most of it - the Russian public, who have been treated to eight goals and plenty of workmanlike enterprise from their team. Salah, in effect, lost his World Cup campaign in the Champions League final, though he fought his way back to leave a small mark here. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 9:03PM That's moved the boy Denis Level with He Who Must Not Be Mentioned in the race for the Golden Boot. 8:58PM Class piece from Jim White Seems absolutely ridiculous that these two fans have to travel to Russia to watch their team play football live. Why? Because they are women from Iran. https://t.co/pSLIeiuqvz— Jim White (@jimw1) June 19, 2018 8:57PM Uruguay will have enjoyed that. Now a World Cup last-16 place is theirs for the taking if they beat Saudi Arabia. 8:55PM Group A Table 8:54PM Nice! Best goal difference by a host nation through two #WorldCup games: +7 ���� 2018 Russia +7 ���� 1998 France (won title) +6 ���� 1934 Italy (won title) +5 ���� 1930 Uruguay (won title)— Paul Carr (@PaulCarrTM) June 19, 2018 8:52PM Full time: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Hard lines for Egypt, but Russia are having a bit of a moment and deserved their win. 8:49PM 90+ mins: there will be four minutes added Warda and Kudryashov square up. Kudryashov looks like he could eat Warda for breakfast and still have room for pancakes. The hosts are, barring an astonishing Saudi Arabia result, going through. 8:47PM 89 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Nice move, Salah nearly dancing through, they get the break of the ball and Warda, from the right, hits it wide of the post. 8:46PM 86 mins Warda with a useful cross in. Since they, erm, went 3-0 down Egypt have played with a lot more vim. Also, other attacking players have started trying to do something rather than just looking to Salah. This is the problem with a one man team, obvs. 8:45PM 85 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt having the odd 1/4 chance but to be honest this feels remote in the extreme as a possibility. 8:42PM 84 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kahraba on, Mohsen off. Yuri Zhirkov is replaced by Fedor Kudryashov. 8:38PM 80 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt getting greedy, now they want another pen. Mohsen hits the deck. Kutepov the accused. No penalty. And I'll tell you why not: because Mohsen had fouled HIM. 8:37PM 79 mins: Golovin controls the ball majestically, nips past Gabr and waits for the foul, and the inevitable freekick. Ref doesn't give it. Snigger. Smolov comes on for Dzubya. 8:33PM 75 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kuziaev comes on, the dangerman Cheryshev off. Russia have a decent opportunity to slam the coffin lid down when Samedov delivers a useful freekick to the back stick. Ignashevich's header is saved. 8:31PM VAR to the rescue Again, VAR gets there. But poor refereeing. Always been a penalty.— Matt Smith (@msmith850) June 19, 2018 8:31PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 1 (Salah 73 pen) He's wellied that! Bosh. No messing from Mo Salah. Is that an improbable lifeline? 8:30PM 71 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 0 Salah is hauled down. To most viewers, it is clear that it is inside the box. But not to the referee though. He gives it outside the box but fortunately the VAR comes to the rescue. A PENALTY IS AWARDED Credit: BBC 8:25PM 66 mins Fed by Salah with a nice ball, Trezeguet has a shot wide, and that will be Trezeguet's last contribution. He's getting the hook, and here comes Sobhi. 8:22PM 65 mins Warda on, Elneny off. Egypt have a freekick, Gabr tries to make amends for his defensive spinelessness with a header. No. 8:20PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 0 (Dzyuba 62) Another one! Oh dear, this is turning into a horrible night for the Pharoahs. Route one, big Dzyuba chests the ball down and it's men against boys as Gabr and Hegazi crumble and let him through. Hammers it home and that, my friends, is the night boat to Cairo. Artem Dzyuba of Russia scores Credit: Getty 8:16PM GOAL! Russia 2 Egypt 0 (Cheryshev 59) Ooh, that is going to be the killer blow, surely. Nice work from Figueira Fernandes, heart and energy down the right to join the attack. Pulls the ball back, and there is the deadly Denis Cheryshev to slot the ball home. That's his third of the tournament by the way, and it looks likely that it is going to send Russia through... and send poor Egypt home. 8:14PM No OG no fun There were no own-goals at all at the 1958 and 1962 World Cups. What miserable times they must have been.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) June 19, 2018 8:13PM 55 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 That was the moment? Maybe? The ball is played into the Russian box, knockdown, Salah has it at his feet eight yards out.... but he cannot get it out from under him and the desperate Russians can clear. Fully fit, he jinks and smashes that. But he is not confident in his body. 8:10PM 52 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Russians enjoying a couple of corners. At this rate (5 own goals in 17 matches), this World Cup will have 19 own goals. The record most in a single World Cup is 6, set in 1998. #WorldCup#RUS#EGY— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) June 19, 2018 8:04PM OWN GOAL! by Fathy: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Aw, that is rotten luck for Egypt, although their keeper must carry his fair share of blame. Golovin crosses it in, the keeper comes out with a flappy, silly punch. Shoulda caught that. Instead, he punches, the Russian 11 Zobnin drills it back in and a panicking Fathy stabs it into his own net. (Fathy OG 47 mins) Dreadful shot by Zobnin by the way, would have practically gone out for a corner had Fathy not intervened. Egypt's goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy (R) watches as the ball ends up in his net after a deflection by Egypt's defender Ahmed Fathi (L) Credit: AFP/Getty 8:03PM 46 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Always a shame to see a brilliant player not at his best due to injury. But hopefully Mo Salah can weave a bit of magic. 8:00PM This shows Salah's position (10) Average touch positions (half time) He's basically playing as a narrow advanced forward. Alan Shearer sums it up well on BBC: "Mo Salah, you can tell, is only 70-75% fit and they know that - they're protecting him, he's not running back and they're just trying to get the ball up to him." 7:57PM Pretty fair Russia vs Egypt shots on goal 7:46PM Half time: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That'll do it for the half, not many chances, but plenty of energy. 7:44PM 42 mins Fun, B- quality, end-to-end stuff, here are the Russians with a corner. Gabr involved in a good old fashioned grappling contest with Dzyuba. Risky business in these VAR times... 7:42PM 40 mins There's our boy! Class from Salah, Mohsen dummies, Salah gets it and spins away from his man. Peach of a curling effort but not quite. 7:40PM 37 mins Lovely counter by Egypt, but it starts in bizarre fashion when the ball hits the ref, wrong-footing everyone! Elneny with a great ball in and Mohsen should have done a lot better. 7:35PM 34 mins Nice ball in! Mohsen just misses out to Figueira Fernandes of Russia. More even now. 7:34PM 33 mins Better spell from Egypt. Passing it, higher up the pitch. Looking slicker, ball into the area from Shafy is flicked on. Salah nearly there at the back stick! Corner. Delivery is poor. 7:33PM 30 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Enjoyable game so far. Russia unsophisticated but useful, got some pace, got some who can deliver the ball, attack in numbers. Egypt are unbalanced. They need to just get a bit of the ball, play themselves into this. 7:28PM 27 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Decent from Salah as he holds it up to tee up Trézéguet , whose shot is charged down. But it is a momentary respite: here come the Russians again. 7:27PM 25 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 This Egypt defence are making some blunders and I think they are going to be sorry. A ball is played in by Cheryshev. Keeper El-Shenawy comes, and is barged off it by Hegazi. Don't panic! 7:25PM 22 mins Salah is not doing a lot. And as I say, he is not offering anything defensively, just standing out on the right wing. Here come the Russians down the left. Gazinskii crosses and the big lad Dzyuba gets up well but glances his header too fine. 7:19PM 18 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Zhirkov takes a freekick but is wasteful with the delivery. But Russia get a lucky break when it rebounds out to Cheryshev. he has a crack, and it is not far over. 7:16PM 16 mins Lovely run from Trézéguet down the inside-left, he tries to bend it in at the far post and he is not far at all from achieving that end. 7:15PM 14 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 El Said spins away from Kutepov and was fouled. From a corner, Egypt have a headed chance. Attempt Saved: Russia 0 - 0 Egypt (Marwan Mohsen, 15 min) Behind for another corner. Another good ball in, cleared but only as far as the corner flag. Good spell for the visitors, their best of the match so far. 7:13PM 13 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That's it! Salah gets a long ball on the right, gives it inside and goes into the box. He is stopped by multiple Russians. 7:11PM 11 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Samedov and Figueira Fernandes link up well down the right but the latter cannot quite find the final ball. 7:10PM 10 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Very encouraging start from the hosts. Egypt pinned back. Salah hasn't featured. Also: Salah is not tracking back, which is fine in and of itself but somebody else needs to help out the right back in which case. 7:08PM 8 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 It's all Russia. Egypt cannot get out. 7:08PM 6 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Defensive blunder by Egypt! Sloppy, dawdling play out from the back, Golovin pinches it and races forward. He is disappointed not to have done better with the shot. 7:07PM 5 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Russia have the game's first corner.. Taken short, and it is played in by Samedov, headed by the veteran Ignashevich. Not troubling anyone, that. 7:04PM 3 mins Plenty of atmos, some beefy challenges but neither side able to dominate so far. Russia looking for raking balls to their hefty forward Artem Dzyuba. 7:01PM 1 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Egypt, in white, kick off. 7:01PM And Egypt Egypt side Credit: BBC 6:58PM Here's how Russia should line up Credit: BBC 6:56PM Russian anthem Powerful stuff. 6:55PM Egyptian anthem being belted out around the stadium, they seem to have got a few in. Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah... he's in! Credit: AFP/Getty 6:50PM Noice Russia ���� fans gather outside the entrance to Red Square as anticipation mounts ahead of the hosts’ group match against Egypt ���� in St. Petersburg. Mo Salah starts for The Pharaohs #RUSEGY ⁦@FIFAWorldCup⁩ ⁦@RT_com⁩ pic.twitter.com/TEqBth3fTC— Kate Partridge (@KatePartridge33) June 19, 2018 6:49PM Danny Murphy Bit over-dressed, aren't you? Like you just stepped out of a bookies: Danny Murphy Credit: BBC 6:48PM Fans Credit: BBC 6:35PM Who's having a good tournament? 6:34PM Where's your money, then? Here is our betting guide to a tasty fixture. Russia: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Zobnin, Gazinsky, Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev, Dzyuba. Subs: Lunev, Semenov, Kuzyaev, Dzagoev, Smolov, Kudryashov, Granat, Aleksey Miranchuk, Anton Miranchuk, Erokhin, Smolnikov, Gabulov. Egypt: El Shenawy, Fathi, Gabr, Hegazi, Abdel-Shafy, Hamed, Elneny, Salah, Said, Trezeguet, Mohsen. Subs: El Hadary, Elmohamady, Gaber, Morsy, Kahraba, Ashraf, Sobhi, Hamdy, Shikabala, Samir, Warda, Ekramy. Referee: Enrique Caceres (Paraguay) 6:21PM Salah news! The Premier League's top scorer adds some much-needed bite to an Egyptian attack that struggled to threaten Uruguay in a 1-0 loss Friday. On the other side, Russia winger Denis Cheryshev has promoted to the starting lineup after scoring twice as a substitute in Thursday's tournament-opening 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia. Egypt: Mohamed Elshenawy, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Abdelshafy, Ahmed Fathi, Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Elneny, Abdalla Said, Mohamed Salah, Mahmoud Hassan, Marwan Mohsen. Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kutepov, Sergei Ignashevich, Denis Cheryshev, Yuri Gazinsky, Fyodor Smolov, Roman Zobnin, Alexander Golovin, Yuri Zhirkov, Alexander Samedov. 6:20PM Heartwarming news! Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Blatter posed for photographs with people on his arrival at a five-star hotel downtown. The 82-year-old former FIFA president is banned from official football duty until October 2021 for financial misconduct during this 17-year rule. This is Blatter's first public appearance outside his native Switzerland since July 2015 when the World Cup qualifying draw was conducted in St. Petersburg. Blatter shared the stage that day with Putin and could meet with the Russian president this week. The FIFA ban does not prevent Blatter attending games and he is expected to see Portugal play Morocco on Wednesday at Luzhniki Stadium. 5:49PM And please welcome your hosts.... Russia! Starting Eleven @TeamRussia vs @Pharaohs#Rusia2018#RUSEGYpic.twitter.com/HLD5EZt081— Сборная России (@TeamRussia) June 19, 2018 Playing in their controversial 4-4-4 formation and giving a start to an old geezer who has come in the wrong PE kit. 5:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Saint Petersburg Stadium 5:46PM More on Mo Egypt striker Mohamed Salah will make his first appearance at the World Cup after being named in the starting line-up for tonight's match with Russia, the Egyptian Football Association has announced. The Liverpool forward has been sidelined since injuring his shoulder during last month's Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid. Salah, who was an unused substitute in Egypt's Group A opener against Uruguay on Friday, will lead his side as they face hosts Russia at Krestovsky Stadium in an attempt to bounce back from that defeat with a result. 5:45PM Here's all our reaction to the England game Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men 5:44PM Liverpool sending good vibes @MoSalah starts. ������#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/UbZbrhIFPR— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 19, 2018 5:43PM Teams إليكم تشكيل #الفراعنة لمباراة الليلة #worldcup#ThePharaohs#RUSEGY#RUS �� #Egypic.twitter.com/fMV9pNzzYk— Egypt National Football Team (@Pharaohs) June 19, 2018 5:39PM He's in Mo Salah starts! Full team news coming up. Great news: Mo Salah starts for Egypt.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 19, 2018 5:35PM All hail the Egyptian King! Good evening, and welcome to our live blog of the first of the second round of group games. Everyone, with the exception of the Russian football team and fans, is surely hoping that Mo Salah is fit enough to play in this match, and fit enough to give a good account of himself. Ronaldo has already lit up the tournament, Messi was poor, Suarez looked a bit fat and off the pace, De Bruyne had his moments, and now it is the chance for one of the other top, top, top, top players to make his mark, we hope. his Egypt side will play the hosts badly needing a result. Egypt lost by the single goal to Uruguay the other day and cannot afford another slip up. As for the hosts, they got the tournament off to an unexpectedly joyous start in the first game when they walloped Saudi Arabia. Of all the teams I have seen in the competition only the Saudis could be said to be without merit or ability, and I full expect all the other teams in this group to have the full three points off them. But anyone will be doing well to better the goal difference good times that Russia have got for themselves. In all likelihood, Uruguay are going to have six points within the next 24 hours and that means that this game is a very important fixture for Egypt. We will have the team news as soon as it comes in, the match itself starts at 7pm UK time. Meanwhile, why not follow the end of Poland V Senegal here with JJ Bull?
Russia move to brink of qualification for knockout rounds after second-half blitz sees off Egypt
Eight goals in two games have averted Russia’s nightmare of spending tens of millions of dollars on a World Cup only to go out in the group stage. Mohamed Salah meanwhile has been restricted to a penalty, lots of physio on his injured shoulder and an awkward meeting with Chechnya’s warlord. Salah’s penalty kick when Egypt already trailed 3-0 was a small reward for his hard work in the treatment room and gym. It pales, though, beside the potential dividend for Russia from 5-0 and 3-1 victories against two of the tournament’s weaker sides. If all the hosts could hope for was to string their presence out to the point of respectability, their supporters now have something to be excited about beyond the stardust spread by other countries. If Saudi Arabia fail to beat Uruguay (and who would back them to win?) Russia will advance to the knock-out rounds for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Saint Petersburg Stadium was not full for this second home triumph, but the 64,468 here were giddy as three second-half goals flew in inside 15 minutes (the first, a ludicrous own goal). Salah performed honourably after missing the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay, but to expect him to walk straight back in and rescue Egypt was fanciful, especially as he lacks team-mates of the quality of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. His goal came in the 73rd minute after he was pulled down by the arm (this is becoming a pattern), apparently outside the Russia penalty box, until VAR showed it to be penalty. These Russia players are pretty much equal and indistinguishable. The Soviet system would have been proud of this mechanical team. It’s as if their training stopped at pass and run, which they do well, and dispensed with the subtleties of the game, such as ingenuity and vision around the penalty box. Denis Cheryshev has been the best of them, and their energy and commitment ought to be acknowledged. Not that they will feel they had much choice in those respects. Russia have made a brilliant start to the tournament on home soil Credit: AFP They are all Russia have, and were cast into a home World Cup as the lowest-ranked team in the tournament with the unenviable task of matching the grandeur of the stadiums. Plainly this is going to be beyond them, however uplifting their 5-0 opening night win against Saudi Arabia - the biggest curtain-raising victory by a host country since 1934 - and this own-goal assisted win over Salah and company. Standing between the new Russian empire and progress to the Round of 16 was an Egypt side now emotionally dependent on Salah. The lauding of him before the game was at a level not even Liverpool fans could hope to match. His name was cheered at least three times louder than any other Egypt player, and each glimpse of him on the big screen ignited a new Egyptian party. In the game, Salah started wide-right, dispensing with defensive duties to try his luck against Yury Zhirkov, an old hand steeled for the fight. Denis Cheryshev scores Russia's second goal Credit: REuters It took Zhirkov 21 minutes to land a bang on the shoulder Salah injured in a tangle with Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final in Kiev. The challenge was fair, but spun Salah round, and soon the Premier League’s golden boot winner moved to play more centrally. He was more effective there, his first real chance on goal coming with a turn and swivel on the edge of Russia’s penalty box. But the shot from the pirouette slid wide. Egypt’s campaign, though was about to take a comical turn, two minutes after the break, when Roman Zobnin miscued a shot after a bad punch by the goalkeeper, and Ahmed Fathy, the Egyptian captain, under pressure from Artem Dzyuba, took a wild swing at it and swiped it into his own net. Bare-chested Egyptian fans in Pharoah headgear looked on miserably. Egypt’s defence, like Saudi Arabia’s, disintegrated, conceding three times, twice abjectly . Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah dribbles past Russia's defender Sergey Ignashevich Credit: AFP With Salah’s team still reeling from the own goal, Mario Fernandes cut a cross back for Cheryshev to double the lead, and then Ali Gabr failed to control a dropping ball on the edge of his box and allowed it to run to Dzyuba, the former star Russian striker who lost his way. Dzyuba’s military salute for the goal was in tune with his combative work in unsettling Egypt’s back four. The defensive ineptitude of opponents is helping Russia, but their probable advance will help maintain the interest of those who are ultimately paying for most of it - the Russian public, who have been treated to eight goals and plenty of workmanlike enterprise from their team. Salah, in effect, lost his World Cup campaign in the Champions League final, though he fought his way back to leave a small mark here. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 9:03PM That's moved the boy Denis Level with He Who Must Not Be Mentioned in the race for the Golden Boot. 8:58PM Class piece from Jim White Seems absolutely ridiculous that these two fans have to travel to Russia to watch their team play football live. Why? Because they are women from Iran. https://t.co/pSLIeiuqvz— Jim White (@jimw1) June 19, 2018 8:57PM Uruguay will have enjoyed that. Now a World Cup last-16 place is theirs for the taking if they beat Saudi Arabia. 8:55PM Group A Table 8:54PM Nice! Best goal difference by a host nation through two #WorldCup games: +7 ���� 2018 Russia +7 ���� 1998 France (won title) +6 ���� 1934 Italy (won title) +5 ���� 1930 Uruguay (won title)— Paul Carr (@PaulCarrTM) June 19, 2018 8:52PM Full time: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Hard lines for Egypt, but Russia are having a bit of a moment and deserved their win. 8:49PM 90+ mins: there will be four minutes added Warda and Kudryashov square up. Kudryashov looks like he could eat Warda for breakfast and still have room for pancakes. The hosts are, barring an astonishing Saudi Arabia result, going through. 8:47PM 89 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Nice move, Salah nearly dancing through, they get the break of the ball and Warda, from the right, hits it wide of the post. 8:46PM 86 mins Warda with a useful cross in. Since they, erm, went 3-0 down Egypt have played with a lot more vim. Also, other attacking players have started trying to do something rather than just looking to Salah. This is the problem with a one man team, obvs. 8:45PM 85 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt having the odd 1/4 chance but to be honest this feels remote in the extreme as a possibility. 8:42PM 84 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kahraba on, Mohsen off. Yuri Zhirkov is replaced by Fedor Kudryashov. 8:38PM 80 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt getting greedy, now they want another pen. Mohsen hits the deck. Kutepov the accused. No penalty. And I'll tell you why not: because Mohsen had fouled HIM. 8:37PM 79 mins: Golovin controls the ball majestically, nips past Gabr and waits for the foul, and the inevitable freekick. Ref doesn't give it. Snigger. Smolov comes on for Dzubya. 8:33PM 75 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kuziaev comes on, the dangerman Cheryshev off. Russia have a decent opportunity to slam the coffin lid down when Samedov delivers a useful freekick to the back stick. Ignashevich's header is saved. 8:31PM VAR to the rescue Again, VAR gets there. But poor refereeing. Always been a penalty.— Matt Smith (@msmith850) June 19, 2018 8:31PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 1 (Salah 73 pen) He's wellied that! Bosh. No messing from Mo Salah. Is that an improbable lifeline? 8:30PM 71 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 0 Salah is hauled down. To most viewers, it is clear that it is inside the box. But not to the referee though. He gives it outside the box but fortunately the VAR comes to the rescue. A PENALTY IS AWARDED Credit: BBC 8:25PM 66 mins Fed by Salah with a nice ball, Trezeguet has a shot wide, and that will be Trezeguet's last contribution. He's getting the hook, and here comes Sobhi. 8:22PM 65 mins Warda on, Elneny off. Egypt have a freekick, Gabr tries to make amends for his defensive spinelessness with a header. No. 8:20PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 0 (Dzyuba 62) Another one! Oh dear, this is turning into a horrible night for the Pharoahs. Route one, big Dzyuba chests the ball down and it's men against boys as Gabr and Hegazi crumble and let him through. Hammers it home and that, my friends, is the night boat to Cairo. Artem Dzyuba of Russia scores Credit: Getty 8:16PM GOAL! Russia 2 Egypt 0 (Cheryshev 59) Ooh, that is going to be the killer blow, surely. Nice work from Figueira Fernandes, heart and energy down the right to join the attack. Pulls the ball back, and there is the deadly Denis Cheryshev to slot the ball home. That's his third of the tournament by the way, and it looks likely that it is going to send Russia through... and send poor Egypt home. 8:14PM No OG no fun There were no own-goals at all at the 1958 and 1962 World Cups. What miserable times they must have been.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) June 19, 2018 8:13PM 55 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 That was the moment? Maybe? The ball is played into the Russian box, knockdown, Salah has it at his feet eight yards out.... but he cannot get it out from under him and the desperate Russians can clear. Fully fit, he jinks and smashes that. But he is not confident in his body. 8:10PM 52 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Russians enjoying a couple of corners. At this rate (5 own goals in 17 matches), this World Cup will have 19 own goals. The record most in a single World Cup is 6, set in 1998. #WorldCup#RUS#EGY— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) June 19, 2018 8:04PM OWN GOAL! by Fathy: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Aw, that is rotten luck for Egypt, although their keeper must carry his fair share of blame. Golovin crosses it in, the keeper comes out with a flappy, silly punch. Shoulda caught that. Instead, he punches, the Russian 11 Zobnin drills it back in and a panicking Fathy stabs it into his own net. (Fathy OG 47 mins) Dreadful shot by Zobnin by the way, would have practically gone out for a corner had Fathy not intervened. Egypt's goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy (R) watches as the ball ends up in his net after a deflection by Egypt's defender Ahmed Fathi (L) Credit: AFP/Getty 8:03PM 46 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Always a shame to see a brilliant player not at his best due to injury. But hopefully Mo Salah can weave a bit of magic. 8:00PM This shows Salah's position (10) Average touch positions (half time) He's basically playing as a narrow advanced forward. Alan Shearer sums it up well on BBC: "Mo Salah, you can tell, is only 70-75% fit and they know that - they're protecting him, he's not running back and they're just trying to get the ball up to him." 7:57PM Pretty fair Russia vs Egypt shots on goal 7:46PM Half time: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That'll do it for the half, not many chances, but plenty of energy. 7:44PM 42 mins Fun, B- quality, end-to-end stuff, here are the Russians with a corner. Gabr involved in a good old fashioned grappling contest with Dzyuba. Risky business in these VAR times... 7:42PM 40 mins There's our boy! Class from Salah, Mohsen dummies, Salah gets it and spins away from his man. Peach of a curling effort but not quite. 7:40PM 37 mins Lovely counter by Egypt, but it starts in bizarre fashion when the ball hits the ref, wrong-footing everyone! Elneny with a great ball in and Mohsen should have done a lot better. 7:35PM 34 mins Nice ball in! Mohsen just misses out to Figueira Fernandes of Russia. More even now. 7:34PM 33 mins Better spell from Egypt. Passing it, higher up the pitch. Looking slicker, ball into the area from Shafy is flicked on. Salah nearly there at the back stick! Corner. Delivery is poor. 7:33PM 30 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Enjoyable game so far. Russia unsophisticated but useful, got some pace, got some who can deliver the ball, attack in numbers. Egypt are unbalanced. They need to just get a bit of the ball, play themselves into this. 7:28PM 27 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Decent from Salah as he holds it up to tee up Trézéguet , whose shot is charged down. But it is a momentary respite: here come the Russians again. 7:27PM 25 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 This Egypt defence are making some blunders and I think they are going to be sorry. A ball is played in by Cheryshev. Keeper El-Shenawy comes, and is barged off it by Hegazi. Don't panic! 7:25PM 22 mins Salah is not doing a lot. And as I say, he is not offering anything defensively, just standing out on the right wing. Here come the Russians down the left. Gazinskii crosses and the big lad Dzyuba gets up well but glances his header too fine. 7:19PM 18 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Zhirkov takes a freekick but is wasteful with the delivery. But Russia get a lucky break when it rebounds out to Cheryshev. he has a crack, and it is not far over. 7:16PM 16 mins Lovely run from Trézéguet down the inside-left, he tries to bend it in at the far post and he is not far at all from achieving that end. 7:15PM 14 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 El Said spins away from Kutepov and was fouled. From a corner, Egypt have a headed chance. Attempt Saved: Russia 0 - 0 Egypt (Marwan Mohsen, 15 min) Behind for another corner. Another good ball in, cleared but only as far as the corner flag. Good spell for the visitors, their best of the match so far. 7:13PM 13 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That's it! Salah gets a long ball on the right, gives it inside and goes into the box. He is stopped by multiple Russians. 7:11PM 11 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Samedov and Figueira Fernandes link up well down the right but the latter cannot quite find the final ball. 7:10PM 10 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Very encouraging start from the hosts. Egypt pinned back. Salah hasn't featured. Also: Salah is not tracking back, which is fine in and of itself but somebody else needs to help out the right back in which case. 7:08PM 8 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 It's all Russia. Egypt cannot get out. 7:08PM 6 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Defensive blunder by Egypt! Sloppy, dawdling play out from the back, Golovin pinches it and races forward. He is disappointed not to have done better with the shot. 7:07PM 5 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Russia have the game's first corner.. Taken short, and it is played in by Samedov, headed by the veteran Ignashevich. Not troubling anyone, that. 7:04PM 3 mins Plenty of atmos, some beefy challenges but neither side able to dominate so far. Russia looking for raking balls to their hefty forward Artem Dzyuba. 7:01PM 1 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Egypt, in white, kick off. 7:01PM And Egypt Egypt side Credit: BBC 6:58PM Here's how Russia should line up Credit: BBC 6:56PM Russian anthem Powerful stuff. 6:55PM Egyptian anthem being belted out around the stadium, they seem to have got a few in. Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah... he's in! Credit: AFP/Getty 6:50PM Noice Russia ���� fans gather outside the entrance to Red Square as anticipation mounts ahead of the hosts’ group match against Egypt ���� in St. Petersburg. Mo Salah starts for The Pharaohs #RUSEGY ⁦@FIFAWorldCup⁩ ⁦@RT_com⁩ pic.twitter.com/TEqBth3fTC— Kate Partridge (@KatePartridge33) June 19, 2018 6:49PM Danny Murphy Bit over-dressed, aren't you? Like you just stepped out of a bookies: Danny Murphy Credit: BBC 6:48PM Fans Credit: BBC 6:35PM Who's having a good tournament? 6:34PM Where's your money, then? Here is our betting guide to a tasty fixture. Russia: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Zobnin, Gazinsky, Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev, Dzyuba. Subs: Lunev, Semenov, Kuzyaev, Dzagoev, Smolov, Kudryashov, Granat, Aleksey Miranchuk, Anton Miranchuk, Erokhin, Smolnikov, Gabulov. Egypt: El Shenawy, Fathi, Gabr, Hegazi, Abdel-Shafy, Hamed, Elneny, Salah, Said, Trezeguet, Mohsen. Subs: El Hadary, Elmohamady, Gaber, Morsy, Kahraba, Ashraf, Sobhi, Hamdy, Shikabala, Samir, Warda, Ekramy. Referee: Enrique Caceres (Paraguay) 6:21PM Salah news! The Premier League's top scorer adds some much-needed bite to an Egyptian attack that struggled to threaten Uruguay in a 1-0 loss Friday. On the other side, Russia winger Denis Cheryshev has promoted to the starting lineup after scoring twice as a substitute in Thursday's tournament-opening 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia. Egypt: Mohamed Elshenawy, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Abdelshafy, Ahmed Fathi, Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Elneny, Abdalla Said, Mohamed Salah, Mahmoud Hassan, Marwan Mohsen. Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kutepov, Sergei Ignashevich, Denis Cheryshev, Yuri Gazinsky, Fyodor Smolov, Roman Zobnin, Alexander Golovin, Yuri Zhirkov, Alexander Samedov. 6:20PM Heartwarming news! Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Blatter posed for photographs with people on his arrival at a five-star hotel downtown. The 82-year-old former FIFA president is banned from official football duty until October 2021 for financial misconduct during this 17-year rule. This is Blatter's first public appearance outside his native Switzerland since July 2015 when the World Cup qualifying draw was conducted in St. Petersburg. Blatter shared the stage that day with Putin and could meet with the Russian president this week. The FIFA ban does not prevent Blatter attending games and he is expected to see Portugal play Morocco on Wednesday at Luzhniki Stadium. 5:49PM And please welcome your hosts.... Russia! Starting Eleven @TeamRussia vs @Pharaohs#Rusia2018#RUSEGYpic.twitter.com/HLD5EZt081— Сборная России (@TeamRussia) June 19, 2018 Playing in their controversial 4-4-4 formation and giving a start to an old geezer who has come in the wrong PE kit. 5:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Saint Petersburg Stadium 5:46PM More on Mo Egypt striker Mohamed Salah will make his first appearance at the World Cup after being named in the starting line-up for tonight's match with Russia, the Egyptian Football Association has announced. The Liverpool forward has been sidelined since injuring his shoulder during last month's Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid. Salah, who was an unused substitute in Egypt's Group A opener against Uruguay on Friday, will lead his side as they face hosts Russia at Krestovsky Stadium in an attempt to bounce back from that defeat with a result. 5:45PM Here's all our reaction to the England game Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men 5:44PM Liverpool sending good vibes @MoSalah starts. ������#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/UbZbrhIFPR— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 19, 2018 5:43PM Teams إليكم تشكيل #الفراعنة لمباراة الليلة #worldcup#ThePharaohs#RUSEGY#RUS �� #Egypic.twitter.com/fMV9pNzzYk— Egypt National Football Team (@Pharaohs) June 19, 2018 5:39PM He's in Mo Salah starts! Full team news coming up. Great news: Mo Salah starts for Egypt.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 19, 2018 5:35PM All hail the Egyptian King! Good evening, and welcome to our live blog of the first of the second round of group games. Everyone, with the exception of the Russian football team and fans, is surely hoping that Mo Salah is fit enough to play in this match, and fit enough to give a good account of himself. Ronaldo has already lit up the tournament, Messi was poor, Suarez looked a bit fat and off the pace, De Bruyne had his moments, and now it is the chance for one of the other top, top, top, top players to make his mark, we hope. his Egypt side will play the hosts badly needing a result. Egypt lost by the single goal to Uruguay the other day and cannot afford another slip up. As for the hosts, they got the tournament off to an unexpectedly joyous start in the first game when they walloped Saudi Arabia. Of all the teams I have seen in the competition only the Saudis could be said to be without merit or ability, and I full expect all the other teams in this group to have the full three points off them. But anyone will be doing well to better the goal difference good times that Russia have got for themselves. In all likelihood, Uruguay are going to have six points within the next 24 hours and that means that this game is a very important fixture for Egypt. We will have the team news as soon as it comes in, the match itself starts at 7pm UK time. Meanwhile, why not follow the end of Poland V Senegal here with JJ Bull?
Eight goals in two games have averted Russia’s nightmare of spending tens of millions of dollars on a World Cup only to go out in the group stage. Mohamed Salah meanwhile has been restricted to a penalty, lots of physio on his injured shoulder and an awkward meeting with Chechnya’s warlord. Salah’s penalty kick when Egypt already trailed 3-0 was a small reward for his hard work in the treatment room and gym. It pales, though, beside the potential dividend for Russia from 5-0 and 3-1 victories against two of the tournament’s weaker sides. If all the hosts could hope for was to string their presence out to the point of respectability, their supporters now have something to be excited about beyond the stardust spread by other countries. If Saudi Arabia fail to beat Uruguay (and who would back them to win?) Russia will advance to the knock-out rounds for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Saint Petersburg Stadium was not full for this second home triumph, but the 64,468 here were giddy as three second-half goals flew in inside 15 minutes (the first, a ludicrous own goal). Salah performed honourably after missing the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay, but to expect him to walk straight back in and rescue Egypt was fanciful, especially as he lacks team-mates of the quality of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. His goal came in the 73rd minute after he was pulled down by the arm (this is becoming a pattern), apparently outside the Russia penalty box, until VAR showed it to be penalty. These Russia players are pretty much equal and indistinguishable. The Soviet system would have been proud of this mechanical team. It’s as if their training stopped at pass and run, which they do well, and dispensed with the subtleties of the game, such as ingenuity and vision around the penalty box. Denis Cheryshev has been the best of them, and their energy and commitment ought to be acknowledged. Not that they will feel they had much choice in those respects. Russia have made a brilliant start to the tournament on home soil Credit: AFP They are all Russia have, and were cast into a home World Cup as the lowest-ranked team in the tournament with the unenviable task of matching the grandeur of the stadiums. Plainly this is going to be beyond them, however uplifting their 5-0 opening night win against Saudi Arabia - the biggest curtain-raising victory by a host country since 1934 - and this own-goal assisted win over Salah and company. Standing between the new Russian empire and progress to the Round of 16 was an Egypt side now emotionally dependent on Salah. The lauding of him before the game was at a level not even Liverpool fans could hope to match. His name was cheered at least three times louder than any other Egypt player, and each glimpse of him on the big screen ignited a new Egyptian party. In the game, Salah started wide-right, dispensing with defensive duties to try his luck against Yury Zhirkov, an old hand steeled for the fight. Denis Cheryshev scores Russia's second goal Credit: REuters It took Zhirkov 21 minutes to land a bang on the shoulder Salah injured in a tangle with Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final in Kiev. The challenge was fair, but spun Salah round, and soon the Premier League’s golden boot winner moved to play more centrally. He was more effective there, his first real chance on goal coming with a turn and swivel on the edge of Russia’s penalty box. But the shot from the pirouette slid wide. Egypt’s campaign, though was about to take a comical turn, two minutes after the break, when Roman Zobnin miscued a shot after a bad punch by the goalkeeper, and Ahmed Fathy, the Egyptian captain, under pressure from Artem Dzyuba, took a wild swing at it and swiped it into his own net. Bare-chested Egyptian fans in Pharoah headgear looked on miserably. Egypt’s defence, like Saudi Arabia’s, disintegrated, conceding three times, twice abjectly . Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah dribbles past Russia's defender Sergey Ignashevich Credit: AFP With Salah’s team still reeling from the own goal, Mario Fernandes cut a cross back for Cheryshev to double the lead, and then Ali Gabr failed to control a dropping ball on the edge of his box and allowed it to run to Dzyuba, the former star Russian striker who lost his way. Dzyuba’s military salute for the goal was in tune with his combative work in unsettling Egypt’s back four. The defensive ineptitude of opponents is helping Russia, but their probable advance will help maintain the interest of those who are ultimately paying for most of it - the Russian public, who have been treated to eight goals and plenty of workmanlike enterprise from their team. Salah, in effect, lost his World Cup campaign in the Champions League final, though he fought his way back to leave a small mark here. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 9:03PM That's moved the boy Denis Level with He Who Must Not Be Mentioned in the race for the Golden Boot. 8:58PM Class piece from Jim White Seems absolutely ridiculous that these two fans have to travel to Russia to watch their team play football live. Why? Because they are women from Iran. https://t.co/pSLIeiuqvz— Jim White (@jimw1) June 19, 2018 8:57PM Uruguay will have enjoyed that. Now a World Cup last-16 place is theirs for the taking if they beat Saudi Arabia. 8:55PM Group A Table 8:54PM Nice! Best goal difference by a host nation through two #WorldCup games: +7 ���� 2018 Russia +7 ���� 1998 France (won title) +6 ���� 1934 Italy (won title) +5 ���� 1930 Uruguay (won title)— Paul Carr (@PaulCarrTM) June 19, 2018 8:52PM Full time: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Hard lines for Egypt, but Russia are having a bit of a moment and deserved their win. 8:49PM 90+ mins: there will be four minutes added Warda and Kudryashov square up. Kudryashov looks like he could eat Warda for breakfast and still have room for pancakes. The hosts are, barring an astonishing Saudi Arabia result, going through. 8:47PM 89 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Nice move, Salah nearly dancing through, they get the break of the ball and Warda, from the right, hits it wide of the post. 8:46PM 86 mins Warda with a useful cross in. Since they, erm, went 3-0 down Egypt have played with a lot more vim. Also, other attacking players have started trying to do something rather than just looking to Salah. This is the problem with a one man team, obvs. 8:45PM 85 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt having the odd 1/4 chance but to be honest this feels remote in the extreme as a possibility. 8:42PM 84 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kahraba on, Mohsen off. Yuri Zhirkov is replaced by Fedor Kudryashov. 8:38PM 80 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt getting greedy, now they want another pen. Mohsen hits the deck. Kutepov the accused. No penalty. And I'll tell you why not: because Mohsen had fouled HIM. 8:37PM 79 mins: Golovin controls the ball majestically, nips past Gabr and waits for the foul, and the inevitable freekick. Ref doesn't give it. Snigger. Smolov comes on for Dzubya. 8:33PM 75 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kuziaev comes on, the dangerman Cheryshev off. Russia have a decent opportunity to slam the coffin lid down when Samedov delivers a useful freekick to the back stick. Ignashevich's header is saved. 8:31PM VAR to the rescue Again, VAR gets there. But poor refereeing. Always been a penalty.— Matt Smith (@msmith850) June 19, 2018 8:31PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 1 (Salah 73 pen) He's wellied that! Bosh. No messing from Mo Salah. Is that an improbable lifeline? 8:30PM 71 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 0 Salah is hauled down. To most viewers, it is clear that it is inside the box. But not to the referee though. He gives it outside the box but fortunately the VAR comes to the rescue. A PENALTY IS AWARDED Credit: BBC 8:25PM 66 mins Fed by Salah with a nice ball, Trezeguet has a shot wide, and that will be Trezeguet's last contribution. He's getting the hook, and here comes Sobhi. 8:22PM 65 mins Warda on, Elneny off. Egypt have a freekick, Gabr tries to make amends for his defensive spinelessness with a header. No. 8:20PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 0 (Dzyuba 62) Another one! Oh dear, this is turning into a horrible night for the Pharoahs. Route one, big Dzyuba chests the ball down and it's men against boys as Gabr and Hegazi crumble and let him through. Hammers it home and that, my friends, is the night boat to Cairo. Artem Dzyuba of Russia scores Credit: Getty 8:16PM GOAL! Russia 2 Egypt 0 (Cheryshev 59) Ooh, that is going to be the killer blow, surely. Nice work from Figueira Fernandes, heart and energy down the right to join the attack. Pulls the ball back, and there is the deadly Denis Cheryshev to slot the ball home. That's his third of the tournament by the way, and it looks likely that it is going to send Russia through... and send poor Egypt home. 8:14PM No OG no fun There were no own-goals at all at the 1958 and 1962 World Cups. What miserable times they must have been.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) June 19, 2018 8:13PM 55 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 That was the moment? Maybe? The ball is played into the Russian box, knockdown, Salah has it at his feet eight yards out.... but he cannot get it out from under him and the desperate Russians can clear. Fully fit, he jinks and smashes that. But he is not confident in his body. 8:10PM 52 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Russians enjoying a couple of corners. At this rate (5 own goals in 17 matches), this World Cup will have 19 own goals. The record most in a single World Cup is 6, set in 1998. #WorldCup#RUS#EGY— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) June 19, 2018 8:04PM OWN GOAL! by Fathy: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Aw, that is rotten luck for Egypt, although their keeper must carry his fair share of blame. Golovin crosses it in, the keeper comes out with a flappy, silly punch. Shoulda caught that. Instead, he punches, the Russian 11 Zobnin drills it back in and a panicking Fathy stabs it into his own net. (Fathy OG 47 mins) Dreadful shot by Zobnin by the way, would have practically gone out for a corner had Fathy not intervened. Egypt's goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy (R) watches as the ball ends up in his net after a deflection by Egypt's defender Ahmed Fathi (L) Credit: AFP/Getty 8:03PM 46 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Always a shame to see a brilliant player not at his best due to injury. But hopefully Mo Salah can weave a bit of magic. 8:00PM This shows Salah's position (10) Average touch positions (half time) He's basically playing as a narrow advanced forward. Alan Shearer sums it up well on BBC: "Mo Salah, you can tell, is only 70-75% fit and they know that - they're protecting him, he's not running back and they're just trying to get the ball up to him." 7:57PM Pretty fair Russia vs Egypt shots on goal 7:46PM Half time: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That'll do it for the half, not many chances, but plenty of energy. 7:44PM 42 mins Fun, B- quality, end-to-end stuff, here are the Russians with a corner. Gabr involved in a good old fashioned grappling contest with Dzyuba. Risky business in these VAR times... 7:42PM 40 mins There's our boy! Class from Salah, Mohsen dummies, Salah gets it and spins away from his man. Peach of a curling effort but not quite. 7:40PM 37 mins Lovely counter by Egypt, but it starts in bizarre fashion when the ball hits the ref, wrong-footing everyone! Elneny with a great ball in and Mohsen should have done a lot better. 7:35PM 34 mins Nice ball in! Mohsen just misses out to Figueira Fernandes of Russia. More even now. 7:34PM 33 mins Better spell from Egypt. Passing it, higher up the pitch. Looking slicker, ball into the area from Shafy is flicked on. Salah nearly there at the back stick! Corner. Delivery is poor. 7:33PM 30 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Enjoyable game so far. Russia unsophisticated but useful, got some pace, got some who can deliver the ball, attack in numbers. Egypt are unbalanced. They need to just get a bit of the ball, play themselves into this. 7:28PM 27 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Decent from Salah as he holds it up to tee up Trézéguet , whose shot is charged down. But it is a momentary respite: here come the Russians again. 7:27PM 25 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 This Egypt defence are making some blunders and I think they are going to be sorry. A ball is played in by Cheryshev. Keeper El-Shenawy comes, and is barged off it by Hegazi. Don't panic! 7:25PM 22 mins Salah is not doing a lot. And as I say, he is not offering anything defensively, just standing out on the right wing. Here come the Russians down the left. Gazinskii crosses and the big lad Dzyuba gets up well but glances his header too fine. 7:19PM 18 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Zhirkov takes a freekick but is wasteful with the delivery. But Russia get a lucky break when it rebounds out to Cheryshev. he has a crack, and it is not far over. 7:16PM 16 mins Lovely run from Trézéguet down the inside-left, he tries to bend it in at the far post and he is not far at all from achieving that end. 7:15PM 14 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 El Said spins away from Kutepov and was fouled. From a corner, Egypt have a headed chance. Attempt Saved: Russia 0 - 0 Egypt (Marwan Mohsen, 15 min) Behind for another corner. Another good ball in, cleared but only as far as the corner flag. Good spell for the visitors, their best of the match so far. 7:13PM 13 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That's it! Salah gets a long ball on the right, gives it inside and goes into the box. He is stopped by multiple Russians. 7:11PM 11 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Samedov and Figueira Fernandes link up well down the right but the latter cannot quite find the final ball. 7:10PM 10 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Very encouraging start from the hosts. Egypt pinned back. Salah hasn't featured. Also: Salah is not tracking back, which is fine in and of itself but somebody else needs to help out the right back in which case. 7:08PM 8 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 It's all Russia. Egypt cannot get out. 7:08PM 6 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Defensive blunder by Egypt! Sloppy, dawdling play out from the back, Golovin pinches it and races forward. He is disappointed not to have done better with the shot. 7:07PM 5 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Russia have the game's first corner.. Taken short, and it is played in by Samedov, headed by the veteran Ignashevich. Not troubling anyone, that. 7:04PM 3 mins Plenty of atmos, some beefy challenges but neither side able to dominate so far. Russia looking for raking balls to their hefty forward Artem Dzyuba. 7:01PM 1 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Egypt, in white, kick off. 7:01PM And Egypt Egypt side Credit: BBC 6:58PM Here's how Russia should line up Credit: BBC 6:56PM Russian anthem Powerful stuff. 6:55PM Egyptian anthem being belted out around the stadium, they seem to have got a few in. Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah... he's in! Credit: AFP/Getty 6:50PM Noice Russia ���� fans gather outside the entrance to Red Square as anticipation mounts ahead of the hosts’ group match against Egypt ���� in St. Petersburg. Mo Salah starts for The Pharaohs #RUSEGY ⁦@FIFAWorldCup⁩ ⁦@RT_com⁩ pic.twitter.com/TEqBth3fTC— Kate Partridge (@KatePartridge33) June 19, 2018 6:49PM Danny Murphy Bit over-dressed, aren't you? Like you just stepped out of a bookies: Danny Murphy Credit: BBC 6:48PM Fans Credit: BBC 6:35PM Who's having a good tournament? 6:34PM Where's your money, then? Here is our betting guide to a tasty fixture. Russia: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Zobnin, Gazinsky, Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev, Dzyuba. Subs: Lunev, Semenov, Kuzyaev, Dzagoev, Smolov, Kudryashov, Granat, Aleksey Miranchuk, Anton Miranchuk, Erokhin, Smolnikov, Gabulov. Egypt: El Shenawy, Fathi, Gabr, Hegazi, Abdel-Shafy, Hamed, Elneny, Salah, Said, Trezeguet, Mohsen. Subs: El Hadary, Elmohamady, Gaber, Morsy, Kahraba, Ashraf, Sobhi, Hamdy, Shikabala, Samir, Warda, Ekramy. Referee: Enrique Caceres (Paraguay) 6:21PM Salah news! The Premier League's top scorer adds some much-needed bite to an Egyptian attack that struggled to threaten Uruguay in a 1-0 loss Friday. On the other side, Russia winger Denis Cheryshev has promoted to the starting lineup after scoring twice as a substitute in Thursday's tournament-opening 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia. Egypt: Mohamed Elshenawy, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Abdelshafy, Ahmed Fathi, Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Elneny, Abdalla Said, Mohamed Salah, Mahmoud Hassan, Marwan Mohsen. Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kutepov, Sergei Ignashevich, Denis Cheryshev, Yuri Gazinsky, Fyodor Smolov, Roman Zobnin, Alexander Golovin, Yuri Zhirkov, Alexander Samedov. 6:20PM Heartwarming news! Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Blatter posed for photographs with people on his arrival at a five-star hotel downtown. The 82-year-old former FIFA president is banned from official football duty until October 2021 for financial misconduct during this 17-year rule. This is Blatter's first public appearance outside his native Switzerland since July 2015 when the World Cup qualifying draw was conducted in St. Petersburg. Blatter shared the stage that day with Putin and could meet with the Russian president this week. The FIFA ban does not prevent Blatter attending games and he is expected to see Portugal play Morocco on Wednesday at Luzhniki Stadium. 5:49PM And please welcome your hosts.... Russia! Starting Eleven @TeamRussia vs @Pharaohs#Rusia2018#RUSEGYpic.twitter.com/HLD5EZt081— Сборная России (@TeamRussia) June 19, 2018 Playing in their controversial 4-4-4 formation and giving a start to an old geezer who has come in the wrong PE kit. 5:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Saint Petersburg Stadium 5:46PM More on Mo Egypt striker Mohamed Salah will make his first appearance at the World Cup after being named in the starting line-up for tonight's match with Russia, the Egyptian Football Association has announced. The Liverpool forward has been sidelined since injuring his shoulder during last month's Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid. Salah, who was an unused substitute in Egypt's Group A opener against Uruguay on Friday, will lead his side as they face hosts Russia at Krestovsky Stadium in an attempt to bounce back from that defeat with a result. 5:45PM Here's all our reaction to the England game Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men 5:44PM Liverpool sending good vibes @MoSalah starts. ������#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/UbZbrhIFPR— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 19, 2018 5:43PM Teams إليكم تشكيل #الفراعنة لمباراة الليلة #worldcup#ThePharaohs#RUSEGY#RUS �� #Egypic.twitter.com/fMV9pNzzYk— Egypt National Football Team (@Pharaohs) June 19, 2018 5:39PM He's in Mo Salah starts! Full team news coming up. Great news: Mo Salah starts for Egypt.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 19, 2018 5:35PM All hail the Egyptian King! Good evening, and welcome to our live blog of the first of the second round of group games. Everyone, with the exception of the Russian football team and fans, is surely hoping that Mo Salah is fit enough to play in this match, and fit enough to give a good account of himself. Ronaldo has already lit up the tournament, Messi was poor, Suarez looked a bit fat and off the pace, De Bruyne had his moments, and now it is the chance for one of the other top, top, top, top players to make his mark, we hope. his Egypt side will play the hosts badly needing a result. Egypt lost by the single goal to Uruguay the other day and cannot afford another slip up. As for the hosts, they got the tournament off to an unexpectedly joyous start in the first game when they walloped Saudi Arabia. Of all the teams I have seen in the competition only the Saudis could be said to be without merit or ability, and I full expect all the other teams in this group to have the full three points off them. But anyone will be doing well to better the goal difference good times that Russia have got for themselves. In all likelihood, Uruguay are going to have six points within the next 24 hours and that means that this game is a very important fixture for Egypt. We will have the team news as soon as it comes in, the match itself starts at 7pm UK time. Meanwhile, why not follow the end of Poland V Senegal here with JJ Bull?
Russia move to brink of qualification for knockout rounds after second-half blitz sees off Egypt
Eight goals in two games have averted Russia’s nightmare of spending tens of millions of dollars on a World Cup only to go out in the group stage. Mohamed Salah meanwhile has been restricted to a penalty, lots of physio on his injured shoulder and an awkward meeting with Chechnya’s warlord. Salah’s penalty kick when Egypt already trailed 3-0 was a small reward for his hard work in the treatment room and gym. It pales, though, beside the potential dividend for Russia from 5-0 and 3-1 victories against two of the tournament’s weaker sides. If all the hosts could hope for was to string their presence out to the point of respectability, their supporters now have something to be excited about beyond the stardust spread by other countries. If Saudi Arabia fail to beat Uruguay (and who would back them to win?) Russia will advance to the knock-out rounds for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Saint Petersburg Stadium was not full for this second home triumph, but the 64,468 here were giddy as three second-half goals flew in inside 15 minutes (the first, a ludicrous own goal). Salah performed honourably after missing the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay, but to expect him to walk straight back in and rescue Egypt was fanciful, especially as he lacks team-mates of the quality of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. His goal came in the 73rd minute after he was pulled down by the arm (this is becoming a pattern), apparently outside the Russia penalty box, until VAR showed it to be penalty. These Russia players are pretty much equal and indistinguishable. The Soviet system would have been proud of this mechanical team. It’s as if their training stopped at pass and run, which they do well, and dispensed with the subtleties of the game, such as ingenuity and vision around the penalty box. Denis Cheryshev has been the best of them, and their energy and commitment ought to be acknowledged. Not that they will feel they had much choice in those respects. Russia have made a brilliant start to the tournament on home soil Credit: AFP They are all Russia have, and were cast into a home World Cup as the lowest-ranked team in the tournament with the unenviable task of matching the grandeur of the stadiums. Plainly this is going to be beyond them, however uplifting their 5-0 opening night win against Saudi Arabia - the biggest curtain-raising victory by a host country since 1934 - and this own-goal assisted win over Salah and company. Standing between the new Russian empire and progress to the Round of 16 was an Egypt side now emotionally dependent on Salah. The lauding of him before the game was at a level not even Liverpool fans could hope to match. His name was cheered at least three times louder than any other Egypt player, and each glimpse of him on the big screen ignited a new Egyptian party. In the game, Salah started wide-right, dispensing with defensive duties to try his luck against Yury Zhirkov, an old hand steeled for the fight. Denis Cheryshev scores Russia's second goal Credit: REuters It took Zhirkov 21 minutes to land a bang on the shoulder Salah injured in a tangle with Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final in Kiev. The challenge was fair, but spun Salah round, and soon the Premier League’s golden boot winner moved to play more centrally. He was more effective there, his first real chance on goal coming with a turn and swivel on the edge of Russia’s penalty box. But the shot from the pirouette slid wide. Egypt’s campaign, though was about to take a comical turn, two minutes after the break, when Roman Zobnin miscued a shot after a bad punch by the goalkeeper, and Ahmed Fathy, the Egyptian captain, under pressure from Artem Dzyuba, took a wild swing at it and swiped it into his own net. Bare-chested Egyptian fans in Pharoah headgear looked on miserably. Egypt’s defence, like Saudi Arabia’s, disintegrated, conceding three times, twice abjectly . Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah dribbles past Russia's defender Sergey Ignashevich Credit: AFP With Salah’s team still reeling from the own goal, Mario Fernandes cut a cross back for Cheryshev to double the lead, and then Ali Gabr failed to control a dropping ball on the edge of his box and allowed it to run to Dzyuba, the former star Russian striker who lost his way. Dzyuba’s military salute for the goal was in tune with his combative work in unsettling Egypt’s back four. The defensive ineptitude of opponents is helping Russia, but their probable advance will help maintain the interest of those who are ultimately paying for most of it - the Russian public, who have been treated to eight goals and plenty of workmanlike enterprise from their team. Salah, in effect, lost his World Cup campaign in the Champions League final, though he fought his way back to leave a small mark here. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 9:03PM That's moved the boy Denis Level with He Who Must Not Be Mentioned in the race for the Golden Boot. 8:58PM Class piece from Jim White Seems absolutely ridiculous that these two fans have to travel to Russia to watch their team play football live. Why? Because they are women from Iran. https://t.co/pSLIeiuqvz— Jim White (@jimw1) June 19, 2018 8:57PM Uruguay will have enjoyed that. Now a World Cup last-16 place is theirs for the taking if they beat Saudi Arabia. 8:55PM Group A Table 8:54PM Nice! Best goal difference by a host nation through two #WorldCup games: +7 ���� 2018 Russia +7 ���� 1998 France (won title) +6 ���� 1934 Italy (won title) +5 ���� 1930 Uruguay (won title)— Paul Carr (@PaulCarrTM) June 19, 2018 8:52PM Full time: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Hard lines for Egypt, but Russia are having a bit of a moment and deserved their win. 8:49PM 90+ mins: there will be four minutes added Warda and Kudryashov square up. Kudryashov looks like he could eat Warda for breakfast and still have room for pancakes. The hosts are, barring an astonishing Saudi Arabia result, going through. 8:47PM 89 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Nice move, Salah nearly dancing through, they get the break of the ball and Warda, from the right, hits it wide of the post. 8:46PM 86 mins Warda with a useful cross in. Since they, erm, went 3-0 down Egypt have played with a lot more vim. Also, other attacking players have started trying to do something rather than just looking to Salah. This is the problem with a one man team, obvs. 8:45PM 85 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt having the odd 1/4 chance but to be honest this feels remote in the extreme as a possibility. 8:42PM 84 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kahraba on, Mohsen off. Yuri Zhirkov is replaced by Fedor Kudryashov. 8:38PM 80 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt getting greedy, now they want another pen. Mohsen hits the deck. Kutepov the accused. No penalty. And I'll tell you why not: because Mohsen had fouled HIM. 8:37PM 79 mins: Golovin controls the ball majestically, nips past Gabr and waits for the foul, and the inevitable freekick. Ref doesn't give it. Snigger. Smolov comes on for Dzubya. 8:33PM 75 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kuziaev comes on, the dangerman Cheryshev off. Russia have a decent opportunity to slam the coffin lid down when Samedov delivers a useful freekick to the back stick. Ignashevich's header is saved. 8:31PM VAR to the rescue Again, VAR gets there. But poor refereeing. Always been a penalty.— Matt Smith (@msmith850) June 19, 2018 8:31PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 1 (Salah 73 pen) He's wellied that! Bosh. No messing from Mo Salah. Is that an improbable lifeline? 8:30PM 71 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 0 Salah is hauled down. To most viewers, it is clear that it is inside the box. But not to the referee though. He gives it outside the box but fortunately the VAR comes to the rescue. A PENALTY IS AWARDED Credit: BBC 8:25PM 66 mins Fed by Salah with a nice ball, Trezeguet has a shot wide, and that will be Trezeguet's last contribution. He's getting the hook, and here comes Sobhi. 8:22PM 65 mins Warda on, Elneny off. Egypt have a freekick, Gabr tries to make amends for his defensive spinelessness with a header. No. 8:20PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 0 (Dzyuba 62) Another one! Oh dear, this is turning into a horrible night for the Pharoahs. Route one, big Dzyuba chests the ball down and it's men against boys as Gabr and Hegazi crumble and let him through. Hammers it home and that, my friends, is the night boat to Cairo. Artem Dzyuba of Russia scores Credit: Getty 8:16PM GOAL! Russia 2 Egypt 0 (Cheryshev 59) Ooh, that is going to be the killer blow, surely. Nice work from Figueira Fernandes, heart and energy down the right to join the attack. Pulls the ball back, and there is the deadly Denis Cheryshev to slot the ball home. That's his third of the tournament by the way, and it looks likely that it is going to send Russia through... and send poor Egypt home. 8:14PM No OG no fun There were no own-goals at all at the 1958 and 1962 World Cups. What miserable times they must have been.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) June 19, 2018 8:13PM 55 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 That was the moment? Maybe? The ball is played into the Russian box, knockdown, Salah has it at his feet eight yards out.... but he cannot get it out from under him and the desperate Russians can clear. Fully fit, he jinks and smashes that. But he is not confident in his body. 8:10PM 52 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Russians enjoying a couple of corners. At this rate (5 own goals in 17 matches), this World Cup will have 19 own goals. The record most in a single World Cup is 6, set in 1998. #WorldCup#RUS#EGY— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) June 19, 2018 8:04PM OWN GOAL! by Fathy: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Aw, that is rotten luck for Egypt, although their keeper must carry his fair share of blame. Golovin crosses it in, the keeper comes out with a flappy, silly punch. Shoulda caught that. Instead, he punches, the Russian 11 Zobnin drills it back in and a panicking Fathy stabs it into his own net. (Fathy OG 47 mins) Dreadful shot by Zobnin by the way, would have practically gone out for a corner had Fathy not intervened. Egypt's goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy (R) watches as the ball ends up in his net after a deflection by Egypt's defender Ahmed Fathi (L) Credit: AFP/Getty 8:03PM 46 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Always a shame to see a brilliant player not at his best due to injury. But hopefully Mo Salah can weave a bit of magic. 8:00PM This shows Salah's position (10) Average touch positions (half time) He's basically playing as a narrow advanced forward. Alan Shearer sums it up well on BBC: "Mo Salah, you can tell, is only 70-75% fit and they know that - they're protecting him, he's not running back and they're just trying to get the ball up to him." 7:57PM Pretty fair Russia vs Egypt shots on goal 7:46PM Half time: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That'll do it for the half, not many chances, but plenty of energy. 7:44PM 42 mins Fun, B- quality, end-to-end stuff, here are the Russians with a corner. Gabr involved in a good old fashioned grappling contest with Dzyuba. Risky business in these VAR times... 7:42PM 40 mins There's our boy! Class from Salah, Mohsen dummies, Salah gets it and spins away from his man. Peach of a curling effort but not quite. 7:40PM 37 mins Lovely counter by Egypt, but it starts in bizarre fashion when the ball hits the ref, wrong-footing everyone! Elneny with a great ball in and Mohsen should have done a lot better. 7:35PM 34 mins Nice ball in! Mohsen just misses out to Figueira Fernandes of Russia. More even now. 7:34PM 33 mins Better spell from Egypt. Passing it, higher up the pitch. Looking slicker, ball into the area from Shafy is flicked on. Salah nearly there at the back stick! Corner. Delivery is poor. 7:33PM 30 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Enjoyable game so far. Russia unsophisticated but useful, got some pace, got some who can deliver the ball, attack in numbers. Egypt are unbalanced. They need to just get a bit of the ball, play themselves into this. 7:28PM 27 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Decent from Salah as he holds it up to tee up Trézéguet , whose shot is charged down. But it is a momentary respite: here come the Russians again. 7:27PM 25 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 This Egypt defence are making some blunders and I think they are going to be sorry. A ball is played in by Cheryshev. Keeper El-Shenawy comes, and is barged off it by Hegazi. Don't panic! 7:25PM 22 mins Salah is not doing a lot. And as I say, he is not offering anything defensively, just standing out on the right wing. Here come the Russians down the left. Gazinskii crosses and the big lad Dzyuba gets up well but glances his header too fine. 7:19PM 18 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Zhirkov takes a freekick but is wasteful with the delivery. But Russia get a lucky break when it rebounds out to Cheryshev. he has a crack, and it is not far over. 7:16PM 16 mins Lovely run from Trézéguet down the inside-left, he tries to bend it in at the far post and he is not far at all from achieving that end. 7:15PM 14 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 El Said spins away from Kutepov and was fouled. From a corner, Egypt have a headed chance. Attempt Saved: Russia 0 - 0 Egypt (Marwan Mohsen, 15 min) Behind for another corner. Another good ball in, cleared but only as far as the corner flag. Good spell for the visitors, their best of the match so far. 7:13PM 13 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That's it! Salah gets a long ball on the right, gives it inside and goes into the box. He is stopped by multiple Russians. 7:11PM 11 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Samedov and Figueira Fernandes link up well down the right but the latter cannot quite find the final ball. 7:10PM 10 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Very encouraging start from the hosts. Egypt pinned back. Salah hasn't featured. Also: Salah is not tracking back, which is fine in and of itself but somebody else needs to help out the right back in which case. 7:08PM 8 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 It's all Russia. Egypt cannot get out. 7:08PM 6 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Defensive blunder by Egypt! Sloppy, dawdling play out from the back, Golovin pinches it and races forward. He is disappointed not to have done better with the shot. 7:07PM 5 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Russia have the game's first corner.. Taken short, and it is played in by Samedov, headed by the veteran Ignashevich. Not troubling anyone, that. 7:04PM 3 mins Plenty of atmos, some beefy challenges but neither side able to dominate so far. Russia looking for raking balls to their hefty forward Artem Dzyuba. 7:01PM 1 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Egypt, in white, kick off. 7:01PM And Egypt Egypt side Credit: BBC 6:58PM Here's how Russia should line up Credit: BBC 6:56PM Russian anthem Powerful stuff. 6:55PM Egyptian anthem being belted out around the stadium, they seem to have got a few in. Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah... he's in! Credit: AFP/Getty 6:50PM Noice Russia ���� fans gather outside the entrance to Red Square as anticipation mounts ahead of the hosts’ group match against Egypt ���� in St. Petersburg. Mo Salah starts for The Pharaohs #RUSEGY ⁦@FIFAWorldCup⁩ ⁦@RT_com⁩ pic.twitter.com/TEqBth3fTC— Kate Partridge (@KatePartridge33) June 19, 2018 6:49PM Danny Murphy Bit over-dressed, aren't you? Like you just stepped out of a bookies: Danny Murphy Credit: BBC 6:48PM Fans Credit: BBC 6:35PM Who's having a good tournament? 6:34PM Where's your money, then? Here is our betting guide to a tasty fixture. Russia: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Zobnin, Gazinsky, Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev, Dzyuba. Subs: Lunev, Semenov, Kuzyaev, Dzagoev, Smolov, Kudryashov, Granat, Aleksey Miranchuk, Anton Miranchuk, Erokhin, Smolnikov, Gabulov. Egypt: El Shenawy, Fathi, Gabr, Hegazi, Abdel-Shafy, Hamed, Elneny, Salah, Said, Trezeguet, Mohsen. Subs: El Hadary, Elmohamady, Gaber, Morsy, Kahraba, Ashraf, Sobhi, Hamdy, Shikabala, Samir, Warda, Ekramy. Referee: Enrique Caceres (Paraguay) 6:21PM Salah news! The Premier League's top scorer adds some much-needed bite to an Egyptian attack that struggled to threaten Uruguay in a 1-0 loss Friday. On the other side, Russia winger Denis Cheryshev has promoted to the starting lineup after scoring twice as a substitute in Thursday's tournament-opening 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia. Egypt: Mohamed Elshenawy, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Abdelshafy, Ahmed Fathi, Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Elneny, Abdalla Said, Mohamed Salah, Mahmoud Hassan, Marwan Mohsen. Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kutepov, Sergei Ignashevich, Denis Cheryshev, Yuri Gazinsky, Fyodor Smolov, Roman Zobnin, Alexander Golovin, Yuri Zhirkov, Alexander Samedov. 6:20PM Heartwarming news! Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Blatter posed for photographs with people on his arrival at a five-star hotel downtown. The 82-year-old former FIFA president is banned from official football duty until October 2021 for financial misconduct during this 17-year rule. This is Blatter's first public appearance outside his native Switzerland since July 2015 when the World Cup qualifying draw was conducted in St. Petersburg. Blatter shared the stage that day with Putin and could meet with the Russian president this week. The FIFA ban does not prevent Blatter attending games and he is expected to see Portugal play Morocco on Wednesday at Luzhniki Stadium. 5:49PM And please welcome your hosts.... Russia! Starting Eleven @TeamRussia vs @Pharaohs#Rusia2018#RUSEGYpic.twitter.com/HLD5EZt081— Сборная России (@TeamRussia) June 19, 2018 Playing in their controversial 4-4-4 formation and giving a start to an old geezer who has come in the wrong PE kit. 5:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Saint Petersburg Stadium 5:46PM More on Mo Egypt striker Mohamed Salah will make his first appearance at the World Cup after being named in the starting line-up for tonight's match with Russia, the Egyptian Football Association has announced. The Liverpool forward has been sidelined since injuring his shoulder during last month's Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid. Salah, who was an unused substitute in Egypt's Group A opener against Uruguay on Friday, will lead his side as they face hosts Russia at Krestovsky Stadium in an attempt to bounce back from that defeat with a result. 5:45PM Here's all our reaction to the England game Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men 5:44PM Liverpool sending good vibes @MoSalah starts. ������#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/UbZbrhIFPR— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 19, 2018 5:43PM Teams إليكم تشكيل #الفراعنة لمباراة الليلة #worldcup#ThePharaohs#RUSEGY#RUS �� #Egypic.twitter.com/fMV9pNzzYk— Egypt National Football Team (@Pharaohs) June 19, 2018 5:39PM He's in Mo Salah starts! Full team news coming up. Great news: Mo Salah starts for Egypt.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 19, 2018 5:35PM All hail the Egyptian King! Good evening, and welcome to our live blog of the first of the second round of group games. Everyone, with the exception of the Russian football team and fans, is surely hoping that Mo Salah is fit enough to play in this match, and fit enough to give a good account of himself. Ronaldo has already lit up the tournament, Messi was poor, Suarez looked a bit fat and off the pace, De Bruyne had his moments, and now it is the chance for one of the other top, top, top, top players to make his mark, we hope. his Egypt side will play the hosts badly needing a result. Egypt lost by the single goal to Uruguay the other day and cannot afford another slip up. As for the hosts, they got the tournament off to an unexpectedly joyous start in the first game when they walloped Saudi Arabia. Of all the teams I have seen in the competition only the Saudis could be said to be without merit or ability, and I full expect all the other teams in this group to have the full three points off them. But anyone will be doing well to better the goal difference good times that Russia have got for themselves. In all likelihood, Uruguay are going to have six points within the next 24 hours and that means that this game is a very important fixture for Egypt. We will have the team news as soon as it comes in, the match itself starts at 7pm UK time. Meanwhile, why not follow the end of Poland V Senegal here with JJ Bull?
Eight goals in two games have averted Russia’s nightmare of spending tens of millions of dollars on a World Cup only to go out in the group stage. Mohamed Salah meanwhile has been restricted to a penalty, lots of physio on his injured shoulder and an awkward meeting with Chechnya’s warlord. Salah’s penalty kick when Egypt already trailed 3-0 was a small reward for his hard work in the treatment room and gym. It pales, though, beside the potential dividend for Russia from 5-0 and 3-1 victories against two of the tournament’s weaker sides. If all the hosts could hope for was to string their presence out to the point of respectability, their supporters now have something to be excited about beyond the stardust spread by other countries. If Saudi Arabia fail to beat Uruguay (and who would back them to win?) Russia will advance to the knock-out rounds for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Saint Petersburg Stadium was not full for this second home triumph, but the 64,468 here were giddy as three second-half goals flew in inside 15 minutes (the first, a ludicrous own goal). Salah performed honourably after missing the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay, but to expect him to walk straight back in and rescue Egypt was fanciful, especially as he lacks team-mates of the quality of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. His goal came in the 73rd minute after he was pulled down by the arm (this is becoming a pattern), apparently outside the Russia penalty box, until VAR showed it to be penalty. These Russia players are pretty much equal and indistinguishable. The Soviet system would have been proud of this mechanical team. It’s as if their training stopped at pass and run, which they do well, and dispensed with the subtleties of the game, such as ingenuity and vision around the penalty box. Denis Cheryshev has been the best of them, and their energy and commitment ought to be acknowledged. Not that they will feel they had much choice in those respects. Russia have made a brilliant start to the tournament on home soil Credit: AFP They are all Russia have, and were cast into a home World Cup as the lowest-ranked team in the tournament with the unenviable task of matching the grandeur of the stadiums. Plainly this is going to be beyond them, however uplifting their 5-0 opening night win against Saudi Arabia - the biggest curtain-raising victory by a host country since 1934 - and this own-goal assisted win over Salah and company. Standing between the new Russian empire and progress to the Round of 16 was an Egypt side now emotionally dependent on Salah. The lauding of him before the game was at a level not even Liverpool fans could hope to match. His name was cheered at least three times louder than any other Egypt player, and each glimpse of him on the big screen ignited a new Egyptian party. In the game, Salah started wide-right, dispensing with defensive duties to try his luck against Yury Zhirkov, an old hand steeled for the fight. Denis Cheryshev scores Russia's second goal Credit: REuters It took Zhirkov 21 minutes to land a bang on the shoulder Salah injured in a tangle with Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final in Kiev. The challenge was fair, but spun Salah round, and soon the Premier League’s golden boot winner moved to play more centrally. He was more effective there, his first real chance on goal coming with a turn and swivel on the edge of Russia’s penalty box. But the shot from the pirouette slid wide. Egypt’s campaign, though was about to take a comical turn, two minutes after the break, when Roman Zobnin miscued a shot after a bad punch by the goalkeeper, and Ahmed Fathy, the Egyptian captain, under pressure from Artem Dzyuba, took a wild swing at it and swiped it into his own net. Bare-chested Egyptian fans in Pharoah headgear looked on miserably. Egypt’s defence, like Saudi Arabia’s, disintegrated, conceding three times, twice abjectly . Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah dribbles past Russia's defender Sergey Ignashevich Credit: AFP With Salah’s team still reeling from the own goal, Mario Fernandes cut a cross back for Cheryshev to double the lead, and then Ali Gabr failed to control a dropping ball on the edge of his box and allowed it to run to Dzyuba, the former star Russian striker who lost his way. Dzyuba’s military salute for the goal was in tune with his combative work in unsettling Egypt’s back four. The defensive ineptitude of opponents is helping Russia, but their probable advance will help maintain the interest of those who are ultimately paying for most of it - the Russian public, who have been treated to eight goals and plenty of workmanlike enterprise from their team. Salah, in effect, lost his World Cup campaign in the Champions League final, though he fought his way back to leave a small mark here. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 9:03PM That's moved the boy Denis Level with He Who Must Not Be Mentioned in the race for the Golden Boot. 8:58PM Class piece from Jim White Seems absolutely ridiculous that these two fans have to travel to Russia to watch their team play football live. Why? Because they are women from Iran. https://t.co/pSLIeiuqvz— Jim White (@jimw1) June 19, 2018 8:57PM Uruguay will have enjoyed that. Now a World Cup last-16 place is theirs for the taking if they beat Saudi Arabia. 8:55PM Group A Table 8:54PM Nice! Best goal difference by a host nation through two #WorldCup games: +7 ���� 2018 Russia +7 ���� 1998 France (won title) +6 ���� 1934 Italy (won title) +5 ���� 1930 Uruguay (won title)— Paul Carr (@PaulCarrTM) June 19, 2018 8:52PM Full time: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Hard lines for Egypt, but Russia are having a bit of a moment and deserved their win. 8:49PM 90+ mins: there will be four minutes added Warda and Kudryashov square up. Kudryashov looks like he could eat Warda for breakfast and still have room for pancakes. The hosts are, barring an astonishing Saudi Arabia result, going through. 8:47PM 89 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Nice move, Salah nearly dancing through, they get the break of the ball and Warda, from the right, hits it wide of the post. 8:46PM 86 mins Warda with a useful cross in. Since they, erm, went 3-0 down Egypt have played with a lot more vim. Also, other attacking players have started trying to do something rather than just looking to Salah. This is the problem with a one man team, obvs. 8:45PM 85 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt having the odd 1/4 chance but to be honest this feels remote in the extreme as a possibility. 8:42PM 84 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kahraba on, Mohsen off. Yuri Zhirkov is replaced by Fedor Kudryashov. 8:38PM 80 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt getting greedy, now they want another pen. Mohsen hits the deck. Kutepov the accused. No penalty. And I'll tell you why not: because Mohsen had fouled HIM. 8:37PM 79 mins: Golovin controls the ball majestically, nips past Gabr and waits for the foul, and the inevitable freekick. Ref doesn't give it. Snigger. Smolov comes on for Dzubya. 8:33PM 75 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kuziaev comes on, the dangerman Cheryshev off. Russia have a decent opportunity to slam the coffin lid down when Samedov delivers a useful freekick to the back stick. Ignashevich's header is saved. 8:31PM VAR to the rescue Again, VAR gets there. But poor refereeing. Always been a penalty.— Matt Smith (@msmith850) June 19, 2018 8:31PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 1 (Salah 73 pen) He's wellied that! Bosh. No messing from Mo Salah. Is that an improbable lifeline? 8:30PM 71 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 0 Salah is hauled down. To most viewers, it is clear that it is inside the box. But not to the referee though. He gives it outside the box but fortunately the VAR comes to the rescue. A PENALTY IS AWARDED Credit: BBC 8:25PM 66 mins Fed by Salah with a nice ball, Trezeguet has a shot wide, and that will be Trezeguet's last contribution. He's getting the hook, and here comes Sobhi. 8:22PM 65 mins Warda on, Elneny off. Egypt have a freekick, Gabr tries to make amends for his defensive spinelessness with a header. No. 8:20PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 0 (Dzyuba 62) Another one! Oh dear, this is turning into a horrible night for the Pharoahs. Route one, big Dzyuba chests the ball down and it's men against boys as Gabr and Hegazi crumble and let him through. Hammers it home and that, my friends, is the night boat to Cairo. Artem Dzyuba of Russia scores Credit: Getty 8:16PM GOAL! Russia 2 Egypt 0 (Cheryshev 59) Ooh, that is going to be the killer blow, surely. Nice work from Figueira Fernandes, heart and energy down the right to join the attack. Pulls the ball back, and there is the deadly Denis Cheryshev to slot the ball home. That's his third of the tournament by the way, and it looks likely that it is going to send Russia through... and send poor Egypt home. 8:14PM No OG no fun There were no own-goals at all at the 1958 and 1962 World Cups. What miserable times they must have been.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) June 19, 2018 8:13PM 55 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 That was the moment? Maybe? The ball is played into the Russian box, knockdown, Salah has it at his feet eight yards out.... but he cannot get it out from under him and the desperate Russians can clear. Fully fit, he jinks and smashes that. But he is not confident in his body. 8:10PM 52 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Russians enjoying a couple of corners. At this rate (5 own goals in 17 matches), this World Cup will have 19 own goals. The record most in a single World Cup is 6, set in 1998. #WorldCup#RUS#EGY— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) June 19, 2018 8:04PM OWN GOAL! by Fathy: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Aw, that is rotten luck for Egypt, although their keeper must carry his fair share of blame. Golovin crosses it in, the keeper comes out with a flappy, silly punch. Shoulda caught that. Instead, he punches, the Russian 11 Zobnin drills it back in and a panicking Fathy stabs it into his own net. (Fathy OG 47 mins) Dreadful shot by Zobnin by the way, would have practically gone out for a corner had Fathy not intervened. Egypt's goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy (R) watches as the ball ends up in his net after a deflection by Egypt's defender Ahmed Fathi (L) Credit: AFP/Getty 8:03PM 46 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Always a shame to see a brilliant player not at his best due to injury. But hopefully Mo Salah can weave a bit of magic. 8:00PM This shows Salah's position (10) Average touch positions (half time) He's basically playing as a narrow advanced forward. Alan Shearer sums it up well on BBC: "Mo Salah, you can tell, is only 70-75% fit and they know that - they're protecting him, he's not running back and they're just trying to get the ball up to him." 7:57PM Pretty fair Russia vs Egypt shots on goal 7:46PM Half time: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That'll do it for the half, not many chances, but plenty of energy. 7:44PM 42 mins Fun, B- quality, end-to-end stuff, here are the Russians with a corner. Gabr involved in a good old fashioned grappling contest with Dzyuba. Risky business in these VAR times... 7:42PM 40 mins There's our boy! Class from Salah, Mohsen dummies, Salah gets it and spins away from his man. Peach of a curling effort but not quite. 7:40PM 37 mins Lovely counter by Egypt, but it starts in bizarre fashion when the ball hits the ref, wrong-footing everyone! Elneny with a great ball in and Mohsen should have done a lot better. 7:35PM 34 mins Nice ball in! Mohsen just misses out to Figueira Fernandes of Russia. More even now. 7:34PM 33 mins Better spell from Egypt. Passing it, higher up the pitch. Looking slicker, ball into the area from Shafy is flicked on. Salah nearly there at the back stick! Corner. Delivery is poor. 7:33PM 30 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Enjoyable game so far. Russia unsophisticated but useful, got some pace, got some who can deliver the ball, attack in numbers. Egypt are unbalanced. They need to just get a bit of the ball, play themselves into this. 7:28PM 27 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Decent from Salah as he holds it up to tee up Trézéguet , whose shot is charged down. But it is a momentary respite: here come the Russians again. 7:27PM 25 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 This Egypt defence are making some blunders and I think they are going to be sorry. A ball is played in by Cheryshev. Keeper El-Shenawy comes, and is barged off it by Hegazi. Don't panic! 7:25PM 22 mins Salah is not doing a lot. And as I say, he is not offering anything defensively, just standing out on the right wing. Here come the Russians down the left. Gazinskii crosses and the big lad Dzyuba gets up well but glances his header too fine. 7:19PM 18 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Zhirkov takes a freekick but is wasteful with the delivery. But Russia get a lucky break when it rebounds out to Cheryshev. he has a crack, and it is not far over. 7:16PM 16 mins Lovely run from Trézéguet down the inside-left, he tries to bend it in at the far post and he is not far at all from achieving that end. 7:15PM 14 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 El Said spins away from Kutepov and was fouled. From a corner, Egypt have a headed chance. Attempt Saved: Russia 0 - 0 Egypt (Marwan Mohsen, 15 min) Behind for another corner. Another good ball in, cleared but only as far as the corner flag. Good spell for the visitors, their best of the match so far. 7:13PM 13 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That's it! Salah gets a long ball on the right, gives it inside and goes into the box. He is stopped by multiple Russians. 7:11PM 11 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Samedov and Figueira Fernandes link up well down the right but the latter cannot quite find the final ball. 7:10PM 10 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Very encouraging start from the hosts. Egypt pinned back. Salah hasn't featured. Also: Salah is not tracking back, which is fine in and of itself but somebody else needs to help out the right back in which case. 7:08PM 8 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 It's all Russia. Egypt cannot get out. 7:08PM 6 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Defensive blunder by Egypt! Sloppy, dawdling play out from the back, Golovin pinches it and races forward. He is disappointed not to have done better with the shot. 7:07PM 5 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Russia have the game's first corner.. Taken short, and it is played in by Samedov, headed by the veteran Ignashevich. Not troubling anyone, that. 7:04PM 3 mins Plenty of atmos, some beefy challenges but neither side able to dominate so far. Russia looking for raking balls to their hefty forward Artem Dzyuba. 7:01PM 1 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Egypt, in white, kick off. 7:01PM And Egypt Egypt side Credit: BBC 6:58PM Here's how Russia should line up Credit: BBC 6:56PM Russian anthem Powerful stuff. 6:55PM Egyptian anthem being belted out around the stadium, they seem to have got a few in. Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah... he's in! Credit: AFP/Getty 6:50PM Noice Russia ���� fans gather outside the entrance to Red Square as anticipation mounts ahead of the hosts’ group match against Egypt ���� in St. Petersburg. Mo Salah starts for The Pharaohs #RUSEGY ⁦@FIFAWorldCup⁩ ⁦@RT_com⁩ pic.twitter.com/TEqBth3fTC— Kate Partridge (@KatePartridge33) June 19, 2018 6:49PM Danny Murphy Bit over-dressed, aren't you? Like you just stepped out of a bookies: Danny Murphy Credit: BBC 6:48PM Fans Credit: BBC 6:35PM Who's having a good tournament? 6:34PM Where's your money, then? Here is our betting guide to a tasty fixture. Russia: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Zobnin, Gazinsky, Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev, Dzyuba. Subs: Lunev, Semenov, Kuzyaev, Dzagoev, Smolov, Kudryashov, Granat, Aleksey Miranchuk, Anton Miranchuk, Erokhin, Smolnikov, Gabulov. Egypt: El Shenawy, Fathi, Gabr, Hegazi, Abdel-Shafy, Hamed, Elneny, Salah, Said, Trezeguet, Mohsen. Subs: El Hadary, Elmohamady, Gaber, Morsy, Kahraba, Ashraf, Sobhi, Hamdy, Shikabala, Samir, Warda, Ekramy. Referee: Enrique Caceres (Paraguay) 6:21PM Salah news! The Premier League's top scorer adds some much-needed bite to an Egyptian attack that struggled to threaten Uruguay in a 1-0 loss Friday. On the other side, Russia winger Denis Cheryshev has promoted to the starting lineup after scoring twice as a substitute in Thursday's tournament-opening 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia. Egypt: Mohamed Elshenawy, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Abdelshafy, Ahmed Fathi, Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Elneny, Abdalla Said, Mohamed Salah, Mahmoud Hassan, Marwan Mohsen. Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kutepov, Sergei Ignashevich, Denis Cheryshev, Yuri Gazinsky, Fyodor Smolov, Roman Zobnin, Alexander Golovin, Yuri Zhirkov, Alexander Samedov. 6:20PM Heartwarming news! Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Blatter posed for photographs with people on his arrival at a five-star hotel downtown. The 82-year-old former FIFA president is banned from official football duty until October 2021 for financial misconduct during this 17-year rule. This is Blatter's first public appearance outside his native Switzerland since July 2015 when the World Cup qualifying draw was conducted in St. Petersburg. Blatter shared the stage that day with Putin and could meet with the Russian president this week. The FIFA ban does not prevent Blatter attending games and he is expected to see Portugal play Morocco on Wednesday at Luzhniki Stadium. 5:49PM And please welcome your hosts.... Russia! Starting Eleven @TeamRussia vs @Pharaohs#Rusia2018#RUSEGYpic.twitter.com/HLD5EZt081— Сборная России (@TeamRussia) June 19, 2018 Playing in their controversial 4-4-4 formation and giving a start to an old geezer who has come in the wrong PE kit. 5:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Saint Petersburg Stadium 5:46PM More on Mo Egypt striker Mohamed Salah will make his first appearance at the World Cup after being named in the starting line-up for tonight's match with Russia, the Egyptian Football Association has announced. The Liverpool forward has been sidelined since injuring his shoulder during last month's Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid. Salah, who was an unused substitute in Egypt's Group A opener against Uruguay on Friday, will lead his side as they face hosts Russia at Krestovsky Stadium in an attempt to bounce back from that defeat with a result. 5:45PM Here's all our reaction to the England game Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men 5:44PM Liverpool sending good vibes @MoSalah starts. ������#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/UbZbrhIFPR— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 19, 2018 5:43PM Teams إليكم تشكيل #الفراعنة لمباراة الليلة #worldcup#ThePharaohs#RUSEGY#RUS �� #Egypic.twitter.com/fMV9pNzzYk— Egypt National Football Team (@Pharaohs) June 19, 2018 5:39PM He's in Mo Salah starts! Full team news coming up. Great news: Mo Salah starts for Egypt.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 19, 2018 5:35PM All hail the Egyptian King! Good evening, and welcome to our live blog of the first of the second round of group games. Everyone, with the exception of the Russian football team and fans, is surely hoping that Mo Salah is fit enough to play in this match, and fit enough to give a good account of himself. Ronaldo has already lit up the tournament, Messi was poor, Suarez looked a bit fat and off the pace, De Bruyne had his moments, and now it is the chance for one of the other top, top, top, top players to make his mark, we hope. his Egypt side will play the hosts badly needing a result. Egypt lost by the single goal to Uruguay the other day and cannot afford another slip up. As for the hosts, they got the tournament off to an unexpectedly joyous start in the first game when they walloped Saudi Arabia. Of all the teams I have seen in the competition only the Saudis could be said to be without merit or ability, and I full expect all the other teams in this group to have the full three points off them. But anyone will be doing well to better the goal difference good times that Russia have got for themselves. In all likelihood, Uruguay are going to have six points within the next 24 hours and that means that this game is a very important fixture for Egypt. We will have the team news as soon as it comes in, the match itself starts at 7pm UK time. Meanwhile, why not follow the end of Poland V Senegal here with JJ Bull?
Russia move to brink of qualification for knockout rounds after second-half blitz sees off Egypt
Eight goals in two games have averted Russia’s nightmare of spending tens of millions of dollars on a World Cup only to go out in the group stage. Mohamed Salah meanwhile has been restricted to a penalty, lots of physio on his injured shoulder and an awkward meeting with Chechnya’s warlord. Salah’s penalty kick when Egypt already trailed 3-0 was a small reward for his hard work in the treatment room and gym. It pales, though, beside the potential dividend for Russia from 5-0 and 3-1 victories against two of the tournament’s weaker sides. If all the hosts could hope for was to string their presence out to the point of respectability, their supporters now have something to be excited about beyond the stardust spread by other countries. If Saudi Arabia fail to beat Uruguay (and who would back them to win?) Russia will advance to the knock-out rounds for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Saint Petersburg Stadium was not full for this second home triumph, but the 64,468 here were giddy as three second-half goals flew in inside 15 minutes (the first, a ludicrous own goal). Salah performed honourably after missing the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay, but to expect him to walk straight back in and rescue Egypt was fanciful, especially as he lacks team-mates of the quality of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. His goal came in the 73rd minute after he was pulled down by the arm (this is becoming a pattern), apparently outside the Russia penalty box, until VAR showed it to be penalty. These Russia players are pretty much equal and indistinguishable. The Soviet system would have been proud of this mechanical team. It’s as if their training stopped at pass and run, which they do well, and dispensed with the subtleties of the game, such as ingenuity and vision around the penalty box. Denis Cheryshev has been the best of them, and their energy and commitment ought to be acknowledged. Not that they will feel they had much choice in those respects. Russia have made a brilliant start to the tournament on home soil Credit: AFP They are all Russia have, and were cast into a home World Cup as the lowest-ranked team in the tournament with the unenviable task of matching the grandeur of the stadiums. Plainly this is going to be beyond them, however uplifting their 5-0 opening night win against Saudi Arabia - the biggest curtain-raising victory by a host country since 1934 - and this own-goal assisted win over Salah and company. Standing between the new Russian empire and progress to the Round of 16 was an Egypt side now emotionally dependent on Salah. The lauding of him before the game was at a level not even Liverpool fans could hope to match. His name was cheered at least three times louder than any other Egypt player, and each glimpse of him on the big screen ignited a new Egyptian party. In the game, Salah started wide-right, dispensing with defensive duties to try his luck against Yury Zhirkov, an old hand steeled for the fight. Denis Cheryshev scores Russia's second goal Credit: REuters It took Zhirkov 21 minutes to land a bang on the shoulder Salah injured in a tangle with Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final in Kiev. The challenge was fair, but spun Salah round, and soon the Premier League’s golden boot winner moved to play more centrally. He was more effective there, his first real chance on goal coming with a turn and swivel on the edge of Russia’s penalty box. But the shot from the pirouette slid wide. Egypt’s campaign, though was about to take a comical turn, two minutes after the break, when Roman Zobnin miscued a shot after a bad punch by the goalkeeper, and Ahmed Fathy, the Egyptian captain, under pressure from Artem Dzyuba, took a wild swing at it and swiped it into his own net. Bare-chested Egyptian fans in Pharoah headgear looked on miserably. Egypt’s defence, like Saudi Arabia’s, disintegrated, conceding three times, twice abjectly . Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah dribbles past Russia's defender Sergey Ignashevich Credit: AFP With Salah’s team still reeling from the own goal, Mario Fernandes cut a cross back for Cheryshev to double the lead, and then Ali Gabr failed to control a dropping ball on the edge of his box and allowed it to run to Dzyuba, the former star Russian striker who lost his way. Dzyuba’s military salute for the goal was in tune with his combative work in unsettling Egypt’s back four. The defensive ineptitude of opponents is helping Russia, but their probable advance will help maintain the interest of those who are ultimately paying for most of it - the Russian public, who have been treated to eight goals and plenty of workmanlike enterprise from their team. Salah, in effect, lost his World Cup campaign in the Champions League final, though he fought his way back to leave a small mark here. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 9:03PM That's moved the boy Denis Level with He Who Must Not Be Mentioned in the race for the Golden Boot. 8:58PM Class piece from Jim White Seems absolutely ridiculous that these two fans have to travel to Russia to watch their team play football live. Why? Because they are women from Iran. https://t.co/pSLIeiuqvz— Jim White (@jimw1) June 19, 2018 8:57PM Uruguay will have enjoyed that. Now a World Cup last-16 place is theirs for the taking if they beat Saudi Arabia. 8:55PM Group A Table 8:54PM Nice! Best goal difference by a host nation through two #WorldCup games: +7 ���� 2018 Russia +7 ���� 1998 France (won title) +6 ���� 1934 Italy (won title) +5 ���� 1930 Uruguay (won title)— Paul Carr (@PaulCarrTM) June 19, 2018 8:52PM Full time: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Hard lines for Egypt, but Russia are having a bit of a moment and deserved their win. 8:49PM 90+ mins: there will be four minutes added Warda and Kudryashov square up. Kudryashov looks like he could eat Warda for breakfast and still have room for pancakes. The hosts are, barring an astonishing Saudi Arabia result, going through. 8:47PM 89 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Nice move, Salah nearly dancing through, they get the break of the ball and Warda, from the right, hits it wide of the post. 8:46PM 86 mins Warda with a useful cross in. Since they, erm, went 3-0 down Egypt have played with a lot more vim. Also, other attacking players have started trying to do something rather than just looking to Salah. This is the problem with a one man team, obvs. 8:45PM 85 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt having the odd 1/4 chance but to be honest this feels remote in the extreme as a possibility. 8:42PM 84 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kahraba on, Mohsen off. Yuri Zhirkov is replaced by Fedor Kudryashov. 8:38PM 80 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt getting greedy, now they want another pen. Mohsen hits the deck. Kutepov the accused. No penalty. And I'll tell you why not: because Mohsen had fouled HIM. 8:37PM 79 mins: Golovin controls the ball majestically, nips past Gabr and waits for the foul, and the inevitable freekick. Ref doesn't give it. Snigger. Smolov comes on for Dzubya. 8:33PM 75 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kuziaev comes on, the dangerman Cheryshev off. Russia have a decent opportunity to slam the coffin lid down when Samedov delivers a useful freekick to the back stick. Ignashevich's header is saved. 8:31PM VAR to the rescue Again, VAR gets there. But poor refereeing. Always been a penalty.— Matt Smith (@msmith850) June 19, 2018 8:31PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 1 (Salah 73 pen) He's wellied that! Bosh. No messing from Mo Salah. Is that an improbable lifeline? 8:30PM 71 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 0 Salah is hauled down. To most viewers, it is clear that it is inside the box. But not to the referee though. He gives it outside the box but fortunately the VAR comes to the rescue. A PENALTY IS AWARDED Credit: BBC 8:25PM 66 mins Fed by Salah with a nice ball, Trezeguet has a shot wide, and that will be Trezeguet's last contribution. He's getting the hook, and here comes Sobhi. 8:22PM 65 mins Warda on, Elneny off. Egypt have a freekick, Gabr tries to make amends for his defensive spinelessness with a header. No. 8:20PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 0 (Dzyuba 62) Another one! Oh dear, this is turning into a horrible night for the Pharoahs. Route one, big Dzyuba chests the ball down and it's men against boys as Gabr and Hegazi crumble and let him through. Hammers it home and that, my friends, is the night boat to Cairo. Artem Dzyuba of Russia scores Credit: Getty 8:16PM GOAL! Russia 2 Egypt 0 (Cheryshev 59) Ooh, that is going to be the killer blow, surely. Nice work from Figueira Fernandes, heart and energy down the right to join the attack. Pulls the ball back, and there is the deadly Denis Cheryshev to slot the ball home. That's his third of the tournament by the way, and it looks likely that it is going to send Russia through... and send poor Egypt home. 8:14PM No OG no fun There were no own-goals at all at the 1958 and 1962 World Cups. What miserable times they must have been.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) June 19, 2018 8:13PM 55 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 That was the moment? Maybe? The ball is played into the Russian box, knockdown, Salah has it at his feet eight yards out.... but he cannot get it out from under him and the desperate Russians can clear. Fully fit, he jinks and smashes that. But he is not confident in his body. 8:10PM 52 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Russians enjoying a couple of corners. At this rate (5 own goals in 17 matches), this World Cup will have 19 own goals. The record most in a single World Cup is 6, set in 1998. #WorldCup#RUS#EGY— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) June 19, 2018 8:04PM OWN GOAL! by Fathy: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Aw, that is rotten luck for Egypt, although their keeper must carry his fair share of blame. Golovin crosses it in, the keeper comes out with a flappy, silly punch. Shoulda caught that. Instead, he punches, the Russian 11 Zobnin drills it back in and a panicking Fathy stabs it into his own net. (Fathy OG 47 mins) Dreadful shot by Zobnin by the way, would have practically gone out for a corner had Fathy not intervened. Egypt's goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy (R) watches as the ball ends up in his net after a deflection by Egypt's defender Ahmed Fathi (L) Credit: AFP/Getty 8:03PM 46 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Always a shame to see a brilliant player not at his best due to injury. But hopefully Mo Salah can weave a bit of magic. 8:00PM This shows Salah's position (10) Average touch positions (half time) He's basically playing as a narrow advanced forward. Alan Shearer sums it up well on BBC: "Mo Salah, you can tell, is only 70-75% fit and they know that - they're protecting him, he's not running back and they're just trying to get the ball up to him." 7:57PM Pretty fair Russia vs Egypt shots on goal 7:46PM Half time: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That'll do it for the half, not many chances, but plenty of energy. 7:44PM 42 mins Fun, B- quality, end-to-end stuff, here are the Russians with a corner. Gabr involved in a good old fashioned grappling contest with Dzyuba. Risky business in these VAR times... 7:42PM 40 mins There's our boy! Class from Salah, Mohsen dummies, Salah gets it and spins away from his man. Peach of a curling effort but not quite. 7:40PM 37 mins Lovely counter by Egypt, but it starts in bizarre fashion when the ball hits the ref, wrong-footing everyone! Elneny with a great ball in and Mohsen should have done a lot better. 7:35PM 34 mins Nice ball in! Mohsen just misses out to Figueira Fernandes of Russia. More even now. 7:34PM 33 mins Better spell from Egypt. Passing it, higher up the pitch. Looking slicker, ball into the area from Shafy is flicked on. Salah nearly there at the back stick! Corner. Delivery is poor. 7:33PM 30 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Enjoyable game so far. Russia unsophisticated but useful, got some pace, got some who can deliver the ball, attack in numbers. Egypt are unbalanced. They need to just get a bit of the ball, play themselves into this. 7:28PM 27 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Decent from Salah as he holds it up to tee up Trézéguet , whose shot is charged down. But it is a momentary respite: here come the Russians again. 7:27PM 25 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 This Egypt defence are making some blunders and I think they are going to be sorry. A ball is played in by Cheryshev. Keeper El-Shenawy comes, and is barged off it by Hegazi. Don't panic! 7:25PM 22 mins Salah is not doing a lot. And as I say, he is not offering anything defensively, just standing out on the right wing. Here come the Russians down the left. Gazinskii crosses and the big lad Dzyuba gets up well but glances his header too fine. 7:19PM 18 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Zhirkov takes a freekick but is wasteful with the delivery. But Russia get a lucky break when it rebounds out to Cheryshev. he has a crack, and it is not far over. 7:16PM 16 mins Lovely run from Trézéguet down the inside-left, he tries to bend it in at the far post and he is not far at all from achieving that end. 7:15PM 14 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 El Said spins away from Kutepov and was fouled. From a corner, Egypt have a headed chance. Attempt Saved: Russia 0 - 0 Egypt (Marwan Mohsen, 15 min) Behind for another corner. Another good ball in, cleared but only as far as the corner flag. Good spell for the visitors, their best of the match so far. 7:13PM 13 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That's it! Salah gets a long ball on the right, gives it inside and goes into the box. He is stopped by multiple Russians. 7:11PM 11 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Samedov and Figueira Fernandes link up well down the right but the latter cannot quite find the final ball. 7:10PM 10 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Very encouraging start from the hosts. Egypt pinned back. Salah hasn't featured. Also: Salah is not tracking back, which is fine in and of itself but somebody else needs to help out the right back in which case. 7:08PM 8 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 It's all Russia. Egypt cannot get out. 7:08PM 6 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Defensive blunder by Egypt! Sloppy, dawdling play out from the back, Golovin pinches it and races forward. He is disappointed not to have done better with the shot. 7:07PM 5 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Russia have the game's first corner.. Taken short, and it is played in by Samedov, headed by the veteran Ignashevich. Not troubling anyone, that. 7:04PM 3 mins Plenty of atmos, some beefy challenges but neither side able to dominate so far. Russia looking for raking balls to their hefty forward Artem Dzyuba. 7:01PM 1 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Egypt, in white, kick off. 7:01PM And Egypt Egypt side Credit: BBC 6:58PM Here's how Russia should line up Credit: BBC 6:56PM Russian anthem Powerful stuff. 6:55PM Egyptian anthem being belted out around the stadium, they seem to have got a few in. Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah... he's in! Credit: AFP/Getty 6:50PM Noice Russia ���� fans gather outside the entrance to Red Square as anticipation mounts ahead of the hosts’ group match against Egypt ���� in St. Petersburg. Mo Salah starts for The Pharaohs #RUSEGY ⁦@FIFAWorldCup⁩ ⁦@RT_com⁩ pic.twitter.com/TEqBth3fTC— Kate Partridge (@KatePartridge33) June 19, 2018 6:49PM Danny Murphy Bit over-dressed, aren't you? Like you just stepped out of a bookies: Danny Murphy Credit: BBC 6:48PM Fans Credit: BBC 6:35PM Who's having a good tournament? 6:34PM Where's your money, then? Here is our betting guide to a tasty fixture. Russia: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Zobnin, Gazinsky, Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev, Dzyuba. Subs: Lunev, Semenov, Kuzyaev, Dzagoev, Smolov, Kudryashov, Granat, Aleksey Miranchuk, Anton Miranchuk, Erokhin, Smolnikov, Gabulov. Egypt: El Shenawy, Fathi, Gabr, Hegazi, Abdel-Shafy, Hamed, Elneny, Salah, Said, Trezeguet, Mohsen. Subs: El Hadary, Elmohamady, Gaber, Morsy, Kahraba, Ashraf, Sobhi, Hamdy, Shikabala, Samir, Warda, Ekramy. Referee: Enrique Caceres (Paraguay) 6:21PM Salah news! The Premier League's top scorer adds some much-needed bite to an Egyptian attack that struggled to threaten Uruguay in a 1-0 loss Friday. On the other side, Russia winger Denis Cheryshev has promoted to the starting lineup after scoring twice as a substitute in Thursday's tournament-opening 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia. Egypt: Mohamed Elshenawy, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Abdelshafy, Ahmed Fathi, Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Elneny, Abdalla Said, Mohamed Salah, Mahmoud Hassan, Marwan Mohsen. Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kutepov, Sergei Ignashevich, Denis Cheryshev, Yuri Gazinsky, Fyodor Smolov, Roman Zobnin, Alexander Golovin, Yuri Zhirkov, Alexander Samedov. 6:20PM Heartwarming news! Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Blatter posed for photographs with people on his arrival at a five-star hotel downtown. The 82-year-old former FIFA president is banned from official football duty until October 2021 for financial misconduct during this 17-year rule. This is Blatter's first public appearance outside his native Switzerland since July 2015 when the World Cup qualifying draw was conducted in St. Petersburg. Blatter shared the stage that day with Putin and could meet with the Russian president this week. The FIFA ban does not prevent Blatter attending games and he is expected to see Portugal play Morocco on Wednesday at Luzhniki Stadium. 5:49PM And please welcome your hosts.... Russia! Starting Eleven @TeamRussia vs @Pharaohs#Rusia2018#RUSEGYpic.twitter.com/HLD5EZt081— Сборная России (@TeamRussia) June 19, 2018 Playing in their controversial 4-4-4 formation and giving a start to an old geezer who has come in the wrong PE kit. 5:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Saint Petersburg Stadium 5:46PM More on Mo Egypt striker Mohamed Salah will make his first appearance at the World Cup after being named in the starting line-up for tonight's match with Russia, the Egyptian Football Association has announced. The Liverpool forward has been sidelined since injuring his shoulder during last month's Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid. Salah, who was an unused substitute in Egypt's Group A opener against Uruguay on Friday, will lead his side as they face hosts Russia at Krestovsky Stadium in an attempt to bounce back from that defeat with a result. 5:45PM Here's all our reaction to the England game Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men 5:44PM Liverpool sending good vibes @MoSalah starts. ������#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/UbZbrhIFPR— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 19, 2018 5:43PM Teams إليكم تشكيل #الفراعنة لمباراة الليلة #worldcup#ThePharaohs#RUSEGY#RUS �� #Egypic.twitter.com/fMV9pNzzYk— Egypt National Football Team (@Pharaohs) June 19, 2018 5:39PM He's in Mo Salah starts! Full team news coming up. Great news: Mo Salah starts for Egypt.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 19, 2018 5:35PM All hail the Egyptian King! Good evening, and welcome to our live blog of the first of the second round of group games. Everyone, with the exception of the Russian football team and fans, is surely hoping that Mo Salah is fit enough to play in this match, and fit enough to give a good account of himself. Ronaldo has already lit up the tournament, Messi was poor, Suarez looked a bit fat and off the pace, De Bruyne had his moments, and now it is the chance for one of the other top, top, top, top players to make his mark, we hope. his Egypt side will play the hosts badly needing a result. Egypt lost by the single goal to Uruguay the other day and cannot afford another slip up. As for the hosts, they got the tournament off to an unexpectedly joyous start in the first game when they walloped Saudi Arabia. Of all the teams I have seen in the competition only the Saudis could be said to be without merit or ability, and I full expect all the other teams in this group to have the full three points off them. But anyone will be doing well to better the goal difference good times that Russia have got for themselves. In all likelihood, Uruguay are going to have six points within the next 24 hours and that means that this game is a very important fixture for Egypt. We will have the team news as soon as it comes in, the match itself starts at 7pm UK time. Meanwhile, why not follow the end of Poland V Senegal here with JJ Bull?
Eight goals in two games have averted Russia’s nightmare of spending tens of millions of dollars on a World Cup only to go out in the group stage. Mohamed Salah meanwhile has been restricted to a penalty, lots of physio on his injured shoulder and an awkward meeting with Chechnya’s warlord. Salah’s penalty kick when Egypt already trailed 3-0 was a small reward for his hard work in the treatment room and gym. It pales, though, beside the potential dividend for Russia from 5-0 and 3-1 victories against two of the tournament’s weaker sides. If all the hosts could hope for was to string their presence out to the point of respectability, their supporters now have something to be excited about beyond the stardust spread by other countries. If Saudi Arabia fail to beat Uruguay (and who would back them to win?) Russia will advance to the knock-out rounds for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Saint Petersburg Stadium was not full for this second home triumph, but the 64,468 here were giddy as three second-half goals flew in inside 15 minutes (the first, a ludicrous own goal). Salah performed honourably after missing the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay, but to expect him to walk straight back in and rescue Egypt was fanciful, especially as he lacks team-mates of the quality of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. His goal came in the 73rd minute after he was pulled down by the arm (this is becoming a pattern), apparently outside the Russia penalty box, until VAR showed it to be penalty. These Russia players are pretty much equal and indistinguishable. The Soviet system would have been proud of this mechanical team. It’s as if their training stopped at pass and run, which they do well, and dispensed with the subtleties of the game, such as ingenuity and vision around the penalty box. Denis Cheryshev has been the best of them, and their energy and commitment ought to be acknowledged. Not that they will feel they had much choice in those respects. Russia have made a brilliant start to the tournament on home soil Credit: AFP They are all Russia have, and were cast into a home World Cup as the lowest-ranked team in the tournament with the unenviable task of matching the grandeur of the stadiums. Plainly this is going to be beyond them, however uplifting their 5-0 opening night win against Saudi Arabia - the biggest curtain-raising victory by a host country since 1934 - and this own-goal assisted win over Salah and company. Standing between the new Russian empire and progress to the Round of 16 was an Egypt side now emotionally dependent on Salah. The lauding of him before the game was at a level not even Liverpool fans could hope to match. His name was cheered at least three times louder than any other Egypt player, and each glimpse of him on the big screen ignited a new Egyptian party. In the game, Salah started wide-right, dispensing with defensive duties to try his luck against Yury Zhirkov, an old hand steeled for the fight. Denis Cheryshev scores Russia's second goal Credit: REuters It took Zhirkov 21 minutes to land a bang on the shoulder Salah injured in a tangle with Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final in Kiev. The challenge was fair, but spun Salah round, and soon the Premier League’s golden boot winner moved to play more centrally. He was more effective there, his first real chance on goal coming with a turn and swivel on the edge of Russia’s penalty box. But the shot from the pirouette slid wide. Egypt’s campaign, though was about to take a comical turn, two minutes after the break, when Roman Zobnin miscued a shot after a bad punch by the goalkeeper, and Ahmed Fathy, the Egyptian captain, under pressure from Artem Dzyuba, took a wild swing at it and swiped it into his own net. Bare-chested Egyptian fans in Pharoah headgear looked on miserably. Egypt’s defence, like Saudi Arabia’s, disintegrated, conceding three times, twice abjectly . Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah dribbles past Russia's defender Sergey Ignashevich Credit: AFP With Salah’s team still reeling from the own goal, Mario Fernandes cut a cross back for Cheryshev to double the lead, and then Ali Gabr failed to control a dropping ball on the edge of his box and allowed it to run to Dzyuba, the former star Russian striker who lost his way. Dzyuba’s military salute for the goal was in tune with his combative work in unsettling Egypt’s back four. The defensive ineptitude of opponents is helping Russia, but their probable advance will help maintain the interest of those who are ultimately paying for most of it - the Russian public, who have been treated to eight goals and plenty of workmanlike enterprise from their team. Salah, in effect, lost his World Cup campaign in the Champions League final, though he fought his way back to leave a small mark here. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 9:03PM That's moved the boy Denis Level with He Who Must Not Be Mentioned in the race for the Golden Boot. 8:58PM Class piece from Jim White Seems absolutely ridiculous that these two fans have to travel to Russia to watch their team play football live. Why? Because they are women from Iran. https://t.co/pSLIeiuqvz— Jim White (@jimw1) June 19, 2018 8:57PM Uruguay will have enjoyed that. Now a World Cup last-16 place is theirs for the taking if they beat Saudi Arabia. 8:55PM Group A Table 8:54PM Nice! Best goal difference by a host nation through two #WorldCup games: +7 ���� 2018 Russia +7 ���� 1998 France (won title) +6 ���� 1934 Italy (won title) +5 ���� 1930 Uruguay (won title)— Paul Carr (@PaulCarrTM) June 19, 2018 8:52PM Full time: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Hard lines for Egypt, but Russia are having a bit of a moment and deserved their win. 8:49PM 90+ mins: there will be four minutes added Warda and Kudryashov square up. Kudryashov looks like he could eat Warda for breakfast and still have room for pancakes. The hosts are, barring an astonishing Saudi Arabia result, going through. 8:47PM 89 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Nice move, Salah nearly dancing through, they get the break of the ball and Warda, from the right, hits it wide of the post. 8:46PM 86 mins Warda with a useful cross in. Since they, erm, went 3-0 down Egypt have played with a lot more vim. Also, other attacking players have started trying to do something rather than just looking to Salah. This is the problem with a one man team, obvs. 8:45PM 85 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt having the odd 1/4 chance but to be honest this feels remote in the extreme as a possibility. 8:42PM 84 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kahraba on, Mohsen off. Yuri Zhirkov is replaced by Fedor Kudryashov. 8:38PM 80 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt getting greedy, now they want another pen. Mohsen hits the deck. Kutepov the accused. No penalty. And I'll tell you why not: because Mohsen had fouled HIM. 8:37PM 79 mins: Golovin controls the ball majestically, nips past Gabr and waits for the foul, and the inevitable freekick. Ref doesn't give it. Snigger. Smolov comes on for Dzubya. 8:33PM 75 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kuziaev comes on, the dangerman Cheryshev off. Russia have a decent opportunity to slam the coffin lid down when Samedov delivers a useful freekick to the back stick. Ignashevich's header is saved. 8:31PM VAR to the rescue Again, VAR gets there. But poor refereeing. Always been a penalty.— Matt Smith (@msmith850) June 19, 2018 8:31PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 1 (Salah 73 pen) He's wellied that! Bosh. No messing from Mo Salah. Is that an improbable lifeline? 8:30PM 71 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 0 Salah is hauled down. To most viewers, it is clear that it is inside the box. But not to the referee though. He gives it outside the box but fortunately the VAR comes to the rescue. A PENALTY IS AWARDED Credit: BBC 8:25PM 66 mins Fed by Salah with a nice ball, Trezeguet has a shot wide, and that will be Trezeguet's last contribution. He's getting the hook, and here comes Sobhi. 8:22PM 65 mins Warda on, Elneny off. Egypt have a freekick, Gabr tries to make amends for his defensive spinelessness with a header. No. 8:20PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 0 (Dzyuba 62) Another one! Oh dear, this is turning into a horrible night for the Pharoahs. Route one, big Dzyuba chests the ball down and it's men against boys as Gabr and Hegazi crumble and let him through. Hammers it home and that, my friends, is the night boat to Cairo. Artem Dzyuba of Russia scores Credit: Getty 8:16PM GOAL! Russia 2 Egypt 0 (Cheryshev 59) Ooh, that is going to be the killer blow, surely. Nice work from Figueira Fernandes, heart and energy down the right to join the attack. Pulls the ball back, and there is the deadly Denis Cheryshev to slot the ball home. That's his third of the tournament by the way, and it looks likely that it is going to send Russia through... and send poor Egypt home. 8:14PM No OG no fun There were no own-goals at all at the 1958 and 1962 World Cups. What miserable times they must have been.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) June 19, 2018 8:13PM 55 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 That was the moment? Maybe? The ball is played into the Russian box, knockdown, Salah has it at his feet eight yards out.... but he cannot get it out from under him and the desperate Russians can clear. Fully fit, he jinks and smashes that. But he is not confident in his body. 8:10PM 52 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Russians enjoying a couple of corners. At this rate (5 own goals in 17 matches), this World Cup will have 19 own goals. The record most in a single World Cup is 6, set in 1998. #WorldCup#RUS#EGY— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) June 19, 2018 8:04PM OWN GOAL! by Fathy: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Aw, that is rotten luck for Egypt, although their keeper must carry his fair share of blame. Golovin crosses it in, the keeper comes out with a flappy, silly punch. Shoulda caught that. Instead, he punches, the Russian 11 Zobnin drills it back in and a panicking Fathy stabs it into his own net. (Fathy OG 47 mins) Dreadful shot by Zobnin by the way, would have practically gone out for a corner had Fathy not intervened. Egypt's goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy (R) watches as the ball ends up in his net after a deflection by Egypt's defender Ahmed Fathi (L) Credit: AFP/Getty 8:03PM 46 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Always a shame to see a brilliant player not at his best due to injury. But hopefully Mo Salah can weave a bit of magic. 8:00PM This shows Salah's position (10) Average touch positions (half time) He's basically playing as a narrow advanced forward. Alan Shearer sums it up well on BBC: "Mo Salah, you can tell, is only 70-75% fit and they know that - they're protecting him, he's not running back and they're just trying to get the ball up to him." 7:57PM Pretty fair Russia vs Egypt shots on goal 7:46PM Half time: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That'll do it for the half, not many chances, but plenty of energy. 7:44PM 42 mins Fun, B- quality, end-to-end stuff, here are the Russians with a corner. Gabr involved in a good old fashioned grappling contest with Dzyuba. Risky business in these VAR times... 7:42PM 40 mins There's our boy! Class from Salah, Mohsen dummies, Salah gets it and spins away from his man. Peach of a curling effort but not quite. 7:40PM 37 mins Lovely counter by Egypt, but it starts in bizarre fashion when the ball hits the ref, wrong-footing everyone! Elneny with a great ball in and Mohsen should have done a lot better. 7:35PM 34 mins Nice ball in! Mohsen just misses out to Figueira Fernandes of Russia. More even now. 7:34PM 33 mins Better spell from Egypt. Passing it, higher up the pitch. Looking slicker, ball into the area from Shafy is flicked on. Salah nearly there at the back stick! Corner. Delivery is poor. 7:33PM 30 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Enjoyable game so far. Russia unsophisticated but useful, got some pace, got some who can deliver the ball, attack in numbers. Egypt are unbalanced. They need to just get a bit of the ball, play themselves into this. 7:28PM 27 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Decent from Salah as he holds it up to tee up Trézéguet , whose shot is charged down. But it is a momentary respite: here come the Russians again. 7:27PM 25 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 This Egypt defence are making some blunders and I think they are going to be sorry. A ball is played in by Cheryshev. Keeper El-Shenawy comes, and is barged off it by Hegazi. Don't panic! 7:25PM 22 mins Salah is not doing a lot. And as I say, he is not offering anything defensively, just standing out on the right wing. Here come the Russians down the left. Gazinskii crosses and the big lad Dzyuba gets up well but glances his header too fine. 7:19PM 18 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Zhirkov takes a freekick but is wasteful with the delivery. But Russia get a lucky break when it rebounds out to Cheryshev. he has a crack, and it is not far over. 7:16PM 16 mins Lovely run from Trézéguet down the inside-left, he tries to bend it in at the far post and he is not far at all from achieving that end. 7:15PM 14 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 El Said spins away from Kutepov and was fouled. From a corner, Egypt have a headed chance. Attempt Saved: Russia 0 - 0 Egypt (Marwan Mohsen, 15 min) Behind for another corner. Another good ball in, cleared but only as far as the corner flag. Good spell for the visitors, their best of the match so far. 7:13PM 13 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That's it! Salah gets a long ball on the right, gives it inside and goes into the box. He is stopped by multiple Russians. 7:11PM 11 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Samedov and Figueira Fernandes link up well down the right but the latter cannot quite find the final ball. 7:10PM 10 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Very encouraging start from the hosts. Egypt pinned back. Salah hasn't featured. Also: Salah is not tracking back, which is fine in and of itself but somebody else needs to help out the right back in which case. 7:08PM 8 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 It's all Russia. Egypt cannot get out. 7:08PM 6 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Defensive blunder by Egypt! Sloppy, dawdling play out from the back, Golovin pinches it and races forward. He is disappointed not to have done better with the shot. 7:07PM 5 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Russia have the game's first corner.. Taken short, and it is played in by Samedov, headed by the veteran Ignashevich. Not troubling anyone, that. 7:04PM 3 mins Plenty of atmos, some beefy challenges but neither side able to dominate so far. Russia looking for raking balls to their hefty forward Artem Dzyuba. 7:01PM 1 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Egypt, in white, kick off. 7:01PM And Egypt Egypt side Credit: BBC 6:58PM Here's how Russia should line up Credit: BBC 6:56PM Russian anthem Powerful stuff. 6:55PM Egyptian anthem being belted out around the stadium, they seem to have got a few in. Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah... he's in! Credit: AFP/Getty 6:50PM Noice Russia ���� fans gather outside the entrance to Red Square as anticipation mounts ahead of the hosts’ group match against Egypt ���� in St. Petersburg. Mo Salah starts for The Pharaohs #RUSEGY ⁦@FIFAWorldCup⁩ ⁦@RT_com⁩ pic.twitter.com/TEqBth3fTC— Kate Partridge (@KatePartridge33) June 19, 2018 6:49PM Danny Murphy Bit over-dressed, aren't you? Like you just stepped out of a bookies: Danny Murphy Credit: BBC 6:48PM Fans Credit: BBC 6:35PM Who's having a good tournament? 6:34PM Where's your money, then? Here is our betting guide to a tasty fixture. Russia: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Zobnin, Gazinsky, Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev, Dzyuba. Subs: Lunev, Semenov, Kuzyaev, Dzagoev, Smolov, Kudryashov, Granat, Aleksey Miranchuk, Anton Miranchuk, Erokhin, Smolnikov, Gabulov. Egypt: El Shenawy, Fathi, Gabr, Hegazi, Abdel-Shafy, Hamed, Elneny, Salah, Said, Trezeguet, Mohsen. Subs: El Hadary, Elmohamady, Gaber, Morsy, Kahraba, Ashraf, Sobhi, Hamdy, Shikabala, Samir, Warda, Ekramy. Referee: Enrique Caceres (Paraguay) 6:21PM Salah news! The Premier League's top scorer adds some much-needed bite to an Egyptian attack that struggled to threaten Uruguay in a 1-0 loss Friday. On the other side, Russia winger Denis Cheryshev has promoted to the starting lineup after scoring twice as a substitute in Thursday's tournament-opening 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia. Egypt: Mohamed Elshenawy, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Abdelshafy, Ahmed Fathi, Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Elneny, Abdalla Said, Mohamed Salah, Mahmoud Hassan, Marwan Mohsen. Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kutepov, Sergei Ignashevich, Denis Cheryshev, Yuri Gazinsky, Fyodor Smolov, Roman Zobnin, Alexander Golovin, Yuri Zhirkov, Alexander Samedov. 6:20PM Heartwarming news! Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Blatter posed for photographs with people on his arrival at a five-star hotel downtown. The 82-year-old former FIFA president is banned from official football duty until October 2021 for financial misconduct during this 17-year rule. This is Blatter's first public appearance outside his native Switzerland since July 2015 when the World Cup qualifying draw was conducted in St. Petersburg. Blatter shared the stage that day with Putin and could meet with the Russian president this week. The FIFA ban does not prevent Blatter attending games and he is expected to see Portugal play Morocco on Wednesday at Luzhniki Stadium. 5:49PM And please welcome your hosts.... Russia! Starting Eleven @TeamRussia vs @Pharaohs#Rusia2018#RUSEGYpic.twitter.com/HLD5EZt081— Сборная России (@TeamRussia) June 19, 2018 Playing in their controversial 4-4-4 formation and giving a start to an old geezer who has come in the wrong PE kit. 5:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Saint Petersburg Stadium 5:46PM More on Mo Egypt striker Mohamed Salah will make his first appearance at the World Cup after being named in the starting line-up for tonight's match with Russia, the Egyptian Football Association has announced. The Liverpool forward has been sidelined since injuring his shoulder during last month's Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid. Salah, who was an unused substitute in Egypt's Group A opener against Uruguay on Friday, will lead his side as they face hosts Russia at Krestovsky Stadium in an attempt to bounce back from that defeat with a result. 5:45PM Here's all our reaction to the England game Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men 5:44PM Liverpool sending good vibes @MoSalah starts. ������#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/UbZbrhIFPR— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 19, 2018 5:43PM Teams إليكم تشكيل #الفراعنة لمباراة الليلة #worldcup#ThePharaohs#RUSEGY#RUS �� #Egypic.twitter.com/fMV9pNzzYk— Egypt National Football Team (@Pharaohs) June 19, 2018 5:39PM He's in Mo Salah starts! Full team news coming up. Great news: Mo Salah starts for Egypt.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 19, 2018 5:35PM All hail the Egyptian King! Good evening, and welcome to our live blog of the first of the second round of group games. Everyone, with the exception of the Russian football team and fans, is surely hoping that Mo Salah is fit enough to play in this match, and fit enough to give a good account of himself. Ronaldo has already lit up the tournament, Messi was poor, Suarez looked a bit fat and off the pace, De Bruyne had his moments, and now it is the chance for one of the other top, top, top, top players to make his mark, we hope. his Egypt side will play the hosts badly needing a result. Egypt lost by the single goal to Uruguay the other day and cannot afford another slip up. As for the hosts, they got the tournament off to an unexpectedly joyous start in the first game when they walloped Saudi Arabia. Of all the teams I have seen in the competition only the Saudis could be said to be without merit or ability, and I full expect all the other teams in this group to have the full three points off them. But anyone will be doing well to better the goal difference good times that Russia have got for themselves. In all likelihood, Uruguay are going to have six points within the next 24 hours and that means that this game is a very important fixture for Egypt. We will have the team news as soon as it comes in, the match itself starts at 7pm UK time. Meanwhile, why not follow the end of Poland V Senegal here with JJ Bull?
Russia move to brink of qualification for knockout rounds after second-half blitz sees off Egypt
Eight goals in two games have averted Russia’s nightmare of spending tens of millions of dollars on a World Cup only to go out in the group stage. Mohamed Salah meanwhile has been restricted to a penalty, lots of physio on his injured shoulder and an awkward meeting with Chechnya’s warlord. Salah’s penalty kick when Egypt already trailed 3-0 was a small reward for his hard work in the treatment room and gym. It pales, though, beside the potential dividend for Russia from 5-0 and 3-1 victories against two of the tournament’s weaker sides. If all the hosts could hope for was to string their presence out to the point of respectability, their supporters now have something to be excited about beyond the stardust spread by other countries. If Saudi Arabia fail to beat Uruguay (and who would back them to win?) Russia will advance to the knock-out rounds for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Saint Petersburg Stadium was not full for this second home triumph, but the 64,468 here were giddy as three second-half goals flew in inside 15 minutes (the first, a ludicrous own goal). Salah performed honourably after missing the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay, but to expect him to walk straight back in and rescue Egypt was fanciful, especially as he lacks team-mates of the quality of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. His goal came in the 73rd minute after he was pulled down by the arm (this is becoming a pattern), apparently outside the Russia penalty box, until VAR showed it to be penalty. These Russia players are pretty much equal and indistinguishable. The Soviet system would have been proud of this mechanical team. It’s as if their training stopped at pass and run, which they do well, and dispensed with the subtleties of the game, such as ingenuity and vision around the penalty box. Denis Cheryshev has been the best of them, and their energy and commitment ought to be acknowledged. Not that they will feel they had much choice in those respects. Russia have made a brilliant start to the tournament on home soil Credit: AFP They are all Russia have, and were cast into a home World Cup as the lowest-ranked team in the tournament with the unenviable task of matching the grandeur of the stadiums. Plainly this is going to be beyond them, however uplifting their 5-0 opening night win against Saudi Arabia - the biggest curtain-raising victory by a host country since 1934 - and this own-goal assisted win over Salah and company. Standing between the new Russian empire and progress to the Round of 16 was an Egypt side now emotionally dependent on Salah. The lauding of him before the game was at a level not even Liverpool fans could hope to match. His name was cheered at least three times louder than any other Egypt player, and each glimpse of him on the big screen ignited a new Egyptian party. In the game, Salah started wide-right, dispensing with defensive duties to try his luck against Yury Zhirkov, an old hand steeled for the fight. Denis Cheryshev scores Russia's second goal Credit: REuters It took Zhirkov 21 minutes to land a bang on the shoulder Salah injured in a tangle with Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final in Kiev. The challenge was fair, but spun Salah round, and soon the Premier League’s golden boot winner moved to play more centrally. He was more effective there, his first real chance on goal coming with a turn and swivel on the edge of Russia’s penalty box. But the shot from the pirouette slid wide. Egypt’s campaign, though was about to take a comical turn, two minutes after the break, when Roman Zobnin miscued a shot after a bad punch by the goalkeeper, and Ahmed Fathy, the Egyptian captain, under pressure from Artem Dzyuba, took a wild swing at it and swiped it into his own net. Bare-chested Egyptian fans in Pharoah headgear looked on miserably. Egypt’s defence, like Saudi Arabia’s, disintegrated, conceding three times, twice abjectly . Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah dribbles past Russia's defender Sergey Ignashevich Credit: AFP With Salah’s team still reeling from the own goal, Mario Fernandes cut a cross back for Cheryshev to double the lead, and then Ali Gabr failed to control a dropping ball on the edge of his box and allowed it to run to Dzyuba, the former star Russian striker who lost his way. Dzyuba’s military salute for the goal was in tune with his combative work in unsettling Egypt’s back four. The defensive ineptitude of opponents is helping Russia, but their probable advance will help maintain the interest of those who are ultimately paying for most of it - the Russian public, who have been treated to eight goals and plenty of workmanlike enterprise from their team. Salah, in effect, lost his World Cup campaign in the Champions League final, though he fought his way back to leave a small mark here. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 9:03PM That's moved the boy Denis Level with He Who Must Not Be Mentioned in the race for the Golden Boot. 8:58PM Class piece from Jim White Seems absolutely ridiculous that these two fans have to travel to Russia to watch their team play football live. Why? Because they are women from Iran. https://t.co/pSLIeiuqvz— Jim White (@jimw1) June 19, 2018 8:57PM Uruguay will have enjoyed that. Now a World Cup last-16 place is theirs for the taking if they beat Saudi Arabia. 8:55PM Group A Table 8:54PM Nice! Best goal difference by a host nation through two #WorldCup games: +7 ���� 2018 Russia +7 ���� 1998 France (won title) +6 ���� 1934 Italy (won title) +5 ���� 1930 Uruguay (won title)— Paul Carr (@PaulCarrTM) June 19, 2018 8:52PM Full time: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Hard lines for Egypt, but Russia are having a bit of a moment and deserved their win. 8:49PM 90+ mins: there will be four minutes added Warda and Kudryashov square up. Kudryashov looks like he could eat Warda for breakfast and still have room for pancakes. The hosts are, barring an astonishing Saudi Arabia result, going through. 8:47PM 89 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Nice move, Salah nearly dancing through, they get the break of the ball and Warda, from the right, hits it wide of the post. 8:46PM 86 mins Warda with a useful cross in. Since they, erm, went 3-0 down Egypt have played with a lot more vim. Also, other attacking players have started trying to do something rather than just looking to Salah. This is the problem with a one man team, obvs. 8:45PM 85 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt having the odd 1/4 chance but to be honest this feels remote in the extreme as a possibility. 8:42PM 84 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kahraba on, Mohsen off. Yuri Zhirkov is replaced by Fedor Kudryashov. 8:38PM 80 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt getting greedy, now they want another pen. Mohsen hits the deck. Kutepov the accused. No penalty. And I'll tell you why not: because Mohsen had fouled HIM. 8:37PM 79 mins: Golovin controls the ball majestically, nips past Gabr and waits for the foul, and the inevitable freekick. Ref doesn't give it. Snigger. Smolov comes on for Dzubya. 8:33PM 75 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kuziaev comes on, the dangerman Cheryshev off. Russia have a decent opportunity to slam the coffin lid down when Samedov delivers a useful freekick to the back stick. Ignashevich's header is saved. 8:31PM VAR to the rescue Again, VAR gets there. But poor refereeing. Always been a penalty.— Matt Smith (@msmith850) June 19, 2018 8:31PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 1 (Salah 73 pen) He's wellied that! Bosh. No messing from Mo Salah. Is that an improbable lifeline? 8:30PM 71 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 0 Salah is hauled down. To most viewers, it is clear that it is inside the box. But not to the referee though. He gives it outside the box but fortunately the VAR comes to the rescue. A PENALTY IS AWARDED Credit: BBC 8:25PM 66 mins Fed by Salah with a nice ball, Trezeguet has a shot wide, and that will be Trezeguet's last contribution. He's getting the hook, and here comes Sobhi. 8:22PM 65 mins Warda on, Elneny off. Egypt have a freekick, Gabr tries to make amends for his defensive spinelessness with a header. No. 8:20PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 0 (Dzyuba 62) Another one! Oh dear, this is turning into a horrible night for the Pharoahs. Route one, big Dzyuba chests the ball down and it's men against boys as Gabr and Hegazi crumble and let him through. Hammers it home and that, my friends, is the night boat to Cairo. Artem Dzyuba of Russia scores Credit: Getty 8:16PM GOAL! Russia 2 Egypt 0 (Cheryshev 59) Ooh, that is going to be the killer blow, surely. Nice work from Figueira Fernandes, heart and energy down the right to join the attack. Pulls the ball back, and there is the deadly Denis Cheryshev to slot the ball home. That's his third of the tournament by the way, and it looks likely that it is going to send Russia through... and send poor Egypt home. 8:14PM No OG no fun There were no own-goals at all at the 1958 and 1962 World Cups. What miserable times they must have been.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) June 19, 2018 8:13PM 55 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 That was the moment? Maybe? The ball is played into the Russian box, knockdown, Salah has it at his feet eight yards out.... but he cannot get it out from under him and the desperate Russians can clear. Fully fit, he jinks and smashes that. But he is not confident in his body. 8:10PM 52 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Russians enjoying a couple of corners. At this rate (5 own goals in 17 matches), this World Cup will have 19 own goals. The record most in a single World Cup is 6, set in 1998. #WorldCup#RUS#EGY— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) June 19, 2018 8:04PM OWN GOAL! by Fathy: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Aw, that is rotten luck for Egypt, although their keeper must carry his fair share of blame. Golovin crosses it in, the keeper comes out with a flappy, silly punch. Shoulda caught that. Instead, he punches, the Russian 11 Zobnin drills it back in and a panicking Fathy stabs it into his own net. (Fathy OG 47 mins) Dreadful shot by Zobnin by the way, would have practically gone out for a corner had Fathy not intervened. Egypt's goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy (R) watches as the ball ends up in his net after a deflection by Egypt's defender Ahmed Fathi (L) Credit: AFP/Getty 8:03PM 46 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Always a shame to see a brilliant player not at his best due to injury. But hopefully Mo Salah can weave a bit of magic. 8:00PM This shows Salah's position (10) Average touch positions (half time) He's basically playing as a narrow advanced forward. Alan Shearer sums it up well on BBC: "Mo Salah, you can tell, is only 70-75% fit and they know that - they're protecting him, he's not running back and they're just trying to get the ball up to him." 7:57PM Pretty fair Russia vs Egypt shots on goal 7:46PM Half time: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That'll do it for the half, not many chances, but plenty of energy. 7:44PM 42 mins Fun, B- quality, end-to-end stuff, here are the Russians with a corner. Gabr involved in a good old fashioned grappling contest with Dzyuba. Risky business in these VAR times... 7:42PM 40 mins There's our boy! Class from Salah, Mohsen dummies, Salah gets it and spins away from his man. Peach of a curling effort but not quite. 7:40PM 37 mins Lovely counter by Egypt, but it starts in bizarre fashion when the ball hits the ref, wrong-footing everyone! Elneny with a great ball in and Mohsen should have done a lot better. 7:35PM 34 mins Nice ball in! Mohsen just misses out to Figueira Fernandes of Russia. More even now. 7:34PM 33 mins Better spell from Egypt. Passing it, higher up the pitch. Looking slicker, ball into the area from Shafy is flicked on. Salah nearly there at the back stick! Corner. Delivery is poor. 7:33PM 30 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Enjoyable game so far. Russia unsophisticated but useful, got some pace, got some who can deliver the ball, attack in numbers. Egypt are unbalanced. They need to just get a bit of the ball, play themselves into this. 7:28PM 27 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Decent from Salah as he holds it up to tee up Trézéguet , whose shot is charged down. But it is a momentary respite: here come the Russians again. 7:27PM 25 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 This Egypt defence are making some blunders and I think they are going to be sorry. A ball is played in by Cheryshev. Keeper El-Shenawy comes, and is barged off it by Hegazi. Don't panic! 7:25PM 22 mins Salah is not doing a lot. And as I say, he is not offering anything defensively, just standing out on the right wing. Here come the Russians down the left. Gazinskii crosses and the big lad Dzyuba gets up well but glances his header too fine. 7:19PM 18 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Zhirkov takes a freekick but is wasteful with the delivery. But Russia get a lucky break when it rebounds out to Cheryshev. he has a crack, and it is not far over. 7:16PM 16 mins Lovely run from Trézéguet down the inside-left, he tries to bend it in at the far post and he is not far at all from achieving that end. 7:15PM 14 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 El Said spins away from Kutepov and was fouled. From a corner, Egypt have a headed chance. Attempt Saved: Russia 0 - 0 Egypt (Marwan Mohsen, 15 min) Behind for another corner. Another good ball in, cleared but only as far as the corner flag. Good spell for the visitors, their best of the match so far. 7:13PM 13 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That's it! Salah gets a long ball on the right, gives it inside and goes into the box. He is stopped by multiple Russians. 7:11PM 11 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Samedov and Figueira Fernandes link up well down the right but the latter cannot quite find the final ball. 7:10PM 10 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Very encouraging start from the hosts. Egypt pinned back. Salah hasn't featured. Also: Salah is not tracking back, which is fine in and of itself but somebody else needs to help out the right back in which case. 7:08PM 8 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 It's all Russia. Egypt cannot get out. 7:08PM 6 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Defensive blunder by Egypt! Sloppy, dawdling play out from the back, Golovin pinches it and races forward. He is disappointed not to have done better with the shot. 7:07PM 5 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Russia have the game's first corner.. Taken short, and it is played in by Samedov, headed by the veteran Ignashevich. Not troubling anyone, that. 7:04PM 3 mins Plenty of atmos, some beefy challenges but neither side able to dominate so far. Russia looking for raking balls to their hefty forward Artem Dzyuba. 7:01PM 1 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Egypt, in white, kick off. 7:01PM And Egypt Egypt side Credit: BBC 6:58PM Here's how Russia should line up Credit: BBC 6:56PM Russian anthem Powerful stuff. 6:55PM Egyptian anthem being belted out around the stadium, they seem to have got a few in. Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah... he's in! Credit: AFP/Getty 6:50PM Noice Russia ���� fans gather outside the entrance to Red Square as anticipation mounts ahead of the hosts’ group match against Egypt ���� in St. Petersburg. Mo Salah starts for The Pharaohs #RUSEGY ⁦@FIFAWorldCup⁩ ⁦@RT_com⁩ pic.twitter.com/TEqBth3fTC— Kate Partridge (@KatePartridge33) June 19, 2018 6:49PM Danny Murphy Bit over-dressed, aren't you? Like you just stepped out of a bookies: Danny Murphy Credit: BBC 6:48PM Fans Credit: BBC 6:35PM Who's having a good tournament? 6:34PM Where's your money, then? Here is our betting guide to a tasty fixture. Russia: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Zobnin, Gazinsky, Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev, Dzyuba. Subs: Lunev, Semenov, Kuzyaev, Dzagoev, Smolov, Kudryashov, Granat, Aleksey Miranchuk, Anton Miranchuk, Erokhin, Smolnikov, Gabulov. Egypt: El Shenawy, Fathi, Gabr, Hegazi, Abdel-Shafy, Hamed, Elneny, Salah, Said, Trezeguet, Mohsen. Subs: El Hadary, Elmohamady, Gaber, Morsy, Kahraba, Ashraf, Sobhi, Hamdy, Shikabala, Samir, Warda, Ekramy. Referee: Enrique Caceres (Paraguay) 6:21PM Salah news! The Premier League's top scorer adds some much-needed bite to an Egyptian attack that struggled to threaten Uruguay in a 1-0 loss Friday. On the other side, Russia winger Denis Cheryshev has promoted to the starting lineup after scoring twice as a substitute in Thursday's tournament-opening 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia. Egypt: Mohamed Elshenawy, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Abdelshafy, Ahmed Fathi, Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Elneny, Abdalla Said, Mohamed Salah, Mahmoud Hassan, Marwan Mohsen. Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kutepov, Sergei Ignashevich, Denis Cheryshev, Yuri Gazinsky, Fyodor Smolov, Roman Zobnin, Alexander Golovin, Yuri Zhirkov, Alexander Samedov. 6:20PM Heartwarming news! Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Blatter posed for photographs with people on his arrival at a five-star hotel downtown. The 82-year-old former FIFA president is banned from official football duty until October 2021 for financial misconduct during this 17-year rule. This is Blatter's first public appearance outside his native Switzerland since July 2015 when the World Cup qualifying draw was conducted in St. Petersburg. Blatter shared the stage that day with Putin and could meet with the Russian president this week. The FIFA ban does not prevent Blatter attending games and he is expected to see Portugal play Morocco on Wednesday at Luzhniki Stadium. 5:49PM And please welcome your hosts.... Russia! Starting Eleven @TeamRussia vs @Pharaohs#Rusia2018#RUSEGYpic.twitter.com/HLD5EZt081— Сборная России (@TeamRussia) June 19, 2018 Playing in their controversial 4-4-4 formation and giving a start to an old geezer who has come in the wrong PE kit. 5:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Saint Petersburg Stadium 5:46PM More on Mo Egypt striker Mohamed Salah will make his first appearance at the World Cup after being named in the starting line-up for tonight's match with Russia, the Egyptian Football Association has announced. The Liverpool forward has been sidelined since injuring his shoulder during last month's Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid. Salah, who was an unused substitute in Egypt's Group A opener against Uruguay on Friday, will lead his side as they face hosts Russia at Krestovsky Stadium in an attempt to bounce back from that defeat with a result. 5:45PM Here's all our reaction to the England game Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men 5:44PM Liverpool sending good vibes @MoSalah starts. ������#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/UbZbrhIFPR— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 19, 2018 5:43PM Teams إليكم تشكيل #الفراعنة لمباراة الليلة #worldcup#ThePharaohs#RUSEGY#RUS �� #Egypic.twitter.com/fMV9pNzzYk— Egypt National Football Team (@Pharaohs) June 19, 2018 5:39PM He's in Mo Salah starts! Full team news coming up. Great news: Mo Salah starts for Egypt.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 19, 2018 5:35PM All hail the Egyptian King! Good evening, and welcome to our live blog of the first of the second round of group games. Everyone, with the exception of the Russian football team and fans, is surely hoping that Mo Salah is fit enough to play in this match, and fit enough to give a good account of himself. Ronaldo has already lit up the tournament, Messi was poor, Suarez looked a bit fat and off the pace, De Bruyne had his moments, and now it is the chance for one of the other top, top, top, top players to make his mark, we hope. his Egypt side will play the hosts badly needing a result. Egypt lost by the single goal to Uruguay the other day and cannot afford another slip up. As for the hosts, they got the tournament off to an unexpectedly joyous start in the first game when they walloped Saudi Arabia. Of all the teams I have seen in the competition only the Saudis could be said to be without merit or ability, and I full expect all the other teams in this group to have the full three points off them. But anyone will be doing well to better the goal difference good times that Russia have got for themselves. In all likelihood, Uruguay are going to have six points within the next 24 hours and that means that this game is a very important fixture for Egypt. We will have the team news as soon as it comes in, the match itself starts at 7pm UK time. Meanwhile, why not follow the end of Poland V Senegal here with JJ Bull?
Eight goals in two games have averted Russia’s nightmare of spending tens of millions of dollars on a World Cup only to go out in the group stage. Mohamed Salah meanwhile has been restricted to a penalty, lots of physio on his injured shoulder and an awkward meeting with Chechnya’s warlord. Salah’s penalty kick when Egypt already trailed 3-0 was a small reward for his hard work in the treatment room and gym. It pales, though, beside the potential dividend for Russia from 5-0 and 3-1 victories against two of the tournament’s weaker sides. If all the hosts could hope for was to string their presence out to the point of respectability, their supporters now have something to be excited about beyond the stardust spread by other countries. If Saudi Arabia fail to beat Uruguay (and who would back them to win?) Russia will advance to the knock-out rounds for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Saint Petersburg Stadium was not full for this second home triumph, but the 64,468 here were giddy as three second-half goals flew in inside 15 minutes (the first, a ludicrous own goal). Salah performed honourably after missing the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay, but to expect him to walk straight back in and rescue Egypt was fanciful, especially as he lacks team-mates of the quality of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. His goal came in the 73rd minute after he was pulled down by the arm (this is becoming a pattern), apparently outside the Russia penalty box, until VAR showed it to be penalty. These Russia players are pretty much equal and indistinguishable. The Soviet system would have been proud of this mechanical team. It’s as if their training stopped at pass and run, which they do well, and dispensed with the subtleties of the game, such as ingenuity and vision around the penalty box. Denis Cheryshev has been the best of them, and their energy and commitment ought to be acknowledged. Not that they will feel they had much choice in those respects. Russia have made a brilliant start to the tournament on home soil Credit: AFP They are all Russia have, and were cast into a home World Cup as the lowest-ranked team in the tournament with the unenviable task of matching the grandeur of the stadiums. Plainly this is going to be beyond them, however uplifting their 5-0 opening night win against Saudi Arabia - the biggest curtain-raising victory by a host country since 1934 - and this own-goal assisted win over Salah and company. Standing between the new Russian empire and progress to the Round of 16 was an Egypt side now emotionally dependent on Salah. The lauding of him before the game was at a level not even Liverpool fans could hope to match. His name was cheered at least three times louder than any other Egypt player, and each glimpse of him on the big screen ignited a new Egyptian party. In the game, Salah started wide-right, dispensing with defensive duties to try his luck against Yury Zhirkov, an old hand steeled for the fight. Denis Cheryshev scores Russia's second goal Credit: REuters It took Zhirkov 21 minutes to land a bang on the shoulder Salah injured in a tangle with Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final in Kiev. The challenge was fair, but spun Salah round, and soon the Premier League’s golden boot winner moved to play more centrally. He was more effective there, his first real chance on goal coming with a turn and swivel on the edge of Russia’s penalty box. But the shot from the pirouette slid wide. Egypt’s campaign, though was about to take a comical turn, two minutes after the break, when Roman Zobnin miscued a shot after a bad punch by the goalkeeper, and Ahmed Fathy, the Egyptian captain, under pressure from Artem Dzyuba, took a wild swing at it and swiped it into his own net. Bare-chested Egyptian fans in Pharoah headgear looked on miserably. Egypt’s defence, like Saudi Arabia’s, disintegrated, conceding three times, twice abjectly . Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah dribbles past Russia's defender Sergey Ignashevich Credit: AFP With Salah’s team still reeling from the own goal, Mario Fernandes cut a cross back for Cheryshev to double the lead, and then Ali Gabr failed to control a dropping ball on the edge of his box and allowed it to run to Dzyuba, the former star Russian striker who lost his way. Dzyuba’s military salute for the goal was in tune with his combative work in unsettling Egypt’s back four. The defensive ineptitude of opponents is helping Russia, but their probable advance will help maintain the interest of those who are ultimately paying for most of it - the Russian public, who have been treated to eight goals and plenty of workmanlike enterprise from their team. Salah, in effect, lost his World Cup campaign in the Champions League final, though he fought his way back to leave a small mark here. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 9:03PM That's moved the boy Denis Level with He Who Must Not Be Mentioned in the race for the Golden Boot. 8:58PM Class piece from Jim White Seems absolutely ridiculous that these two fans have to travel to Russia to watch their team play football live. Why? Because they are women from Iran. https://t.co/pSLIeiuqvz— Jim White (@jimw1) June 19, 2018 8:57PM Uruguay will have enjoyed that. Now a World Cup last-16 place is theirs for the taking if they beat Saudi Arabia. 8:55PM Group A Table 8:54PM Nice! Best goal difference by a host nation through two #WorldCup games: +7 ���� 2018 Russia +7 ���� 1998 France (won title) +6 ���� 1934 Italy (won title) +5 ���� 1930 Uruguay (won title)— Paul Carr (@PaulCarrTM) June 19, 2018 8:52PM Full time: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Hard lines for Egypt, but Russia are having a bit of a moment and deserved their win. 8:49PM 90+ mins: there will be four minutes added Warda and Kudryashov square up. Kudryashov looks like he could eat Warda for breakfast and still have room for pancakes. The hosts are, barring an astonishing Saudi Arabia result, going through. 8:47PM 89 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Nice move, Salah nearly dancing through, they get the break of the ball and Warda, from the right, hits it wide of the post. 8:46PM 86 mins Warda with a useful cross in. Since they, erm, went 3-0 down Egypt have played with a lot more vim. Also, other attacking players have started trying to do something rather than just looking to Salah. This is the problem with a one man team, obvs. 8:45PM 85 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt having the odd 1/4 chance but to be honest this feels remote in the extreme as a possibility. 8:42PM 84 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kahraba on, Mohsen off. Yuri Zhirkov is replaced by Fedor Kudryashov. 8:38PM 80 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt getting greedy, now they want another pen. Mohsen hits the deck. Kutepov the accused. No penalty. And I'll tell you why not: because Mohsen had fouled HIM. 8:37PM 79 mins: Golovin controls the ball majestically, nips past Gabr and waits for the foul, and the inevitable freekick. Ref doesn't give it. Snigger. Smolov comes on for Dzubya. 8:33PM 75 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kuziaev comes on, the dangerman Cheryshev off. Russia have a decent opportunity to slam the coffin lid down when Samedov delivers a useful freekick to the back stick. Ignashevich's header is saved. 8:31PM VAR to the rescue Again, VAR gets there. But poor refereeing. Always been a penalty.— Matt Smith (@msmith850) June 19, 2018 8:31PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 1 (Salah 73 pen) He's wellied that! Bosh. No messing from Mo Salah. Is that an improbable lifeline? 8:30PM 71 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 0 Salah is hauled down. To most viewers, it is clear that it is inside the box. But not to the referee though. He gives it outside the box but fortunately the VAR comes to the rescue. A PENALTY IS AWARDED Credit: BBC 8:25PM 66 mins Fed by Salah with a nice ball, Trezeguet has a shot wide, and that will be Trezeguet's last contribution. He's getting the hook, and here comes Sobhi. 8:22PM 65 mins Warda on, Elneny off. Egypt have a freekick, Gabr tries to make amends for his defensive spinelessness with a header. No. 8:20PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 0 (Dzyuba 62) Another one! Oh dear, this is turning into a horrible night for the Pharoahs. Route one, big Dzyuba chests the ball down and it's men against boys as Gabr and Hegazi crumble and let him through. Hammers it home and that, my friends, is the night boat to Cairo. Artem Dzyuba of Russia scores Credit: Getty 8:16PM GOAL! Russia 2 Egypt 0 (Cheryshev 59) Ooh, that is going to be the killer blow, surely. Nice work from Figueira Fernandes, heart and energy down the right to join the attack. Pulls the ball back, and there is the deadly Denis Cheryshev to slot the ball home. That's his third of the tournament by the way, and it looks likely that it is going to send Russia through... and send poor Egypt home. 8:14PM No OG no fun There were no own-goals at all at the 1958 and 1962 World Cups. What miserable times they must have been.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) June 19, 2018 8:13PM 55 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 That was the moment? Maybe? The ball is played into the Russian box, knockdown, Salah has it at his feet eight yards out.... but he cannot get it out from under him and the desperate Russians can clear. Fully fit, he jinks and smashes that. But he is not confident in his body. 8:10PM 52 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Russians enjoying a couple of corners. At this rate (5 own goals in 17 matches), this World Cup will have 19 own goals. The record most in a single World Cup is 6, set in 1998. #WorldCup#RUS#EGY— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) June 19, 2018 8:04PM OWN GOAL! by Fathy: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Aw, that is rotten luck for Egypt, although their keeper must carry his fair share of blame. Golovin crosses it in, the keeper comes out with a flappy, silly punch. Shoulda caught that. Instead, he punches, the Russian 11 Zobnin drills it back in and a panicking Fathy stabs it into his own net. (Fathy OG 47 mins) Dreadful shot by Zobnin by the way, would have practically gone out for a corner had Fathy not intervened. Egypt's goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy (R) watches as the ball ends up in his net after a deflection by Egypt's defender Ahmed Fathi (L) Credit: AFP/Getty 8:03PM 46 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Always a shame to see a brilliant player not at his best due to injury. But hopefully Mo Salah can weave a bit of magic. 8:00PM This shows Salah's position (10) Average touch positions (half time) He's basically playing as a narrow advanced forward. Alan Shearer sums it up well on BBC: "Mo Salah, you can tell, is only 70-75% fit and they know that - they're protecting him, he's not running back and they're just trying to get the ball up to him." 7:57PM Pretty fair Russia vs Egypt shots on goal 7:46PM Half time: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That'll do it for the half, not many chances, but plenty of energy. 7:44PM 42 mins Fun, B- quality, end-to-end stuff, here are the Russians with a corner. Gabr involved in a good old fashioned grappling contest with Dzyuba. Risky business in these VAR times... 7:42PM 40 mins There's our boy! Class from Salah, Mohsen dummies, Salah gets it and spins away from his man. Peach of a curling effort but not quite. 7:40PM 37 mins Lovely counter by Egypt, but it starts in bizarre fashion when the ball hits the ref, wrong-footing everyone! Elneny with a great ball in and Mohsen should have done a lot better. 7:35PM 34 mins Nice ball in! Mohsen just misses out to Figueira Fernandes of Russia. More even now. 7:34PM 33 mins Better spell from Egypt. Passing it, higher up the pitch. Looking slicker, ball into the area from Shafy is flicked on. Salah nearly there at the back stick! Corner. Delivery is poor. 7:33PM 30 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Enjoyable game so far. Russia unsophisticated but useful, got some pace, got some who can deliver the ball, attack in numbers. Egypt are unbalanced. They need to just get a bit of the ball, play themselves into this. 7:28PM 27 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Decent from Salah as he holds it up to tee up Trézéguet , whose shot is charged down. But it is a momentary respite: here come the Russians again. 7:27PM 25 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 This Egypt defence are making some blunders and I think they are going to be sorry. A ball is played in by Cheryshev. Keeper El-Shenawy comes, and is barged off it by Hegazi. Don't panic! 7:25PM 22 mins Salah is not doing a lot. And as I say, he is not offering anything defensively, just standing out on the right wing. Here come the Russians down the left. Gazinskii crosses and the big lad Dzyuba gets up well but glances his header too fine. 7:19PM 18 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Zhirkov takes a freekick but is wasteful with the delivery. But Russia get a lucky break when it rebounds out to Cheryshev. he has a crack, and it is not far over. 7:16PM 16 mins Lovely run from Trézéguet down the inside-left, he tries to bend it in at the far post and he is not far at all from achieving that end. 7:15PM 14 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 El Said spins away from Kutepov and was fouled. From a corner, Egypt have a headed chance. Attempt Saved: Russia 0 - 0 Egypt (Marwan Mohsen, 15 min) Behind for another corner. Another good ball in, cleared but only as far as the corner flag. Good spell for the visitors, their best of the match so far. 7:13PM 13 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That's it! Salah gets a long ball on the right, gives it inside and goes into the box. He is stopped by multiple Russians. 7:11PM 11 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Samedov and Figueira Fernandes link up well down the right but the latter cannot quite find the final ball. 7:10PM 10 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Very encouraging start from the hosts. Egypt pinned back. Salah hasn't featured. Also: Salah is not tracking back, which is fine in and of itself but somebody else needs to help out the right back in which case. 7:08PM 8 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 It's all Russia. Egypt cannot get out. 7:08PM 6 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Defensive blunder by Egypt! Sloppy, dawdling play out from the back, Golovin pinches it and races forward. He is disappointed not to have done better with the shot. 7:07PM 5 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Russia have the game's first corner.. Taken short, and it is played in by Samedov, headed by the veteran Ignashevich. Not troubling anyone, that. 7:04PM 3 mins Plenty of atmos, some beefy challenges but neither side able to dominate so far. Russia looking for raking balls to their hefty forward Artem Dzyuba. 7:01PM 1 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Egypt, in white, kick off. 7:01PM And Egypt Egypt side Credit: BBC 6:58PM Here's how Russia should line up Credit: BBC 6:56PM Russian anthem Powerful stuff. 6:55PM Egyptian anthem being belted out around the stadium, they seem to have got a few in. Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah... he's in! Credit: AFP/Getty 6:50PM Noice Russia ���� fans gather outside the entrance to Red Square as anticipation mounts ahead of the hosts’ group match against Egypt ���� in St. Petersburg. Mo Salah starts for The Pharaohs #RUSEGY ⁦@FIFAWorldCup⁩ ⁦@RT_com⁩ pic.twitter.com/TEqBth3fTC— Kate Partridge (@KatePartridge33) June 19, 2018 6:49PM Danny Murphy Bit over-dressed, aren't you? Like you just stepped out of a bookies: Danny Murphy Credit: BBC 6:48PM Fans Credit: BBC 6:35PM Who's having a good tournament? 6:34PM Where's your money, then? Here is our betting guide to a tasty fixture. Russia: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Zobnin, Gazinsky, Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev, Dzyuba. Subs: Lunev, Semenov, Kuzyaev, Dzagoev, Smolov, Kudryashov, Granat, Aleksey Miranchuk, Anton Miranchuk, Erokhin, Smolnikov, Gabulov. Egypt: El Shenawy, Fathi, Gabr, Hegazi, Abdel-Shafy, Hamed, Elneny, Salah, Said, Trezeguet, Mohsen. Subs: El Hadary, Elmohamady, Gaber, Morsy, Kahraba, Ashraf, Sobhi, Hamdy, Shikabala, Samir, Warda, Ekramy. Referee: Enrique Caceres (Paraguay) 6:21PM Salah news! The Premier League's top scorer adds some much-needed bite to an Egyptian attack that struggled to threaten Uruguay in a 1-0 loss Friday. On the other side, Russia winger Denis Cheryshev has promoted to the starting lineup after scoring twice as a substitute in Thursday's tournament-opening 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia. Egypt: Mohamed Elshenawy, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Abdelshafy, Ahmed Fathi, Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Elneny, Abdalla Said, Mohamed Salah, Mahmoud Hassan, Marwan Mohsen. Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kutepov, Sergei Ignashevich, Denis Cheryshev, Yuri Gazinsky, Fyodor Smolov, Roman Zobnin, Alexander Golovin, Yuri Zhirkov, Alexander Samedov. 6:20PM Heartwarming news! Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Blatter posed for photographs with people on his arrival at a five-star hotel downtown. The 82-year-old former FIFA president is banned from official football duty until October 2021 for financial misconduct during this 17-year rule. This is Blatter's first public appearance outside his native Switzerland since July 2015 when the World Cup qualifying draw was conducted in St. Petersburg. Blatter shared the stage that day with Putin and could meet with the Russian president this week. The FIFA ban does not prevent Blatter attending games and he is expected to see Portugal play Morocco on Wednesday at Luzhniki Stadium. 5:49PM And please welcome your hosts.... Russia! Starting Eleven @TeamRussia vs @Pharaohs#Rusia2018#RUSEGYpic.twitter.com/HLD5EZt081— Сборная России (@TeamRussia) June 19, 2018 Playing in their controversial 4-4-4 formation and giving a start to an old geezer who has come in the wrong PE kit. 5:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Saint Petersburg Stadium 5:46PM More on Mo Egypt striker Mohamed Salah will make his first appearance at the World Cup after being named in the starting line-up for tonight's match with Russia, the Egyptian Football Association has announced. The Liverpool forward has been sidelined since injuring his shoulder during last month's Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid. Salah, who was an unused substitute in Egypt's Group A opener against Uruguay on Friday, will lead his side as they face hosts Russia at Krestovsky Stadium in an attempt to bounce back from that defeat with a result. 5:45PM Here's all our reaction to the England game Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men 5:44PM Liverpool sending good vibes @MoSalah starts. ������#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/UbZbrhIFPR— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 19, 2018 5:43PM Teams إليكم تشكيل #الفراعنة لمباراة الليلة #worldcup#ThePharaohs#RUSEGY#RUS �� #Egypic.twitter.com/fMV9pNzzYk— Egypt National Football Team (@Pharaohs) June 19, 2018 5:39PM He's in Mo Salah starts! Full team news coming up. Great news: Mo Salah starts for Egypt.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 19, 2018 5:35PM All hail the Egyptian King! Good evening, and welcome to our live blog of the first of the second round of group games. Everyone, with the exception of the Russian football team and fans, is surely hoping that Mo Salah is fit enough to play in this match, and fit enough to give a good account of himself. Ronaldo has already lit up the tournament, Messi was poor, Suarez looked a bit fat and off the pace, De Bruyne had his moments, and now it is the chance for one of the other top, top, top, top players to make his mark, we hope. his Egypt side will play the hosts badly needing a result. Egypt lost by the single goal to Uruguay the other day and cannot afford another slip up. As for the hosts, they got the tournament off to an unexpectedly joyous start in the first game when they walloped Saudi Arabia. Of all the teams I have seen in the competition only the Saudis could be said to be without merit or ability, and I full expect all the other teams in this group to have the full three points off them. But anyone will be doing well to better the goal difference good times that Russia have got for themselves. In all likelihood, Uruguay are going to have six points within the next 24 hours and that means that this game is a very important fixture for Egypt. We will have the team news as soon as it comes in, the match itself starts at 7pm UK time. Meanwhile, why not follow the end of Poland V Senegal here with JJ Bull?
Russia move to brink of qualification for knockout rounds after second-half blitz sees off Egypt
Eight goals in two games have averted Russia’s nightmare of spending tens of millions of dollars on a World Cup only to go out in the group stage. Mohamed Salah meanwhile has been restricted to a penalty, lots of physio on his injured shoulder and an awkward meeting with Chechnya’s warlord. Salah’s penalty kick when Egypt already trailed 3-0 was a small reward for his hard work in the treatment room and gym. It pales, though, beside the potential dividend for Russia from 5-0 and 3-1 victories against two of the tournament’s weaker sides. If all the hosts could hope for was to string their presence out to the point of respectability, their supporters now have something to be excited about beyond the stardust spread by other countries. If Saudi Arabia fail to beat Uruguay (and who would back them to win?) Russia will advance to the knock-out rounds for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Saint Petersburg Stadium was not full for this second home triumph, but the 64,468 here were giddy as three second-half goals flew in inside 15 minutes (the first, a ludicrous own goal). Salah performed honourably after missing the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay, but to expect him to walk straight back in and rescue Egypt was fanciful, especially as he lacks team-mates of the quality of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. His goal came in the 73rd minute after he was pulled down by the arm (this is becoming a pattern), apparently outside the Russia penalty box, until VAR showed it to be penalty. These Russia players are pretty much equal and indistinguishable. The Soviet system would have been proud of this mechanical team. It’s as if their training stopped at pass and run, which they do well, and dispensed with the subtleties of the game, such as ingenuity and vision around the penalty box. Denis Cheryshev has been the best of them, and their energy and commitment ought to be acknowledged. Not that they will feel they had much choice in those respects. Russia have made a brilliant start to the tournament on home soil Credit: AFP They are all Russia have, and were cast into a home World Cup as the lowest-ranked team in the tournament with the unenviable task of matching the grandeur of the stadiums. Plainly this is going to be beyond them, however uplifting their 5-0 opening night win against Saudi Arabia - the biggest curtain-raising victory by a host country since 1934 - and this own-goal assisted win over Salah and company. Standing between the new Russian empire and progress to the Round of 16 was an Egypt side now emotionally dependent on Salah. The lauding of him before the game was at a level not even Liverpool fans could hope to match. His name was cheered at least three times louder than any other Egypt player, and each glimpse of him on the big screen ignited a new Egyptian party. In the game, Salah started wide-right, dispensing with defensive duties to try his luck against Yury Zhirkov, an old hand steeled for the fight. Denis Cheryshev scores Russia's second goal Credit: REuters It took Zhirkov 21 minutes to land a bang on the shoulder Salah injured in a tangle with Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final in Kiev. The challenge was fair, but spun Salah round, and soon the Premier League’s golden boot winner moved to play more centrally. He was more effective there, his first real chance on goal coming with a turn and swivel on the edge of Russia’s penalty box. But the shot from the pirouette slid wide. Egypt’s campaign, though was about to take a comical turn, two minutes after the break, when Roman Zobnin miscued a shot after a bad punch by the goalkeeper, and Ahmed Fathy, the Egyptian captain, under pressure from Artem Dzyuba, took a wild swing at it and swiped it into his own net. Bare-chested Egyptian fans in Pharoah headgear looked on miserably. Egypt’s defence, like Saudi Arabia’s, disintegrated, conceding three times, twice abjectly . Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah dribbles past Russia's defender Sergey Ignashevich Credit: AFP With Salah’s team still reeling from the own goal, Mario Fernandes cut a cross back for Cheryshev to double the lead, and then Ali Gabr failed to control a dropping ball on the edge of his box and allowed it to run to Dzyuba, the former star Russian striker who lost his way. Dzyuba’s military salute for the goal was in tune with his combative work in unsettling Egypt’s back four. The defensive ineptitude of opponents is helping Russia, but their probable advance will help maintain the interest of those who are ultimately paying for most of it - the Russian public, who have been treated to eight goals and plenty of workmanlike enterprise from their team. Salah, in effect, lost his World Cup campaign in the Champions League final, though he fought his way back to leave a small mark here. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 9:03PM That's moved the boy Denis Level with He Who Must Not Be Mentioned in the race for the Golden Boot. 8:58PM Class piece from Jim White Seems absolutely ridiculous that these two fans have to travel to Russia to watch their team play football live. Why? Because they are women from Iran. https://t.co/pSLIeiuqvz— Jim White (@jimw1) June 19, 2018 8:57PM Uruguay will have enjoyed that. Now a World Cup last-16 place is theirs for the taking if they beat Saudi Arabia. 8:55PM Group A Table 8:54PM Nice! Best goal difference by a host nation through two #WorldCup games: +7 ���� 2018 Russia +7 ���� 1998 France (won title) +6 ���� 1934 Italy (won title) +5 ���� 1930 Uruguay (won title)— Paul Carr (@PaulCarrTM) June 19, 2018 8:52PM Full time: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Hard lines for Egypt, but Russia are having a bit of a moment and deserved their win. 8:49PM 90+ mins: there will be four minutes added Warda and Kudryashov square up. Kudryashov looks like he could eat Warda for breakfast and still have room for pancakes. The hosts are, barring an astonishing Saudi Arabia result, going through. 8:47PM 89 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Nice move, Salah nearly dancing through, they get the break of the ball and Warda, from the right, hits it wide of the post. 8:46PM 86 mins Warda with a useful cross in. Since they, erm, went 3-0 down Egypt have played with a lot more vim. Also, other attacking players have started trying to do something rather than just looking to Salah. This is the problem with a one man team, obvs. 8:45PM 85 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt having the odd 1/4 chance but to be honest this feels remote in the extreme as a possibility. 8:42PM 84 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kahraba on, Mohsen off. Yuri Zhirkov is replaced by Fedor Kudryashov. 8:38PM 80 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt getting greedy, now they want another pen. Mohsen hits the deck. Kutepov the accused. No penalty. And I'll tell you why not: because Mohsen had fouled HIM. 8:37PM 79 mins: Golovin controls the ball majestically, nips past Gabr and waits for the foul, and the inevitable freekick. Ref doesn't give it. Snigger. Smolov comes on for Dzubya. 8:33PM 75 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kuziaev comes on, the dangerman Cheryshev off. Russia have a decent opportunity to slam the coffin lid down when Samedov delivers a useful freekick to the back stick. Ignashevich's header is saved. 8:31PM VAR to the rescue Again, VAR gets there. But poor refereeing. Always been a penalty.— Matt Smith (@msmith850) June 19, 2018 8:31PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 1 (Salah 73 pen) He's wellied that! Bosh. No messing from Mo Salah. Is that an improbable lifeline? 8:30PM 71 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 0 Salah is hauled down. To most viewers, it is clear that it is inside the box. But not to the referee though. He gives it outside the box but fortunately the VAR comes to the rescue. A PENALTY IS AWARDED Credit: BBC 8:25PM 66 mins Fed by Salah with a nice ball, Trezeguet has a shot wide, and that will be Trezeguet's last contribution. He's getting the hook, and here comes Sobhi. 8:22PM 65 mins Warda on, Elneny off. Egypt have a freekick, Gabr tries to make amends for his defensive spinelessness with a header. No. 8:20PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 0 (Dzyuba 62) Another one! Oh dear, this is turning into a horrible night for the Pharoahs. Route one, big Dzyuba chests the ball down and it's men against boys as Gabr and Hegazi crumble and let him through. Hammers it home and that, my friends, is the night boat to Cairo. Artem Dzyuba of Russia scores Credit: Getty 8:16PM GOAL! Russia 2 Egypt 0 (Cheryshev 59) Ooh, that is going to be the killer blow, surely. Nice work from Figueira Fernandes, heart and energy down the right to join the attack. Pulls the ball back, and there is the deadly Denis Cheryshev to slot the ball home. That's his third of the tournament by the way, and it looks likely that it is going to send Russia through... and send poor Egypt home. 8:14PM No OG no fun There were no own-goals at all at the 1958 and 1962 World Cups. What miserable times they must have been.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) June 19, 2018 8:13PM 55 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 That was the moment? Maybe? The ball is played into the Russian box, knockdown, Salah has it at his feet eight yards out.... but he cannot get it out from under him and the desperate Russians can clear. Fully fit, he jinks and smashes that. But he is not confident in his body. 8:10PM 52 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Russians enjoying a couple of corners. At this rate (5 own goals in 17 matches), this World Cup will have 19 own goals. The record most in a single World Cup is 6, set in 1998. #WorldCup#RUS#EGY— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) June 19, 2018 8:04PM OWN GOAL! by Fathy: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Aw, that is rotten luck for Egypt, although their keeper must carry his fair share of blame. Golovin crosses it in, the keeper comes out with a flappy, silly punch. Shoulda caught that. Instead, he punches, the Russian 11 Zobnin drills it back in and a panicking Fathy stabs it into his own net. (Fathy OG 47 mins) Dreadful shot by Zobnin by the way, would have practically gone out for a corner had Fathy not intervened. Egypt's goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy (R) watches as the ball ends up in his net after a deflection by Egypt's defender Ahmed Fathi (L) Credit: AFP/Getty 8:03PM 46 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Always a shame to see a brilliant player not at his best due to injury. But hopefully Mo Salah can weave a bit of magic. 8:00PM This shows Salah's position (10) Average touch positions (half time) He's basically playing as a narrow advanced forward. Alan Shearer sums it up well on BBC: "Mo Salah, you can tell, is only 70-75% fit and they know that - they're protecting him, he's not running back and they're just trying to get the ball up to him." 7:57PM Pretty fair Russia vs Egypt shots on goal 7:46PM Half time: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That'll do it for the half, not many chances, but plenty of energy. 7:44PM 42 mins Fun, B- quality, end-to-end stuff, here are the Russians with a corner. Gabr involved in a good old fashioned grappling contest with Dzyuba. Risky business in these VAR times... 7:42PM 40 mins There's our boy! Class from Salah, Mohsen dummies, Salah gets it and spins away from his man. Peach of a curling effort but not quite. 7:40PM 37 mins Lovely counter by Egypt, but it starts in bizarre fashion when the ball hits the ref, wrong-footing everyone! Elneny with a great ball in and Mohsen should have done a lot better. 7:35PM 34 mins Nice ball in! Mohsen just misses out to Figueira Fernandes of Russia. More even now. 7:34PM 33 mins Better spell from Egypt. Passing it, higher up the pitch. Looking slicker, ball into the area from Shafy is flicked on. Salah nearly there at the back stick! Corner. Delivery is poor. 7:33PM 30 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Enjoyable game so far. Russia unsophisticated but useful, got some pace, got some who can deliver the ball, attack in numbers. Egypt are unbalanced. They need to just get a bit of the ball, play themselves into this. 7:28PM 27 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Decent from Salah as he holds it up to tee up Trézéguet , whose shot is charged down. But it is a momentary respite: here come the Russians again. 7:27PM 25 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 This Egypt defence are making some blunders and I think they are going to be sorry. A ball is played in by Cheryshev. Keeper El-Shenawy comes, and is barged off it by Hegazi. Don't panic! 7:25PM 22 mins Salah is not doing a lot. And as I say, he is not offering anything defensively, just standing out on the right wing. Here come the Russians down the left. Gazinskii crosses and the big lad Dzyuba gets up well but glances his header too fine. 7:19PM 18 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Zhirkov takes a freekick but is wasteful with the delivery. But Russia get a lucky break when it rebounds out to Cheryshev. he has a crack, and it is not far over. 7:16PM 16 mins Lovely run from Trézéguet down the inside-left, he tries to bend it in at the far post and he is not far at all from achieving that end. 7:15PM 14 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 El Said spins away from Kutepov and was fouled. From a corner, Egypt have a headed chance. Attempt Saved: Russia 0 - 0 Egypt (Marwan Mohsen, 15 min) Behind for another corner. Another good ball in, cleared but only as far as the corner flag. Good spell for the visitors, their best of the match so far. 7:13PM 13 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That's it! Salah gets a long ball on the right, gives it inside and goes into the box. He is stopped by multiple Russians. 7:11PM 11 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Samedov and Figueira Fernandes link up well down the right but the latter cannot quite find the final ball. 7:10PM 10 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Very encouraging start from the hosts. Egypt pinned back. Salah hasn't featured. Also: Salah is not tracking back, which is fine in and of itself but somebody else needs to help out the right back in which case. 7:08PM 8 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 It's all Russia. Egypt cannot get out. 7:08PM 6 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Defensive blunder by Egypt! Sloppy, dawdling play out from the back, Golovin pinches it and races forward. He is disappointed not to have done better with the shot. 7:07PM 5 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Russia have the game's first corner.. Taken short, and it is played in by Samedov, headed by the veteran Ignashevich. Not troubling anyone, that. 7:04PM 3 mins Plenty of atmos, some beefy challenges but neither side able to dominate so far. Russia looking for raking balls to their hefty forward Artem Dzyuba. 7:01PM 1 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Egypt, in white, kick off. 7:01PM And Egypt Egypt side Credit: BBC 6:58PM Here's how Russia should line up Credit: BBC 6:56PM Russian anthem Powerful stuff. 6:55PM Egyptian anthem being belted out around the stadium, they seem to have got a few in. Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah... he's in! Credit: AFP/Getty 6:50PM Noice Russia ���� fans gather outside the entrance to Red Square as anticipation mounts ahead of the hosts’ group match against Egypt ���� in St. Petersburg. Mo Salah starts for The Pharaohs #RUSEGY ⁦@FIFAWorldCup⁩ ⁦@RT_com⁩ pic.twitter.com/TEqBth3fTC— Kate Partridge (@KatePartridge33) June 19, 2018 6:49PM Danny Murphy Bit over-dressed, aren't you? Like you just stepped out of a bookies: Danny Murphy Credit: BBC 6:48PM Fans Credit: BBC 6:35PM Who's having a good tournament? 6:34PM Where's your money, then? Here is our betting guide to a tasty fixture. Russia: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Zobnin, Gazinsky, Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev, Dzyuba. Subs: Lunev, Semenov, Kuzyaev, Dzagoev, Smolov, Kudryashov, Granat, Aleksey Miranchuk, Anton Miranchuk, Erokhin, Smolnikov, Gabulov. Egypt: El Shenawy, Fathi, Gabr, Hegazi, Abdel-Shafy, Hamed, Elneny, Salah, Said, Trezeguet, Mohsen. Subs: El Hadary, Elmohamady, Gaber, Morsy, Kahraba, Ashraf, Sobhi, Hamdy, Shikabala, Samir, Warda, Ekramy. Referee: Enrique Caceres (Paraguay) 6:21PM Salah news! The Premier League's top scorer adds some much-needed bite to an Egyptian attack that struggled to threaten Uruguay in a 1-0 loss Friday. On the other side, Russia winger Denis Cheryshev has promoted to the starting lineup after scoring twice as a substitute in Thursday's tournament-opening 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia. Egypt: Mohamed Elshenawy, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Abdelshafy, Ahmed Fathi, Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Elneny, Abdalla Said, Mohamed Salah, Mahmoud Hassan, Marwan Mohsen. Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kutepov, Sergei Ignashevich, Denis Cheryshev, Yuri Gazinsky, Fyodor Smolov, Roman Zobnin, Alexander Golovin, Yuri Zhirkov, Alexander Samedov. 6:20PM Heartwarming news! Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Blatter posed for photographs with people on his arrival at a five-star hotel downtown. The 82-year-old former FIFA president is banned from official football duty until October 2021 for financial misconduct during this 17-year rule. This is Blatter's first public appearance outside his native Switzerland since July 2015 when the World Cup qualifying draw was conducted in St. Petersburg. Blatter shared the stage that day with Putin and could meet with the Russian president this week. The FIFA ban does not prevent Blatter attending games and he is expected to see Portugal play Morocco on Wednesday at Luzhniki Stadium. 5:49PM And please welcome your hosts.... Russia! Starting Eleven @TeamRussia vs @Pharaohs#Rusia2018#RUSEGYpic.twitter.com/HLD5EZt081— Сборная России (@TeamRussia) June 19, 2018 Playing in their controversial 4-4-4 formation and giving a start to an old geezer who has come in the wrong PE kit. 5:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Saint Petersburg Stadium 5:46PM More on Mo Egypt striker Mohamed Salah will make his first appearance at the World Cup after being named in the starting line-up for tonight's match with Russia, the Egyptian Football Association has announced. The Liverpool forward has been sidelined since injuring his shoulder during last month's Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid. Salah, who was an unused substitute in Egypt's Group A opener against Uruguay on Friday, will lead his side as they face hosts Russia at Krestovsky Stadium in an attempt to bounce back from that defeat with a result. 5:45PM Here's all our reaction to the England game Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men 5:44PM Liverpool sending good vibes @MoSalah starts. ������#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/UbZbrhIFPR— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 19, 2018 5:43PM Teams إليكم تشكيل #الفراعنة لمباراة الليلة #worldcup#ThePharaohs#RUSEGY#RUS �� #Egypic.twitter.com/fMV9pNzzYk— Egypt National Football Team (@Pharaohs) June 19, 2018 5:39PM He's in Mo Salah starts! Full team news coming up. Great news: Mo Salah starts for Egypt.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 19, 2018 5:35PM All hail the Egyptian King! Good evening, and welcome to our live blog of the first of the second round of group games. Everyone, with the exception of the Russian football team and fans, is surely hoping that Mo Salah is fit enough to play in this match, and fit enough to give a good account of himself. Ronaldo has already lit up the tournament, Messi was poor, Suarez looked a bit fat and off the pace, De Bruyne had his moments, and now it is the chance for one of the other top, top, top, top players to make his mark, we hope. his Egypt side will play the hosts badly needing a result. Egypt lost by the single goal to Uruguay the other day and cannot afford another slip up. As for the hosts, they got the tournament off to an unexpectedly joyous start in the first game when they walloped Saudi Arabia. Of all the teams I have seen in the competition only the Saudis could be said to be without merit or ability, and I full expect all the other teams in this group to have the full three points off them. But anyone will be doing well to better the goal difference good times that Russia have got for themselves. In all likelihood, Uruguay are going to have six points within the next 24 hours and that means that this game is a very important fixture for Egypt. We will have the team news as soon as it comes in, the match itself starts at 7pm UK time. Meanwhile, why not follow the end of Poland V Senegal here with JJ Bull?
Eight goals in two games have averted Russia’s nightmare of spending tens of millions of dollars on a World Cup only to go out in the group stage. Mohamed Salah meanwhile has been restricted to a penalty, lots of physio on his injured shoulder and an awkward meeting with Chechnya’s warlord. Salah’s penalty kick when Egypt already trailed 3-0 was a small reward for his hard work in the treatment room and gym. It pales, though, beside the potential dividend for Russia from 5-0 and 3-1 victories against two of the tournament’s weaker sides. If all the hosts could hope for was to string their presence out to the point of respectability, their supporters now have something to be excited about beyond the stardust spread by other countries. If Saudi Arabia fail to beat Uruguay (and who would back them to win?) Russia will advance to the knock-out rounds for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Saint Petersburg Stadium was not full for this second home triumph, but the 64,468 here were giddy as three second-half goals flew in inside 15 minutes (the first, a ludicrous own goal). Salah performed honourably after missing the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay, but to expect him to walk straight back in and rescue Egypt was fanciful, especially as he lacks team-mates of the quality of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. His goal came in the 73rd minute after he was pulled down by the arm (this is becoming a pattern), apparently outside the Russia penalty box, until VAR showed it to be penalty. These Russia players are pretty much equal and indistinguishable. The Soviet system would have been proud of this mechanical team. It’s as if their training stopped at pass and run, which they do well, and dispensed with the subtleties of the game, such as ingenuity and vision around the penalty box. Denis Cheryshev has been the best of them, and their energy and commitment ought to be acknowledged. Not that they will feel they had much choice in those respects. Russia have made a brilliant start to the tournament on home soil Credit: AFP They are all Russia have, and were cast into a home World Cup as the lowest-ranked team in the tournament with the unenviable task of matching the grandeur of the stadiums. Plainly this is going to be beyond them, however uplifting their 5-0 opening night win against Saudi Arabia - the biggest curtain-raising victory by a host country since 1934 - and this own-goal assisted win over Salah and company. Standing between the new Russian empire and progress to the Round of 16 was an Egypt side now emotionally dependent on Salah. The lauding of him before the game was at a level not even Liverpool fans could hope to match. His name was cheered at least three times louder than any other Egypt player, and each glimpse of him on the big screen ignited a new Egyptian party. In the game, Salah started wide-right, dispensing with defensive duties to try his luck against Yury Zhirkov, an old hand steeled for the fight. Denis Cheryshev scores Russia's second goal Credit: REuters It took Zhirkov 21 minutes to land a bang on the shoulder Salah injured in a tangle with Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final in Kiev. The challenge was fair, but spun Salah round, and soon the Premier League’s golden boot winner moved to play more centrally. He was more effective there, his first real chance on goal coming with a turn and swivel on the edge of Russia’s penalty box. But the shot from the pirouette slid wide. Egypt’s campaign, though was about to take a comical turn, two minutes after the break, when Roman Zobnin miscued a shot after a bad punch by the goalkeeper, and Ahmed Fathy, the Egyptian captain, under pressure from Artem Dzyuba, took a wild swing at it and swiped it into his own net. Bare-chested Egyptian fans in Pharoah headgear looked on miserably. Egypt’s defence, like Saudi Arabia’s, disintegrated, conceding three times, twice abjectly . Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah dribbles past Russia's defender Sergey Ignashevich Credit: AFP With Salah’s team still reeling from the own goal, Mario Fernandes cut a cross back for Cheryshev to double the lead, and then Ali Gabr failed to control a dropping ball on the edge of his box and allowed it to run to Dzyuba, the former star Russian striker who lost his way. Dzyuba’s military salute for the goal was in tune with his combative work in unsettling Egypt’s back four. The defensive ineptitude of opponents is helping Russia, but their probable advance will help maintain the interest of those who are ultimately paying for most of it - the Russian public, who have been treated to eight goals and plenty of workmanlike enterprise from their team. Salah, in effect, lost his World Cup campaign in the Champions League final, though he fought his way back to leave a small mark here. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 9:03PM That's moved the boy Denis Level with He Who Must Not Be Mentioned in the race for the Golden Boot. 8:58PM Class piece from Jim White Seems absolutely ridiculous that these two fans have to travel to Russia to watch their team play football live. Why? Because they are women from Iran. https://t.co/pSLIeiuqvz— Jim White (@jimw1) June 19, 2018 8:57PM Uruguay will have enjoyed that. Now a World Cup last-16 place is theirs for the taking if they beat Saudi Arabia. 8:55PM Group A Table 8:54PM Nice! Best goal difference by a host nation through two #WorldCup games: +7 ���� 2018 Russia +7 ���� 1998 France (won title) +6 ���� 1934 Italy (won title) +5 ���� 1930 Uruguay (won title)— Paul Carr (@PaulCarrTM) June 19, 2018 8:52PM Full time: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Hard lines for Egypt, but Russia are having a bit of a moment and deserved their win. 8:49PM 90+ mins: there will be four minutes added Warda and Kudryashov square up. Kudryashov looks like he could eat Warda for breakfast and still have room for pancakes. The hosts are, barring an astonishing Saudi Arabia result, going through. 8:47PM 89 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Nice move, Salah nearly dancing through, they get the break of the ball and Warda, from the right, hits it wide of the post. 8:46PM 86 mins Warda with a useful cross in. Since they, erm, went 3-0 down Egypt have played with a lot more vim. Also, other attacking players have started trying to do something rather than just looking to Salah. This is the problem with a one man team, obvs. 8:45PM 85 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt having the odd 1/4 chance but to be honest this feels remote in the extreme as a possibility. 8:42PM 84 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kahraba on, Mohsen off. Yuri Zhirkov is replaced by Fedor Kudryashov. 8:38PM 80 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt getting greedy, now they want another pen. Mohsen hits the deck. Kutepov the accused. No penalty. And I'll tell you why not: because Mohsen had fouled HIM. 8:37PM 79 mins: Golovin controls the ball majestically, nips past Gabr and waits for the foul, and the inevitable freekick. Ref doesn't give it. Snigger. Smolov comes on for Dzubya. 8:33PM 75 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kuziaev comes on, the dangerman Cheryshev off. Russia have a decent opportunity to slam the coffin lid down when Samedov delivers a useful freekick to the back stick. Ignashevich's header is saved. 8:31PM VAR to the rescue Again, VAR gets there. But poor refereeing. Always been a penalty.— Matt Smith (@msmith850) June 19, 2018 8:31PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 1 (Salah 73 pen) He's wellied that! Bosh. No messing from Mo Salah. Is that an improbable lifeline? 8:30PM 71 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 0 Salah is hauled down. To most viewers, it is clear that it is inside the box. But not to the referee though. He gives it outside the box but fortunately the VAR comes to the rescue. A PENALTY IS AWARDED Credit: BBC 8:25PM 66 mins Fed by Salah with a nice ball, Trezeguet has a shot wide, and that will be Trezeguet's last contribution. He's getting the hook, and here comes Sobhi. 8:22PM 65 mins Warda on, Elneny off. Egypt have a freekick, Gabr tries to make amends for his defensive spinelessness with a header. No. 8:20PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 0 (Dzyuba 62) Another one! Oh dear, this is turning into a horrible night for the Pharoahs. Route one, big Dzyuba chests the ball down and it's men against boys as Gabr and Hegazi crumble and let him through. Hammers it home and that, my friends, is the night boat to Cairo. Artem Dzyuba of Russia scores Credit: Getty 8:16PM GOAL! Russia 2 Egypt 0 (Cheryshev 59) Ooh, that is going to be the killer blow, surely. Nice work from Figueira Fernandes, heart and energy down the right to join the attack. Pulls the ball back, and there is the deadly Denis Cheryshev to slot the ball home. That's his third of the tournament by the way, and it looks likely that it is going to send Russia through... and send poor Egypt home. 8:14PM No OG no fun There were no own-goals at all at the 1958 and 1962 World Cups. What miserable times they must have been.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) June 19, 2018 8:13PM 55 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 That was the moment? Maybe? The ball is played into the Russian box, knockdown, Salah has it at his feet eight yards out.... but he cannot get it out from under him and the desperate Russians can clear. Fully fit, he jinks and smashes that. But he is not confident in his body. 8:10PM 52 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Russians enjoying a couple of corners. At this rate (5 own goals in 17 matches), this World Cup will have 19 own goals. The record most in a single World Cup is 6, set in 1998. #WorldCup#RUS#EGY— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) June 19, 2018 8:04PM OWN GOAL! by Fathy: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Aw, that is rotten luck for Egypt, although their keeper must carry his fair share of blame. Golovin crosses it in, the keeper comes out with a flappy, silly punch. Shoulda caught that. Instead, he punches, the Russian 11 Zobnin drills it back in and a panicking Fathy stabs it into his own net. (Fathy OG 47 mins) Dreadful shot by Zobnin by the way, would have practically gone out for a corner had Fathy not intervened. Egypt's goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy (R) watches as the ball ends up in his net after a deflection by Egypt's defender Ahmed Fathi (L) Credit: AFP/Getty 8:03PM 46 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Always a shame to see a brilliant player not at his best due to injury. But hopefully Mo Salah can weave a bit of magic. 8:00PM This shows Salah's position (10) Average touch positions (half time) He's basically playing as a narrow advanced forward. Alan Shearer sums it up well on BBC: "Mo Salah, you can tell, is only 70-75% fit and they know that - they're protecting him, he's not running back and they're just trying to get the ball up to him." 7:57PM Pretty fair Russia vs Egypt shots on goal 7:46PM Half time: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That'll do it for the half, not many chances, but plenty of energy. 7:44PM 42 mins Fun, B- quality, end-to-end stuff, here are the Russians with a corner. Gabr involved in a good old fashioned grappling contest with Dzyuba. Risky business in these VAR times... 7:42PM 40 mins There's our boy! Class from Salah, Mohsen dummies, Salah gets it and spins away from his man. Peach of a curling effort but not quite. 7:40PM 37 mins Lovely counter by Egypt, but it starts in bizarre fashion when the ball hits the ref, wrong-footing everyone! Elneny with a great ball in and Mohsen should have done a lot better. 7:35PM 34 mins Nice ball in! Mohsen just misses out to Figueira Fernandes of Russia. More even now. 7:34PM 33 mins Better spell from Egypt. Passing it, higher up the pitch. Looking slicker, ball into the area from Shafy is flicked on. Salah nearly there at the back stick! Corner. Delivery is poor. 7:33PM 30 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Enjoyable game so far. Russia unsophisticated but useful, got some pace, got some who can deliver the ball, attack in numbers. Egypt are unbalanced. They need to just get a bit of the ball, play themselves into this. 7:28PM 27 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Decent from Salah as he holds it up to tee up Trézéguet , whose shot is charged down. But it is a momentary respite: here come the Russians again. 7:27PM 25 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 This Egypt defence are making some blunders and I think they are going to be sorry. A ball is played in by Cheryshev. Keeper El-Shenawy comes, and is barged off it by Hegazi. Don't panic! 7:25PM 22 mins Salah is not doing a lot. And as I say, he is not offering anything defensively, just standing out on the right wing. Here come the Russians down the left. Gazinskii crosses and the big lad Dzyuba gets up well but glances his header too fine. 7:19PM 18 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Zhirkov takes a freekick but is wasteful with the delivery. But Russia get a lucky break when it rebounds out to Cheryshev. he has a crack, and it is not far over. 7:16PM 16 mins Lovely run from Trézéguet down the inside-left, he tries to bend it in at the far post and he is not far at all from achieving that end. 7:15PM 14 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 El Said spins away from Kutepov and was fouled. From a corner, Egypt have a headed chance. Attempt Saved: Russia 0 - 0 Egypt (Marwan Mohsen, 15 min) Behind for another corner. Another good ball in, cleared but only as far as the corner flag. Good spell for the visitors, their best of the match so far. 7:13PM 13 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That's it! Salah gets a long ball on the right, gives it inside and goes into the box. He is stopped by multiple Russians. 7:11PM 11 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Samedov and Figueira Fernandes link up well down the right but the latter cannot quite find the final ball. 7:10PM 10 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Very encouraging start from the hosts. Egypt pinned back. Salah hasn't featured. Also: Salah is not tracking back, which is fine in and of itself but somebody else needs to help out the right back in which case. 7:08PM 8 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 It's all Russia. Egypt cannot get out. 7:08PM 6 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Defensive blunder by Egypt! Sloppy, dawdling play out from the back, Golovin pinches it and races forward. He is disappointed not to have done better with the shot. 7:07PM 5 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Russia have the game's first corner.. Taken short, and it is played in by Samedov, headed by the veteran Ignashevich. Not troubling anyone, that. 7:04PM 3 mins Plenty of atmos, some beefy challenges but neither side able to dominate so far. Russia looking for raking balls to their hefty forward Artem Dzyuba. 7:01PM 1 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Egypt, in white, kick off. 7:01PM And Egypt Egypt side Credit: BBC 6:58PM Here's how Russia should line up Credit: BBC 6:56PM Russian anthem Powerful stuff. 6:55PM Egyptian anthem being belted out around the stadium, they seem to have got a few in. Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah... he's in! Credit: AFP/Getty 6:50PM Noice Russia ���� fans gather outside the entrance to Red Square as anticipation mounts ahead of the hosts’ group match against Egypt ���� in St. Petersburg. Mo Salah starts for The Pharaohs #RUSEGY ⁦@FIFAWorldCup⁩ ⁦@RT_com⁩ pic.twitter.com/TEqBth3fTC— Kate Partridge (@KatePartridge33) June 19, 2018 6:49PM Danny Murphy Bit over-dressed, aren't you? Like you just stepped out of a bookies: Danny Murphy Credit: BBC 6:48PM Fans Credit: BBC 6:35PM Who's having a good tournament? 6:34PM Where's your money, then? Here is our betting guide to a tasty fixture. Russia: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Zobnin, Gazinsky, Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev, Dzyuba. Subs: Lunev, Semenov, Kuzyaev, Dzagoev, Smolov, Kudryashov, Granat, Aleksey Miranchuk, Anton Miranchuk, Erokhin, Smolnikov, Gabulov. Egypt: El Shenawy, Fathi, Gabr, Hegazi, Abdel-Shafy, Hamed, Elneny, Salah, Said, Trezeguet, Mohsen. Subs: El Hadary, Elmohamady, Gaber, Morsy, Kahraba, Ashraf, Sobhi, Hamdy, Shikabala, Samir, Warda, Ekramy. Referee: Enrique Caceres (Paraguay) 6:21PM Salah news! The Premier League's top scorer adds some much-needed bite to an Egyptian attack that struggled to threaten Uruguay in a 1-0 loss Friday. On the other side, Russia winger Denis Cheryshev has promoted to the starting lineup after scoring twice as a substitute in Thursday's tournament-opening 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia. Egypt: Mohamed Elshenawy, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Abdelshafy, Ahmed Fathi, Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Elneny, Abdalla Said, Mohamed Salah, Mahmoud Hassan, Marwan Mohsen. Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kutepov, Sergei Ignashevich, Denis Cheryshev, Yuri Gazinsky, Fyodor Smolov, Roman Zobnin, Alexander Golovin, Yuri Zhirkov, Alexander Samedov. 6:20PM Heartwarming news! Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Blatter posed for photographs with people on his arrival at a five-star hotel downtown. The 82-year-old former FIFA president is banned from official football duty until October 2021 for financial misconduct during this 17-year rule. This is Blatter's first public appearance outside his native Switzerland since July 2015 when the World Cup qualifying draw was conducted in St. Petersburg. Blatter shared the stage that day with Putin and could meet with the Russian president this week. The FIFA ban does not prevent Blatter attending games and he is expected to see Portugal play Morocco on Wednesday at Luzhniki Stadium. 5:49PM And please welcome your hosts.... Russia! Starting Eleven @TeamRussia vs @Pharaohs#Rusia2018#RUSEGYpic.twitter.com/HLD5EZt081— Сборная России (@TeamRussia) June 19, 2018 Playing in their controversial 4-4-4 formation and giving a start to an old geezer who has come in the wrong PE kit. 5:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Saint Petersburg Stadium 5:46PM More on Mo Egypt striker Mohamed Salah will make his first appearance at the World Cup after being named in the starting line-up for tonight's match with Russia, the Egyptian Football Association has announced. The Liverpool forward has been sidelined since injuring his shoulder during last month's Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid. Salah, who was an unused substitute in Egypt's Group A opener against Uruguay on Friday, will lead his side as they face hosts Russia at Krestovsky Stadium in an attempt to bounce back from that defeat with a result. 5:45PM Here's all our reaction to the England game Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men 5:44PM Liverpool sending good vibes @MoSalah starts. ������#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/UbZbrhIFPR— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 19, 2018 5:43PM Teams إليكم تشكيل #الفراعنة لمباراة الليلة #worldcup#ThePharaohs#RUSEGY#RUS �� #Egypic.twitter.com/fMV9pNzzYk— Egypt National Football Team (@Pharaohs) June 19, 2018 5:39PM He's in Mo Salah starts! Full team news coming up. Great news: Mo Salah starts for Egypt.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 19, 2018 5:35PM All hail the Egyptian King! Good evening, and welcome to our live blog of the first of the second round of group games. Everyone, with the exception of the Russian football team and fans, is surely hoping that Mo Salah is fit enough to play in this match, and fit enough to give a good account of himself. Ronaldo has already lit up the tournament, Messi was poor, Suarez looked a bit fat and off the pace, De Bruyne had his moments, and now it is the chance for one of the other top, top, top, top players to make his mark, we hope. his Egypt side will play the hosts badly needing a result. Egypt lost by the single goal to Uruguay the other day and cannot afford another slip up. As for the hosts, they got the tournament off to an unexpectedly joyous start in the first game when they walloped Saudi Arabia. Of all the teams I have seen in the competition only the Saudis could be said to be without merit or ability, and I full expect all the other teams in this group to have the full three points off them. But anyone will be doing well to better the goal difference good times that Russia have got for themselves. In all likelihood, Uruguay are going to have six points within the next 24 hours and that means that this game is a very important fixture for Egypt. We will have the team news as soon as it comes in, the match itself starts at 7pm UK time. Meanwhile, why not follow the end of Poland V Senegal here with JJ Bull?
Russia move to brink of qualification for knockout rounds after second-half blitz sees off Egypt
Eight goals in two games have averted Russia’s nightmare of spending tens of millions of dollars on a World Cup only to go out in the group stage. Mohamed Salah meanwhile has been restricted to a penalty, lots of physio on his injured shoulder and an awkward meeting with Chechnya’s warlord. Salah’s penalty kick when Egypt already trailed 3-0 was a small reward for his hard work in the treatment room and gym. It pales, though, beside the potential dividend for Russia from 5-0 and 3-1 victories against two of the tournament’s weaker sides. If all the hosts could hope for was to string their presence out to the point of respectability, their supporters now have something to be excited about beyond the stardust spread by other countries. If Saudi Arabia fail to beat Uruguay (and who would back them to win?) Russia will advance to the knock-out rounds for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Saint Petersburg Stadium was not full for this second home triumph, but the 64,468 here were giddy as three second-half goals flew in inside 15 minutes (the first, a ludicrous own goal). Salah performed honourably after missing the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay, but to expect him to walk straight back in and rescue Egypt was fanciful, especially as he lacks team-mates of the quality of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. His goal came in the 73rd minute after he was pulled down by the arm (this is becoming a pattern), apparently outside the Russia penalty box, until VAR showed it to be penalty. These Russia players are pretty much equal and indistinguishable. The Soviet system would have been proud of this mechanical team. It’s as if their training stopped at pass and run, which they do well, and dispensed with the subtleties of the game, such as ingenuity and vision around the penalty box. Denis Cheryshev has been the best of them, and their energy and commitment ought to be acknowledged. Not that they will feel they had much choice in those respects. Russia have made a brilliant start to the tournament on home soil Credit: AFP They are all Russia have, and were cast into a home World Cup as the lowest-ranked team in the tournament with the unenviable task of matching the grandeur of the stadiums. Plainly this is going to be beyond them, however uplifting their 5-0 opening night win against Saudi Arabia - the biggest curtain-raising victory by a host country since 1934 - and this own-goal assisted win over Salah and company. Standing between the new Russian empire and progress to the Round of 16 was an Egypt side now emotionally dependent on Salah. The lauding of him before the game was at a level not even Liverpool fans could hope to match. His name was cheered at least three times louder than any other Egypt player, and each glimpse of him on the big screen ignited a new Egyptian party. In the game, Salah started wide-right, dispensing with defensive duties to try his luck against Yury Zhirkov, an old hand steeled for the fight. Denis Cheryshev scores Russia's second goal Credit: REuters It took Zhirkov 21 minutes to land a bang on the shoulder Salah injured in a tangle with Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final in Kiev. The challenge was fair, but spun Salah round, and soon the Premier League’s golden boot winner moved to play more centrally. He was more effective there, his first real chance on goal coming with a turn and swivel on the edge of Russia’s penalty box. But the shot from the pirouette slid wide. Egypt’s campaign, though was about to take a comical turn, two minutes after the break, when Roman Zobnin miscued a shot after a bad punch by the goalkeeper, and Ahmed Fathy, the Egyptian captain, under pressure from Artem Dzyuba, took a wild swing at it and swiped it into his own net. Bare-chested Egyptian fans in Pharoah headgear looked on miserably. Egypt’s defence, like Saudi Arabia’s, disintegrated, conceding three times, twice abjectly . Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah dribbles past Russia's defender Sergey Ignashevich Credit: AFP With Salah’s team still reeling from the own goal, Mario Fernandes cut a cross back for Cheryshev to double the lead, and then Ali Gabr failed to control a dropping ball on the edge of his box and allowed it to run to Dzyuba, the former star Russian striker who lost his way. Dzyuba’s military salute for the goal was in tune with his combative work in unsettling Egypt’s back four. The defensive ineptitude of opponents is helping Russia, but their probable advance will help maintain the interest of those who are ultimately paying for most of it - the Russian public, who have been treated to eight goals and plenty of workmanlike enterprise from their team. Salah, in effect, lost his World Cup campaign in the Champions League final, though he fought his way back to leave a small mark here. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 9:03PM That's moved the boy Denis Level with He Who Must Not Be Mentioned in the race for the Golden Boot. 8:58PM Class piece from Jim White Seems absolutely ridiculous that these two fans have to travel to Russia to watch their team play football live. Why? Because they are women from Iran. https://t.co/pSLIeiuqvz— Jim White (@jimw1) June 19, 2018 8:57PM Uruguay will have enjoyed that. Now a World Cup last-16 place is theirs for the taking if they beat Saudi Arabia. 8:55PM Group A Table 8:54PM Nice! Best goal difference by a host nation through two #WorldCup games: +7 ���� 2018 Russia +7 ���� 1998 France (won title) +6 ���� 1934 Italy (won title) +5 ���� 1930 Uruguay (won title)— Paul Carr (@PaulCarrTM) June 19, 2018 8:52PM Full time: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Hard lines for Egypt, but Russia are having a bit of a moment and deserved their win. 8:49PM 90+ mins: there will be four minutes added Warda and Kudryashov square up. Kudryashov looks like he could eat Warda for breakfast and still have room for pancakes. The hosts are, barring an astonishing Saudi Arabia result, going through. 8:47PM 89 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Nice move, Salah nearly dancing through, they get the break of the ball and Warda, from the right, hits it wide of the post. 8:46PM 86 mins Warda with a useful cross in. Since they, erm, went 3-0 down Egypt have played with a lot more vim. Also, other attacking players have started trying to do something rather than just looking to Salah. This is the problem with a one man team, obvs. 8:45PM 85 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt having the odd 1/4 chance but to be honest this feels remote in the extreme as a possibility. 8:42PM 84 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kahraba on, Mohsen off. Yuri Zhirkov is replaced by Fedor Kudryashov. 8:38PM 80 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt getting greedy, now they want another pen. Mohsen hits the deck. Kutepov the accused. No penalty. And I'll tell you why not: because Mohsen had fouled HIM. 8:37PM 79 mins: Golovin controls the ball majestically, nips past Gabr and waits for the foul, and the inevitable freekick. Ref doesn't give it. Snigger. Smolov comes on for Dzubya. 8:33PM 75 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kuziaev comes on, the dangerman Cheryshev off. Russia have a decent opportunity to slam the coffin lid down when Samedov delivers a useful freekick to the back stick. Ignashevich's header is saved. 8:31PM VAR to the rescue Again, VAR gets there. But poor refereeing. Always been a penalty.— Matt Smith (@msmith850) June 19, 2018 8:31PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 1 (Salah 73 pen) He's wellied that! Bosh. No messing from Mo Salah. Is that an improbable lifeline? 8:30PM 71 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 0 Salah is hauled down. To most viewers, it is clear that it is inside the box. But not to the referee though. He gives it outside the box but fortunately the VAR comes to the rescue. A PENALTY IS AWARDED Credit: BBC 8:25PM 66 mins Fed by Salah with a nice ball, Trezeguet has a shot wide, and that will be Trezeguet's last contribution. He's getting the hook, and here comes Sobhi. 8:22PM 65 mins Warda on, Elneny off. Egypt have a freekick, Gabr tries to make amends for his defensive spinelessness with a header. No. 8:20PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 0 (Dzyuba 62) Another one! Oh dear, this is turning into a horrible night for the Pharoahs. Route one, big Dzyuba chests the ball down and it's men against boys as Gabr and Hegazi crumble and let him through. Hammers it home and that, my friends, is the night boat to Cairo. Artem Dzyuba of Russia scores Credit: Getty 8:16PM GOAL! Russia 2 Egypt 0 (Cheryshev 59) Ooh, that is going to be the killer blow, surely. Nice work from Figueira Fernandes, heart and energy down the right to join the attack. Pulls the ball back, and there is the deadly Denis Cheryshev to slot the ball home. That's his third of the tournament by the way, and it looks likely that it is going to send Russia through... and send poor Egypt home. 8:14PM No OG no fun There were no own-goals at all at the 1958 and 1962 World Cups. What miserable times they must have been.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) June 19, 2018 8:13PM 55 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 That was the moment? Maybe? The ball is played into the Russian box, knockdown, Salah has it at his feet eight yards out.... but he cannot get it out from under him and the desperate Russians can clear. Fully fit, he jinks and smashes that. But he is not confident in his body. 8:10PM 52 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Russians enjoying a couple of corners. At this rate (5 own goals in 17 matches), this World Cup will have 19 own goals. The record most in a single World Cup is 6, set in 1998. #WorldCup#RUS#EGY— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) June 19, 2018 8:04PM OWN GOAL! by Fathy: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Aw, that is rotten luck for Egypt, although their keeper must carry his fair share of blame. Golovin crosses it in, the keeper comes out with a flappy, silly punch. Shoulda caught that. Instead, he punches, the Russian 11 Zobnin drills it back in and a panicking Fathy stabs it into his own net. (Fathy OG 47 mins) Dreadful shot by Zobnin by the way, would have practically gone out for a corner had Fathy not intervened. Egypt's goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy (R) watches as the ball ends up in his net after a deflection by Egypt's defender Ahmed Fathi (L) Credit: AFP/Getty 8:03PM 46 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Always a shame to see a brilliant player not at his best due to injury. But hopefully Mo Salah can weave a bit of magic. 8:00PM This shows Salah's position (10) Average touch positions (half time) He's basically playing as a narrow advanced forward. Alan Shearer sums it up well on BBC: "Mo Salah, you can tell, is only 70-75% fit and they know that - they're protecting him, he's not running back and they're just trying to get the ball up to him." 7:57PM Pretty fair Russia vs Egypt shots on goal 7:46PM Half time: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That'll do it for the half, not many chances, but plenty of energy. 7:44PM 42 mins Fun, B- quality, end-to-end stuff, here are the Russians with a corner. Gabr involved in a good old fashioned grappling contest with Dzyuba. Risky business in these VAR times... 7:42PM 40 mins There's our boy! Class from Salah, Mohsen dummies, Salah gets it and spins away from his man. Peach of a curling effort but not quite. 7:40PM 37 mins Lovely counter by Egypt, but it starts in bizarre fashion when the ball hits the ref, wrong-footing everyone! Elneny with a great ball in and Mohsen should have done a lot better. 7:35PM 34 mins Nice ball in! Mohsen just misses out to Figueira Fernandes of Russia. More even now. 7:34PM 33 mins Better spell from Egypt. Passing it, higher up the pitch. Looking slicker, ball into the area from Shafy is flicked on. Salah nearly there at the back stick! Corner. Delivery is poor. 7:33PM 30 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Enjoyable game so far. Russia unsophisticated but useful, got some pace, got some who can deliver the ball, attack in numbers. Egypt are unbalanced. They need to just get a bit of the ball, play themselves into this. 7:28PM 27 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Decent from Salah as he holds it up to tee up Trézéguet , whose shot is charged down. But it is a momentary respite: here come the Russians again. 7:27PM 25 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 This Egypt defence are making some blunders and I think they are going to be sorry. A ball is played in by Cheryshev. Keeper El-Shenawy comes, and is barged off it by Hegazi. Don't panic! 7:25PM 22 mins Salah is not doing a lot. And as I say, he is not offering anything defensively, just standing out on the right wing. Here come the Russians down the left. Gazinskii crosses and the big lad Dzyuba gets up well but glances his header too fine. 7:19PM 18 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Zhirkov takes a freekick but is wasteful with the delivery. But Russia get a lucky break when it rebounds out to Cheryshev. he has a crack, and it is not far over. 7:16PM 16 mins Lovely run from Trézéguet down the inside-left, he tries to bend it in at the far post and he is not far at all from achieving that end. 7:15PM 14 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 El Said spins away from Kutepov and was fouled. From a corner, Egypt have a headed chance. Attempt Saved: Russia 0 - 0 Egypt (Marwan Mohsen, 15 min) Behind for another corner. Another good ball in, cleared but only as far as the corner flag. Good spell for the visitors, their best of the match so far. 7:13PM 13 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That's it! Salah gets a long ball on the right, gives it inside and goes into the box. He is stopped by multiple Russians. 7:11PM 11 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Samedov and Figueira Fernandes link up well down the right but the latter cannot quite find the final ball. 7:10PM 10 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Very encouraging start from the hosts. Egypt pinned back. Salah hasn't featured. Also: Salah is not tracking back, which is fine in and of itself but somebody else needs to help out the right back in which case. 7:08PM 8 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 It's all Russia. Egypt cannot get out. 7:08PM 6 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Defensive blunder by Egypt! Sloppy, dawdling play out from the back, Golovin pinches it and races forward. He is disappointed not to have done better with the shot. 7:07PM 5 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Russia have the game's first corner.. Taken short, and it is played in by Samedov, headed by the veteran Ignashevich. Not troubling anyone, that. 7:04PM 3 mins Plenty of atmos, some beefy challenges but neither side able to dominate so far. Russia looking for raking balls to their hefty forward Artem Dzyuba. 7:01PM 1 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Egypt, in white, kick off. 7:01PM And Egypt Egypt side Credit: BBC 6:58PM Here's how Russia should line up Credit: BBC 6:56PM Russian anthem Powerful stuff. 6:55PM Egyptian anthem being belted out around the stadium, they seem to have got a few in. Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah... he's in! Credit: AFP/Getty 6:50PM Noice Russia ���� fans gather outside the entrance to Red Square as anticipation mounts ahead of the hosts’ group match against Egypt ���� in St. Petersburg. Mo Salah starts for The Pharaohs #RUSEGY ⁦@FIFAWorldCup⁩ ⁦@RT_com⁩ pic.twitter.com/TEqBth3fTC— Kate Partridge (@KatePartridge33) June 19, 2018 6:49PM Danny Murphy Bit over-dressed, aren't you? Like you just stepped out of a bookies: Danny Murphy Credit: BBC 6:48PM Fans Credit: BBC 6:35PM Who's having a good tournament? 6:34PM Where's your money, then? Here is our betting guide to a tasty fixture. Russia: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Zobnin, Gazinsky, Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev, Dzyuba. Subs: Lunev, Semenov, Kuzyaev, Dzagoev, Smolov, Kudryashov, Granat, Aleksey Miranchuk, Anton Miranchuk, Erokhin, Smolnikov, Gabulov. Egypt: El Shenawy, Fathi, Gabr, Hegazi, Abdel-Shafy, Hamed, Elneny, Salah, Said, Trezeguet, Mohsen. Subs: El Hadary, Elmohamady, Gaber, Morsy, Kahraba, Ashraf, Sobhi, Hamdy, Shikabala, Samir, Warda, Ekramy. Referee: Enrique Caceres (Paraguay) 6:21PM Salah news! The Premier League's top scorer adds some much-needed bite to an Egyptian attack that struggled to threaten Uruguay in a 1-0 loss Friday. On the other side, Russia winger Denis Cheryshev has promoted to the starting lineup after scoring twice as a substitute in Thursday's tournament-opening 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia. Egypt: Mohamed Elshenawy, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Abdelshafy, Ahmed Fathi, Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Elneny, Abdalla Said, Mohamed Salah, Mahmoud Hassan, Marwan Mohsen. Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kutepov, Sergei Ignashevich, Denis Cheryshev, Yuri Gazinsky, Fyodor Smolov, Roman Zobnin, Alexander Golovin, Yuri Zhirkov, Alexander Samedov. 6:20PM Heartwarming news! Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Blatter posed for photographs with people on his arrival at a five-star hotel downtown. The 82-year-old former FIFA president is banned from official football duty until October 2021 for financial misconduct during this 17-year rule. This is Blatter's first public appearance outside his native Switzerland since July 2015 when the World Cup qualifying draw was conducted in St. Petersburg. Blatter shared the stage that day with Putin and could meet with the Russian president this week. The FIFA ban does not prevent Blatter attending games and he is expected to see Portugal play Morocco on Wednesday at Luzhniki Stadium. 5:49PM And please welcome your hosts.... Russia! Starting Eleven @TeamRussia vs @Pharaohs#Rusia2018#RUSEGYpic.twitter.com/HLD5EZt081— Сборная России (@TeamRussia) June 19, 2018 Playing in their controversial 4-4-4 formation and giving a start to an old geezer who has come in the wrong PE kit. 5:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Saint Petersburg Stadium 5:46PM More on Mo Egypt striker Mohamed Salah will make his first appearance at the World Cup after being named in the starting line-up for tonight's match with Russia, the Egyptian Football Association has announced. The Liverpool forward has been sidelined since injuring his shoulder during last month's Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid. Salah, who was an unused substitute in Egypt's Group A opener against Uruguay on Friday, will lead his side as they face hosts Russia at Krestovsky Stadium in an attempt to bounce back from that defeat with a result. 5:45PM Here's all our reaction to the England game Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men 5:44PM Liverpool sending good vibes @MoSalah starts. ������#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/UbZbrhIFPR— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 19, 2018 5:43PM Teams إليكم تشكيل #الفراعنة لمباراة الليلة #worldcup#ThePharaohs#RUSEGY#RUS �� #Egypic.twitter.com/fMV9pNzzYk— Egypt National Football Team (@Pharaohs) June 19, 2018 5:39PM He's in Mo Salah starts! Full team news coming up. Great news: Mo Salah starts for Egypt.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 19, 2018 5:35PM All hail the Egyptian King! Good evening, and welcome to our live blog of the first of the second round of group games. Everyone, with the exception of the Russian football team and fans, is surely hoping that Mo Salah is fit enough to play in this match, and fit enough to give a good account of himself. Ronaldo has already lit up the tournament, Messi was poor, Suarez looked a bit fat and off the pace, De Bruyne had his moments, and now it is the chance for one of the other top, top, top, top players to make his mark, we hope. his Egypt side will play the hosts badly needing a result. Egypt lost by the single goal to Uruguay the other day and cannot afford another slip up. As for the hosts, they got the tournament off to an unexpectedly joyous start in the first game when they walloped Saudi Arabia. Of all the teams I have seen in the competition only the Saudis could be said to be without merit or ability, and I full expect all the other teams in this group to have the full three points off them. But anyone will be doing well to better the goal difference good times that Russia have got for themselves. In all likelihood, Uruguay are going to have six points within the next 24 hours and that means that this game is a very important fixture for Egypt. We will have the team news as soon as it comes in, the match itself starts at 7pm UK time. Meanwhile, why not follow the end of Poland V Senegal here with JJ Bull?
Eight goals in two games have averted Russia’s nightmare of spending tens of millions of dollars on a World Cup only to go out in the group stage. Mohamed Salah meanwhile has been restricted to a penalty, lots of physio on his injured shoulder and an awkward meeting with Chechnya’s warlord. Salah’s penalty kick when Egypt already trailed 3-0 was a small reward for his hard work in the treatment room and gym. It pales, though, beside the potential dividend for Russia from 5-0 and 3-1 victories against two of the tournament’s weaker sides. If all the hosts could hope for was to string their presence out to the point of respectability, their supporters now have something to be excited about beyond the stardust spread by other countries. If Saudi Arabia fail to beat Uruguay (and who would back them to win?) Russia will advance to the knock-out rounds for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Saint Petersburg Stadium was not full for this second home triumph, but the 64,468 here were giddy as three second-half goals flew in inside 15 minutes (the first, a ludicrous own goal). Salah performed honourably after missing the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay, but to expect him to walk straight back in and rescue Egypt was fanciful, especially as he lacks team-mates of the quality of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. His goal came in the 73rd minute after he was pulled down by the arm (this is becoming a pattern), apparently outside the Russia penalty box, until VAR showed it to be penalty. These Russia players are pretty much equal and indistinguishable. The Soviet system would have been proud of this mechanical team. It’s as if their training stopped at pass and run, which they do well, and dispensed with the subtleties of the game, such as ingenuity and vision around the penalty box. Denis Cheryshev has been the best of them, and their energy and commitment ought to be acknowledged. Not that they will feel they had much choice in those respects. Russia have made a brilliant start to the tournament on home soil Credit: AFP They are all Russia have, and were cast into a home World Cup as the lowest-ranked team in the tournament with the unenviable task of matching the grandeur of the stadiums. Plainly this is going to be beyond them, however uplifting their 5-0 opening night win against Saudi Arabia - the biggest curtain-raising victory by a host country since 1934 - and this own-goal assisted win over Salah and company. Standing between the new Russian empire and progress to the Round of 16 was an Egypt side now emotionally dependent on Salah. The lauding of him before the game was at a level not even Liverpool fans could hope to match. His name was cheered at least three times louder than any other Egypt player, and each glimpse of him on the big screen ignited a new Egyptian party. In the game, Salah started wide-right, dispensing with defensive duties to try his luck against Yury Zhirkov, an old hand steeled for the fight. Denis Cheryshev scores Russia's second goal Credit: REuters It took Zhirkov 21 minutes to land a bang on the shoulder Salah injured in a tangle with Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final in Kiev. The challenge was fair, but spun Salah round, and soon the Premier League’s golden boot winner moved to play more centrally. He was more effective there, his first real chance on goal coming with a turn and swivel on the edge of Russia’s penalty box. But the shot from the pirouette slid wide. Egypt’s campaign, though was about to take a comical turn, two minutes after the break, when Roman Zobnin miscued a shot after a bad punch by the goalkeeper, and Ahmed Fathy, the Egyptian captain, under pressure from Artem Dzyuba, took a wild swing at it and swiped it into his own net. Bare-chested Egyptian fans in Pharoah headgear looked on miserably. Egypt’s defence, like Saudi Arabia’s, disintegrated, conceding three times, twice abjectly . Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah dribbles past Russia's defender Sergey Ignashevich Credit: AFP With Salah’s team still reeling from the own goal, Mario Fernandes cut a cross back for Cheryshev to double the lead, and then Ali Gabr failed to control a dropping ball on the edge of his box and allowed it to run to Dzyuba, the former star Russian striker who lost his way. Dzyuba’s military salute for the goal was in tune with his combative work in unsettling Egypt’s back four. The defensive ineptitude of opponents is helping Russia, but their probable advance will help maintain the interest of those who are ultimately paying for most of it - the Russian public, who have been treated to eight goals and plenty of workmanlike enterprise from their team. Salah, in effect, lost his World Cup campaign in the Champions League final, though he fought his way back to leave a small mark here. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 9:03PM That's moved the boy Denis Level with He Who Must Not Be Mentioned in the race for the Golden Boot. 8:58PM Class piece from Jim White Seems absolutely ridiculous that these two fans have to travel to Russia to watch their team play football live. Why? Because they are women from Iran. https://t.co/pSLIeiuqvz— Jim White (@jimw1) June 19, 2018 8:57PM Uruguay will have enjoyed that. Now a World Cup last-16 place is theirs for the taking if they beat Saudi Arabia. 8:55PM Group A Table 8:54PM Nice! Best goal difference by a host nation through two #WorldCup games: +7 ���� 2018 Russia +7 ���� 1998 France (won title) +6 ���� 1934 Italy (won title) +5 ���� 1930 Uruguay (won title)— Paul Carr (@PaulCarrTM) June 19, 2018 8:52PM Full time: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Hard lines for Egypt, but Russia are having a bit of a moment and deserved their win. 8:49PM 90+ mins: there will be four minutes added Warda and Kudryashov square up. Kudryashov looks like he could eat Warda for breakfast and still have room for pancakes. The hosts are, barring an astonishing Saudi Arabia result, going through. 8:47PM 89 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Nice move, Salah nearly dancing through, they get the break of the ball and Warda, from the right, hits it wide of the post. 8:46PM 86 mins Warda with a useful cross in. Since they, erm, went 3-0 down Egypt have played with a lot more vim. Also, other attacking players have started trying to do something rather than just looking to Salah. This is the problem with a one man team, obvs. 8:45PM 85 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt having the odd 1/4 chance but to be honest this feels remote in the extreme as a possibility. 8:42PM 84 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kahraba on, Mohsen off. Yuri Zhirkov is replaced by Fedor Kudryashov. 8:38PM 80 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt getting greedy, now they want another pen. Mohsen hits the deck. Kutepov the accused. No penalty. And I'll tell you why not: because Mohsen had fouled HIM. 8:37PM 79 mins: Golovin controls the ball majestically, nips past Gabr and waits for the foul, and the inevitable freekick. Ref doesn't give it. Snigger. Smolov comes on for Dzubya. 8:33PM 75 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kuziaev comes on, the dangerman Cheryshev off. Russia have a decent opportunity to slam the coffin lid down when Samedov delivers a useful freekick to the back stick. Ignashevich's header is saved. 8:31PM VAR to the rescue Again, VAR gets there. But poor refereeing. Always been a penalty.— Matt Smith (@msmith850) June 19, 2018 8:31PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 1 (Salah 73 pen) He's wellied that! Bosh. No messing from Mo Salah. Is that an improbable lifeline? 8:30PM 71 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 0 Salah is hauled down. To most viewers, it is clear that it is inside the box. But not to the referee though. He gives it outside the box but fortunately the VAR comes to the rescue. A PENALTY IS AWARDED Credit: BBC 8:25PM 66 mins Fed by Salah with a nice ball, Trezeguet has a shot wide, and that will be Trezeguet's last contribution. He's getting the hook, and here comes Sobhi. 8:22PM 65 mins Warda on, Elneny off. Egypt have a freekick, Gabr tries to make amends for his defensive spinelessness with a header. No. 8:20PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 0 (Dzyuba 62) Another one! Oh dear, this is turning into a horrible night for the Pharoahs. Route one, big Dzyuba chests the ball down and it's men against boys as Gabr and Hegazi crumble and let him through. Hammers it home and that, my friends, is the night boat to Cairo. Artem Dzyuba of Russia scores Credit: Getty 8:16PM GOAL! Russia 2 Egypt 0 (Cheryshev 59) Ooh, that is going to be the killer blow, surely. Nice work from Figueira Fernandes, heart and energy down the right to join the attack. Pulls the ball back, and there is the deadly Denis Cheryshev to slot the ball home. That's his third of the tournament by the way, and it looks likely that it is going to send Russia through... and send poor Egypt home. 8:14PM No OG no fun There were no own-goals at all at the 1958 and 1962 World Cups. What miserable times they must have been.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) June 19, 2018 8:13PM 55 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 That was the moment? Maybe? The ball is played into the Russian box, knockdown, Salah has it at his feet eight yards out.... but he cannot get it out from under him and the desperate Russians can clear. Fully fit, he jinks and smashes that. But he is not confident in his body. 8:10PM 52 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Russians enjoying a couple of corners. At this rate (5 own goals in 17 matches), this World Cup will have 19 own goals. The record most in a single World Cup is 6, set in 1998. #WorldCup#RUS#EGY— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) June 19, 2018 8:04PM OWN GOAL! by Fathy: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Aw, that is rotten luck for Egypt, although their keeper must carry his fair share of blame. Golovin crosses it in, the keeper comes out with a flappy, silly punch. Shoulda caught that. Instead, he punches, the Russian 11 Zobnin drills it back in and a panicking Fathy stabs it into his own net. (Fathy OG 47 mins) Dreadful shot by Zobnin by the way, would have practically gone out for a corner had Fathy not intervened. Egypt's goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy (R) watches as the ball ends up in his net after a deflection by Egypt's defender Ahmed Fathi (L) Credit: AFP/Getty 8:03PM 46 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Always a shame to see a brilliant player not at his best due to injury. But hopefully Mo Salah can weave a bit of magic. 8:00PM This shows Salah's position (10) Average touch positions (half time) He's basically playing as a narrow advanced forward. Alan Shearer sums it up well on BBC: "Mo Salah, you can tell, is only 70-75% fit and they know that - they're protecting him, he's not running back and they're just trying to get the ball up to him." 7:57PM Pretty fair Russia vs Egypt shots on goal 7:46PM Half time: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That'll do it for the half, not many chances, but plenty of energy. 7:44PM 42 mins Fun, B- quality, end-to-end stuff, here are the Russians with a corner. Gabr involved in a good old fashioned grappling contest with Dzyuba. Risky business in these VAR times... 7:42PM 40 mins There's our boy! Class from Salah, Mohsen dummies, Salah gets it and spins away from his man. Peach of a curling effort but not quite. 7:40PM 37 mins Lovely counter by Egypt, but it starts in bizarre fashion when the ball hits the ref, wrong-footing everyone! Elneny with a great ball in and Mohsen should have done a lot better. 7:35PM 34 mins Nice ball in! Mohsen just misses out to Figueira Fernandes of Russia. More even now. 7:34PM 33 mins Better spell from Egypt. Passing it, higher up the pitch. Looking slicker, ball into the area from Shafy is flicked on. Salah nearly there at the back stick! Corner. Delivery is poor. 7:33PM 30 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Enjoyable game so far. Russia unsophisticated but useful, got some pace, got some who can deliver the ball, attack in numbers. Egypt are unbalanced. They need to just get a bit of the ball, play themselves into this. 7:28PM 27 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Decent from Salah as he holds it up to tee up Trézéguet , whose shot is charged down. But it is a momentary respite: here come the Russians again. 7:27PM 25 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 This Egypt defence are making some blunders and I think they are going to be sorry. A ball is played in by Cheryshev. Keeper El-Shenawy comes, and is barged off it by Hegazi. Don't panic! 7:25PM 22 mins Salah is not doing a lot. And as I say, he is not offering anything defensively, just standing out on the right wing. Here come the Russians down the left. Gazinskii crosses and the big lad Dzyuba gets up well but glances his header too fine. 7:19PM 18 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Zhirkov takes a freekick but is wasteful with the delivery. But Russia get a lucky break when it rebounds out to Cheryshev. he has a crack, and it is not far over. 7:16PM 16 mins Lovely run from Trézéguet down the inside-left, he tries to bend it in at the far post and he is not far at all from achieving that end. 7:15PM 14 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 El Said spins away from Kutepov and was fouled. From a corner, Egypt have a headed chance. Attempt Saved: Russia 0 - 0 Egypt (Marwan Mohsen, 15 min) Behind for another corner. Another good ball in, cleared but only as far as the corner flag. Good spell for the visitors, their best of the match so far. 7:13PM 13 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That's it! Salah gets a long ball on the right, gives it inside and goes into the box. He is stopped by multiple Russians. 7:11PM 11 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Samedov and Figueira Fernandes link up well down the right but the latter cannot quite find the final ball. 7:10PM 10 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Very encouraging start from the hosts. Egypt pinned back. Salah hasn't featured. Also: Salah is not tracking back, which is fine in and of itself but somebody else needs to help out the right back in which case. 7:08PM 8 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 It's all Russia. Egypt cannot get out. 7:08PM 6 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Defensive blunder by Egypt! Sloppy, dawdling play out from the back, Golovin pinches it and races forward. He is disappointed not to have done better with the shot. 7:07PM 5 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Russia have the game's first corner.. Taken short, and it is played in by Samedov, headed by the veteran Ignashevich. Not troubling anyone, that. 7:04PM 3 mins Plenty of atmos, some beefy challenges but neither side able to dominate so far. Russia looking for raking balls to their hefty forward Artem Dzyuba. 7:01PM 1 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Egypt, in white, kick off. 7:01PM And Egypt Egypt side Credit: BBC 6:58PM Here's how Russia should line up Credit: BBC 6:56PM Russian anthem Powerful stuff. 6:55PM Egyptian anthem being belted out around the stadium, they seem to have got a few in. Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah... he's in! Credit: AFP/Getty 6:50PM Noice Russia ���� fans gather outside the entrance to Red Square as anticipation mounts ahead of the hosts’ group match against Egypt ���� in St. Petersburg. Mo Salah starts for The Pharaohs #RUSEGY ⁦@FIFAWorldCup⁩ ⁦@RT_com⁩ pic.twitter.com/TEqBth3fTC— Kate Partridge (@KatePartridge33) June 19, 2018 6:49PM Danny Murphy Bit over-dressed, aren't you? Like you just stepped out of a bookies: Danny Murphy Credit: BBC 6:48PM Fans Credit: BBC 6:35PM Who's having a good tournament? 6:34PM Where's your money, then? Here is our betting guide to a tasty fixture. Russia: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Zobnin, Gazinsky, Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev, Dzyuba. Subs: Lunev, Semenov, Kuzyaev, Dzagoev, Smolov, Kudryashov, Granat, Aleksey Miranchuk, Anton Miranchuk, Erokhin, Smolnikov, Gabulov. Egypt: El Shenawy, Fathi, Gabr, Hegazi, Abdel-Shafy, Hamed, Elneny, Salah, Said, Trezeguet, Mohsen. Subs: El Hadary, Elmohamady, Gaber, Morsy, Kahraba, Ashraf, Sobhi, Hamdy, Shikabala, Samir, Warda, Ekramy. Referee: Enrique Caceres (Paraguay) 6:21PM Salah news! The Premier League's top scorer adds some much-needed bite to an Egyptian attack that struggled to threaten Uruguay in a 1-0 loss Friday. On the other side, Russia winger Denis Cheryshev has promoted to the starting lineup after scoring twice as a substitute in Thursday's tournament-opening 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia. Egypt: Mohamed Elshenawy, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Abdelshafy, Ahmed Fathi, Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Elneny, Abdalla Said, Mohamed Salah, Mahmoud Hassan, Marwan Mohsen. Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kutepov, Sergei Ignashevich, Denis Cheryshev, Yuri Gazinsky, Fyodor Smolov, Roman Zobnin, Alexander Golovin, Yuri Zhirkov, Alexander Samedov. 6:20PM Heartwarming news! Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Blatter posed for photographs with people on his arrival at a five-star hotel downtown. The 82-year-old former FIFA president is banned from official football duty until October 2021 for financial misconduct during this 17-year rule. This is Blatter's first public appearance outside his native Switzerland since July 2015 when the World Cup qualifying draw was conducted in St. Petersburg. Blatter shared the stage that day with Putin and could meet with the Russian president this week. The FIFA ban does not prevent Blatter attending games and he is expected to see Portugal play Morocco on Wednesday at Luzhniki Stadium. 5:49PM And please welcome your hosts.... Russia! Starting Eleven @TeamRussia vs @Pharaohs#Rusia2018#RUSEGYpic.twitter.com/HLD5EZt081— Сборная России (@TeamRussia) June 19, 2018 Playing in their controversial 4-4-4 formation and giving a start to an old geezer who has come in the wrong PE kit. 5:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Saint Petersburg Stadium 5:46PM More on Mo Egypt striker Mohamed Salah will make his first appearance at the World Cup after being named in the starting line-up for tonight's match with Russia, the Egyptian Football Association has announced. The Liverpool forward has been sidelined since injuring his shoulder during last month's Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid. Salah, who was an unused substitute in Egypt's Group A opener against Uruguay on Friday, will lead his side as they face hosts Russia at Krestovsky Stadium in an attempt to bounce back from that defeat with a result. 5:45PM Here's all our reaction to the England game Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men 5:44PM Liverpool sending good vibes @MoSalah starts. ������#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/UbZbrhIFPR— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 19, 2018 5:43PM Teams إليكم تشكيل #الفراعنة لمباراة الليلة #worldcup#ThePharaohs#RUSEGY#RUS �� #Egypic.twitter.com/fMV9pNzzYk— Egypt National Football Team (@Pharaohs) June 19, 2018 5:39PM He's in Mo Salah starts! Full team news coming up. Great news: Mo Salah starts for Egypt.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 19, 2018 5:35PM All hail the Egyptian King! Good evening, and welcome to our live blog of the first of the second round of group games. Everyone, with the exception of the Russian football team and fans, is surely hoping that Mo Salah is fit enough to play in this match, and fit enough to give a good account of himself. Ronaldo has already lit up the tournament, Messi was poor, Suarez looked a bit fat and off the pace, De Bruyne had his moments, and now it is the chance for one of the other top, top, top, top players to make his mark, we hope. his Egypt side will play the hosts badly needing a result. Egypt lost by the single goal to Uruguay the other day and cannot afford another slip up. As for the hosts, they got the tournament off to an unexpectedly joyous start in the first game when they walloped Saudi Arabia. Of all the teams I have seen in the competition only the Saudis could be said to be without merit or ability, and I full expect all the other teams in this group to have the full three points off them. But anyone will be doing well to better the goal difference good times that Russia have got for themselves. In all likelihood, Uruguay are going to have six points within the next 24 hours and that means that this game is a very important fixture for Egypt. We will have the team news as soon as it comes in, the match itself starts at 7pm UK time. Meanwhile, why not follow the end of Poland V Senegal here with JJ Bull?
Russia move to brink of qualification for knockout rounds after second-half blitz sees off Egypt
Eight goals in two games have averted Russia’s nightmare of spending tens of millions of dollars on a World Cup only to go out in the group stage. Mohamed Salah meanwhile has been restricted to a penalty, lots of physio on his injured shoulder and an awkward meeting with Chechnya’s warlord. Salah’s penalty kick when Egypt already trailed 3-0 was a small reward for his hard work in the treatment room and gym. It pales, though, beside the potential dividend for Russia from 5-0 and 3-1 victories against two of the tournament’s weaker sides. If all the hosts could hope for was to string their presence out to the point of respectability, their supporters now have something to be excited about beyond the stardust spread by other countries. If Saudi Arabia fail to beat Uruguay (and who would back them to win?) Russia will advance to the knock-out rounds for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Saint Petersburg Stadium was not full for this second home triumph, but the 64,468 here were giddy as three second-half goals flew in inside 15 minutes (the first, a ludicrous own goal). Salah performed honourably after missing the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay, but to expect him to walk straight back in and rescue Egypt was fanciful, especially as he lacks team-mates of the quality of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. His goal came in the 73rd minute after he was pulled down by the arm (this is becoming a pattern), apparently outside the Russia penalty box, until VAR showed it to be penalty. These Russia players are pretty much equal and indistinguishable. The Soviet system would have been proud of this mechanical team. It’s as if their training stopped at pass and run, which they do well, and dispensed with the subtleties of the game, such as ingenuity and vision around the penalty box. Denis Cheryshev has been the best of them, and their energy and commitment ought to be acknowledged. Not that they will feel they had much choice in those respects. Russia have made a brilliant start to the tournament on home soil Credit: AFP They are all Russia have, and were cast into a home World Cup as the lowest-ranked team in the tournament with the unenviable task of matching the grandeur of the stadiums. Plainly this is going to be beyond them, however uplifting their 5-0 opening night win against Saudi Arabia - the biggest curtain-raising victory by a host country since 1934 - and this own-goal assisted win over Salah and company. Standing between the new Russian empire and progress to the Round of 16 was an Egypt side now emotionally dependent on Salah. The lauding of him before the game was at a level not even Liverpool fans could hope to match. His name was cheered at least three times louder than any other Egypt player, and each glimpse of him on the big screen ignited a new Egyptian party. In the game, Salah started wide-right, dispensing with defensive duties to try his luck against Yury Zhirkov, an old hand steeled for the fight. Denis Cheryshev scores Russia's second goal Credit: REuters It took Zhirkov 21 minutes to land a bang on the shoulder Salah injured in a tangle with Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final in Kiev. The challenge was fair, but spun Salah round, and soon the Premier League’s golden boot winner moved to play more centrally. He was more effective there, his first real chance on goal coming with a turn and swivel on the edge of Russia’s penalty box. But the shot from the pirouette slid wide. Egypt’s campaign, though was about to take a comical turn, two minutes after the break, when Roman Zobnin miscued a shot after a bad punch by the goalkeeper, and Ahmed Fathy, the Egyptian captain, under pressure from Artem Dzyuba, took a wild swing at it and swiped it into his own net. Bare-chested Egyptian fans in Pharoah headgear looked on miserably. Egypt’s defence, like Saudi Arabia’s, disintegrated, conceding three times, twice abjectly . Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah dribbles past Russia's defender Sergey Ignashevich Credit: AFP With Salah’s team still reeling from the own goal, Mario Fernandes cut a cross back for Cheryshev to double the lead, and then Ali Gabr failed to control a dropping ball on the edge of his box and allowed it to run to Dzyuba, the former star Russian striker who lost his way. Dzyuba’s military salute for the goal was in tune with his combative work in unsettling Egypt’s back four. The defensive ineptitude of opponents is helping Russia, but their probable advance will help maintain the interest of those who are ultimately paying for most of it - the Russian public, who have been treated to eight goals and plenty of workmanlike enterprise from their team. Salah, in effect, lost his World Cup campaign in the Champions League final, though he fought his way back to leave a small mark here. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article 9:03PM That's moved the boy Denis Level with He Who Must Not Be Mentioned in the race for the Golden Boot. 8:58PM Class piece from Jim White Seems absolutely ridiculous that these two fans have to travel to Russia to watch their team play football live. Why? Because they are women from Iran. https://t.co/pSLIeiuqvz— Jim White (@jimw1) June 19, 2018 8:57PM Uruguay will have enjoyed that. Now a World Cup last-16 place is theirs for the taking if they beat Saudi Arabia. 8:55PM Group A Table 8:54PM Nice! Best goal difference by a host nation through two #WorldCup games: +7 ���� 2018 Russia +7 ���� 1998 France (won title) +6 ���� 1934 Italy (won title) +5 ���� 1930 Uruguay (won title)— Paul Carr (@PaulCarrTM) June 19, 2018 8:52PM Full time: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Hard lines for Egypt, but Russia are having a bit of a moment and deserved their win. 8:49PM 90+ mins: there will be four minutes added Warda and Kudryashov square up. Kudryashov looks like he could eat Warda for breakfast and still have room for pancakes. The hosts are, barring an astonishing Saudi Arabia result, going through. 8:47PM 89 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Nice move, Salah nearly dancing through, they get the break of the ball and Warda, from the right, hits it wide of the post. 8:46PM 86 mins Warda with a useful cross in. Since they, erm, went 3-0 down Egypt have played with a lot more vim. Also, other attacking players have started trying to do something rather than just looking to Salah. This is the problem with a one man team, obvs. 8:45PM 85 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt having the odd 1/4 chance but to be honest this feels remote in the extreme as a possibility. 8:42PM 84 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kahraba on, Mohsen off. Yuri Zhirkov is replaced by Fedor Kudryashov. 8:38PM 80 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt getting greedy, now they want another pen. Mohsen hits the deck. Kutepov the accused. No penalty. And I'll tell you why not: because Mohsen had fouled HIM. 8:37PM 79 mins: Golovin controls the ball majestically, nips past Gabr and waits for the foul, and the inevitable freekick. Ref doesn't give it. Snigger. Smolov comes on for Dzubya. 8:33PM 75 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kuziaev comes on, the dangerman Cheryshev off. Russia have a decent opportunity to slam the coffin lid down when Samedov delivers a useful freekick to the back stick. Ignashevich's header is saved. 8:31PM VAR to the rescue Again, VAR gets there. But poor refereeing. Always been a penalty.— Matt Smith (@msmith850) June 19, 2018 8:31PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 1 (Salah 73 pen) He's wellied that! Bosh. No messing from Mo Salah. Is that an improbable lifeline? 8:30PM 71 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 0 Salah is hauled down. To most viewers, it is clear that it is inside the box. But not to the referee though. He gives it outside the box but fortunately the VAR comes to the rescue. A PENALTY IS AWARDED Credit: BBC 8:25PM 66 mins Fed by Salah with a nice ball, Trezeguet has a shot wide, and that will be Trezeguet's last contribution. He's getting the hook, and here comes Sobhi. 8:22PM 65 mins Warda on, Elneny off. Egypt have a freekick, Gabr tries to make amends for his defensive spinelessness with a header. No. 8:20PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 0 (Dzyuba 62) Another one! Oh dear, this is turning into a horrible night for the Pharoahs. Route one, big Dzyuba chests the ball down and it's men against boys as Gabr and Hegazi crumble and let him through. Hammers it home and that, my friends, is the night boat to Cairo. Artem Dzyuba of Russia scores Credit: Getty 8:16PM GOAL! Russia 2 Egypt 0 (Cheryshev 59) Ooh, that is going to be the killer blow, surely. Nice work from Figueira Fernandes, heart and energy down the right to join the attack. Pulls the ball back, and there is the deadly Denis Cheryshev to slot the ball home. That's his third of the tournament by the way, and it looks likely that it is going to send Russia through... and send poor Egypt home. 8:14PM No OG no fun There were no own-goals at all at the 1958 and 1962 World Cups. What miserable times they must have been.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) June 19, 2018 8:13PM 55 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 That was the moment? Maybe? The ball is played into the Russian box, knockdown, Salah has it at his feet eight yards out.... but he cannot get it out from under him and the desperate Russians can clear. Fully fit, he jinks and smashes that. But he is not confident in his body. 8:10PM 52 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Russians enjoying a couple of corners. At this rate (5 own goals in 17 matches), this World Cup will have 19 own goals. The record most in a single World Cup is 6, set in 1998. #WorldCup#RUS#EGY— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) June 19, 2018 8:04PM OWN GOAL! by Fathy: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Aw, that is rotten luck for Egypt, although their keeper must carry his fair share of blame. Golovin crosses it in, the keeper comes out with a flappy, silly punch. Shoulda caught that. Instead, he punches, the Russian 11 Zobnin drills it back in and a panicking Fathy stabs it into his own net. (Fathy OG 47 mins) Dreadful shot by Zobnin by the way, would have practically gone out for a corner had Fathy not intervened. Egypt's goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy (R) watches as the ball ends up in his net after a deflection by Egypt's defender Ahmed Fathi (L) Credit: AFP/Getty 8:03PM 46 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Always a shame to see a brilliant player not at his best due to injury. But hopefully Mo Salah can weave a bit of magic. 8:00PM This shows Salah's position (10) Average touch positions (half time) He's basically playing as a narrow advanced forward. Alan Shearer sums it up well on BBC: "Mo Salah, you can tell, is only 70-75% fit and they know that - they're protecting him, he's not running back and they're just trying to get the ball up to him." 7:57PM Pretty fair Russia vs Egypt shots on goal 7:46PM Half time: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That'll do it for the half, not many chances, but plenty of energy. 7:44PM 42 mins Fun, B- quality, end-to-end stuff, here are the Russians with a corner. Gabr involved in a good old fashioned grappling contest with Dzyuba. Risky business in these VAR times... 7:42PM 40 mins There's our boy! Class from Salah, Mohsen dummies, Salah gets it and spins away from his man. Peach of a curling effort but not quite. 7:40PM 37 mins Lovely counter by Egypt, but it starts in bizarre fashion when the ball hits the ref, wrong-footing everyone! Elneny with a great ball in and Mohsen should have done a lot better. 7:35PM 34 mins Nice ball in! Mohsen just misses out to Figueira Fernandes of Russia. More even now. 7:34PM 33 mins Better spell from Egypt. Passing it, higher up the pitch. Looking slicker, ball into the area from Shafy is flicked on. Salah nearly there at the back stick! Corner. Delivery is poor. 7:33PM 30 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Enjoyable game so far. Russia unsophisticated but useful, got some pace, got some who can deliver the ball, attack in numbers. Egypt are unbalanced. They need to just get a bit of the ball, play themselves into this. 7:28PM 27 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Decent from Salah as he holds it up to tee up Trézéguet , whose shot is charged down. But it is a momentary respite: here come the Russians again. 7:27PM 25 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 This Egypt defence are making some blunders and I think they are going to be sorry. A ball is played in by Cheryshev. Keeper El-Shenawy comes, and is barged off it by Hegazi. Don't panic! 7:25PM 22 mins Salah is not doing a lot. And as I say, he is not offering anything defensively, just standing out on the right wing. Here come the Russians down the left. Gazinskii crosses and the big lad Dzyuba gets up well but glances his header too fine. 7:19PM 18 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Zhirkov takes a freekick but is wasteful with the delivery. But Russia get a lucky break when it rebounds out to Cheryshev. he has a crack, and it is not far over. 7:16PM 16 mins Lovely run from Trézéguet down the inside-left, he tries to bend it in at the far post and he is not far at all from achieving that end. 7:15PM 14 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 El Said spins away from Kutepov and was fouled. From a corner, Egypt have a headed chance. Attempt Saved: Russia 0 - 0 Egypt (Marwan Mohsen, 15 min) Behind for another corner. Another good ball in, cleared but only as far as the corner flag. Good spell for the visitors, their best of the match so far. 7:13PM 13 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That's it! Salah gets a long ball on the right, gives it inside and goes into the box. He is stopped by multiple Russians. 7:11PM 11 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Samedov and Figueira Fernandes link up well down the right but the latter cannot quite find the final ball. 7:10PM 10 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Very encouraging start from the hosts. Egypt pinned back. Salah hasn't featured. Also: Salah is not tracking back, which is fine in and of itself but somebody else needs to help out the right back in which case. 7:08PM 8 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 It's all Russia. Egypt cannot get out. 7:08PM 6 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Defensive blunder by Egypt! Sloppy, dawdling play out from the back, Golovin pinches it and races forward. He is disappointed not to have done better with the shot. 7:07PM 5 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Russia have the game's first corner.. Taken short, and it is played in by Samedov, headed by the veteran Ignashevich. Not troubling anyone, that. 7:04PM 3 mins Plenty of atmos, some beefy challenges but neither side able to dominate so far. Russia looking for raking balls to their hefty forward Artem Dzyuba. 7:01PM 1 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Egypt, in white, kick off. 7:01PM And Egypt Egypt side Credit: BBC 6:58PM Here's how Russia should line up Credit: BBC 6:56PM Russian anthem Powerful stuff. 6:55PM Egyptian anthem being belted out around the stadium, they seem to have got a few in. Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah... he's in! Credit: AFP/Getty 6:50PM Noice Russia ���� fans gather outside the entrance to Red Square as anticipation mounts ahead of the hosts’ group match against Egypt ���� in St. Petersburg. Mo Salah starts for The Pharaohs #RUSEGY ⁦@FIFAWorldCup⁩ ⁦@RT_com⁩ pic.twitter.com/TEqBth3fTC— Kate Partridge (@KatePartridge33) June 19, 2018 6:49PM Danny Murphy Bit over-dressed, aren't you? Like you just stepped out of a bookies: Danny Murphy Credit: BBC 6:48PM Fans Credit: BBC 6:35PM Who's having a good tournament? 6:34PM Where's your money, then? Here is our betting guide to a tasty fixture. Russia: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Zobnin, Gazinsky, Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev, Dzyuba. Subs: Lunev, Semenov, Kuzyaev, Dzagoev, Smolov, Kudryashov, Granat, Aleksey Miranchuk, Anton Miranchuk, Erokhin, Smolnikov, Gabulov. Egypt: El Shenawy, Fathi, Gabr, Hegazi, Abdel-Shafy, Hamed, Elneny, Salah, Said, Trezeguet, Mohsen. Subs: El Hadary, Elmohamady, Gaber, Morsy, Kahraba, Ashraf, Sobhi, Hamdy, Shikabala, Samir, Warda, Ekramy. Referee: Enrique Caceres (Paraguay) 6:21PM Salah news! The Premier League's top scorer adds some much-needed bite to an Egyptian attack that struggled to threaten Uruguay in a 1-0 loss Friday. On the other side, Russia winger Denis Cheryshev has promoted to the starting lineup after scoring twice as a substitute in Thursday's tournament-opening 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia. Egypt: Mohamed Elshenawy, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Abdelshafy, Ahmed Fathi, Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Elneny, Abdalla Said, Mohamed Salah, Mahmoud Hassan, Marwan Mohsen. Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kutepov, Sergei Ignashevich, Denis Cheryshev, Yuri Gazinsky, Fyodor Smolov, Roman Zobnin, Alexander Golovin, Yuri Zhirkov, Alexander Samedov. 6:20PM Heartwarming news! Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Blatter posed for photographs with people on his arrival at a five-star hotel downtown. The 82-year-old former FIFA president is banned from official football duty until October 2021 for financial misconduct during this 17-year rule. This is Blatter's first public appearance outside his native Switzerland since July 2015 when the World Cup qualifying draw was conducted in St. Petersburg. Blatter shared the stage that day with Putin and could meet with the Russian president this week. The FIFA ban does not prevent Blatter attending games and he is expected to see Portugal play Morocco on Wednesday at Luzhniki Stadium. 5:49PM And please welcome your hosts.... Russia! Starting Eleven @TeamRussia vs @Pharaohs#Rusia2018#RUSEGYpic.twitter.com/HLD5EZt081— Сборная России (@TeamRussia) June 19, 2018 Playing in their controversial 4-4-4 formation and giving a start to an old geezer who has come in the wrong PE kit. 5:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Saint Petersburg Stadium 5:46PM More on Mo Egypt striker Mohamed Salah will make his first appearance at the World Cup after being named in the starting line-up for tonight's match with Russia, the Egyptian Football Association has announced. The Liverpool forward has been sidelined since injuring his shoulder during last month's Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid. Salah, who was an unused substitute in Egypt's Group A opener against Uruguay on Friday, will lead his side as they face hosts Russia at Krestovsky Stadium in an attempt to bounce back from that defeat with a result. 5:45PM Here's all our reaction to the England game Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men 5:44PM Liverpool sending good vibes @MoSalah starts. ������#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/UbZbrhIFPR— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 19, 2018 5:43PM Teams إليكم تشكيل #الفراعنة لمباراة الليلة #worldcup#ThePharaohs#RUSEGY#RUS �� #Egypic.twitter.com/fMV9pNzzYk— Egypt National Football Team (@Pharaohs) June 19, 2018 5:39PM He's in Mo Salah starts! Full team news coming up. Great news: Mo Salah starts for Egypt.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 19, 2018 5:35PM All hail the Egyptian King! Good evening, and welcome to our live blog of the first of the second round of group games. Everyone, with the exception of the Russian football team and fans, is surely hoping that Mo Salah is fit enough to play in this match, and fit enough to give a good account of himself. Ronaldo has already lit up the tournament, Messi was poor, Suarez looked a bit fat and off the pace, De Bruyne had his moments, and now it is the chance for one of the other top, top, top, top players to make his mark, we hope. his Egypt side will play the hosts badly needing a result. Egypt lost by the single goal to Uruguay the other day and cannot afford another slip up. As for the hosts, they got the tournament off to an unexpectedly joyous start in the first game when they walloped Saudi Arabia. Of all the teams I have seen in the competition only the Saudis could be said to be without merit or ability, and I full expect all the other teams in this group to have the full three points off them. But anyone will be doing well to better the goal difference good times that Russia have got for themselves. In all likelihood, Uruguay are going to have six points within the next 24 hours and that means that this game is a very important fixture for Egypt. We will have the team news as soon as it comes in, the match itself starts at 7pm UK time. Meanwhile, why not follow the end of Poland V Senegal here with JJ Bull?
Senegal survive late Poland onslaught to throw Group H wide open Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama Host nation Russia are on the verge of the second round of the 2018 World Cup after they beat Mohamed Salah's Egypt in St Petersburg. A 15-minute period at the start of the second half in which an Ahmed Fathy own goal was followed by strikes from Denis Cheryshev and Artem Dzyuba sent Russia into an unassailable three-goal lead. Egypt rallied, with the returning Salah scoring a 73rd-minute penalty that gave them a glimmer of hope, but Russia held on to make it six points from their first two World Cup games on home soil. 9:03PM That's moved the boy Denis Level with He Who Must Not Be Mentioned in the race for the Golden Boot. 8:58PM Class piece from Jim White Seems absolutely ridiculous that these two fans have to travel to Russia to watch their team play football live. Why? Because they are women from Iran. https://t.co/pSLIeiuqvz— Jim White (@jimw1) June 19, 2018 8:57PM Uruguay will have enjoyed that. Now a World Cup last-16 place is theirs for the taking if they beat Saudi Arabia. 8:55PM Group A Table 8:54PM Nice! Best goal difference by a host nation through two #WorldCup games: +7 ���� 2018 Russia +7 ���� 1998 France (won title) +6 ���� 1934 Italy (won title) +5 ���� 1930 Uruguay (won title)— Paul Carr (@PaulCarrTM) June 19, 2018 8:52PM Full time: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Hard lines for Egypt, but Russia are having a bit of a moment and deserved their win. 8:49PM 90+ mins: there will be four minutes added Warda and Kudryashov square up. Kudryashov looks like he could eat Warda for breakfast and still have room for pancakes. The hosts are, barring an astonishing Saudi Arabia result, going through. 8:47PM 89 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Nice move, Salah nearly dancing through, they get the break of the ball and Warda, from the right, hits it wide of the post. 8:46PM 86 mins Warda with a useful cross in. Since they, erm, went 3-0 down Egypt have played with a lot more vim. Also, other attacking players have started trying to do something rather than just looking to Salah. This is the problem with a one man team, obvs. 8:45PM 85 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt having the odd 1/4 chance but to be honest this feels remote in the extreme as a possibility. 8:42PM 84 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kahraba on, Mohsen off. Yuri Zhirkov is replaced by Fedor Kudryashov. 8:38PM 80 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt getting greedy, now they want another pen. Mohsen hits the deck. Kutepov the accused. No penalty. And I'll tell you why not: because Mohsen had fouled HIM. 8:37PM 79 mins: Golovin controls the ball majestically, nips past Gabr and waits for the foul, and the inevitable freekick. Ref doesn't give it. Snigger. Smolov comes on for Dzubya. 8:33PM 75 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kuziaev comes on, the dangerman Cheryshev off. Russia have a decent opportunity to slam the coffin lid down when Samedov delivers a useful freekick to the back stick. Ignashevich's header is saved. 8:31PM VAR to the rescue Again, VAR gets there. But poor refereeing. Always been a penalty.— Matt Smith (@msmith850) June 19, 2018 8:31PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 1 (Salah 73 pen) He's wellied that! Bosh. No messing from Mo Salah. Is that an improbable lifeline? 8:30PM 71 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 0 Salah is hauled down. To most viewers, it is clear that it is inside the box. But not to the referee though. He gives it outside the box but fortunately the VAR comes to the rescue. A PENALTY IS AWARDED Credit: BBC 8:25PM 66 mins Fed by Salah with a nice ball, Trezeguet has a shot wide, and that will be Trezeguet's last contribution. He's getting the hook, and here comes Sobhi. 8:22PM 65 mins Warda on, Elneny off. Egypt have a freekick, Gabr tries to make amends for his defensive spinelessness with a header. No. 8:20PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 0 (Dzyuba 62) Another one! Oh dear, this is turning into a horrible night for the Pharoahs. Route one, big Dzyuba chests the ball down and it's men against boys as Gabr and Hegazi crumble and let him through. Hammers it home and that, my friends, is the night boat to Cairo. Artem Dzyuba of Russia scores Credit: Getty 8:16PM GOAL! Russia 2 Egypt 0 (Cheryshev 59) Ooh, that is going to be the killer blow, surely. Nice work from Figueira Fernandes, heart and energy down the right to join the attack. Pulls the ball back, and there is the deadly Denis Cheryshev to slot the ball home. That's his third of the tournament by the way, and it looks likely that it is going to send Russia through... and send poor Egypt home. 8:14PM No OG no fun There were no own-goals at all at the 1958 and 1962 World Cups. What miserable times they must have been.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) June 19, 2018 8:13PM 55 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 That was the moment? Maybe? The ball is played into the Russian box, knockdown, Salah has it at his feet eight yards out.... but he cannot get it out from under him and the desperate Russians can clear. Fully fit, he jinks and smashes that. But he is not confident in his body. 8:10PM 52 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Russians enjoying a couple of corners. At this rate (5 own goals in 17 matches), this World Cup will have 19 own goals. The record most in a single World Cup is 6, set in 1998. #WorldCup#RUS#EGY— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) June 19, 2018 8:04PM OWN GOAL! by Fathy: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Aw, that is rotten luck for Egypt, although their keeper must carry his fair share of blame. Golovin crosses it in, the keeper comes out with a flappy, silly punch. Shoulda caught that. Instead, he punches, the Russian 11 Zobnin drills it back in and a panicking Fathy stabs it into his own net. (Fathy OG 47 mins) Dreadful shot by Zobnin by the way, would have practically gone out for a corner had Fathy not intervened. Egypt's goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy (R) watches as the ball ends up in his net after a deflection by Egypt's defender Ahmed Fathi (L) Credit: AFP/Getty 8:03PM 46 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Always a shame to see a brilliant player not at his best due to injury. But hopefully Mo Salah can weave a bit of magic. 8:00PM This shows Salah's position (10) Average touch positions (half time) He's basically playing as a narrow advanced forward. Alan Shearer sums it up well on BBC: "Mo Salah, you can tell, is only 70-75% fit and they know that - they're protecting him, he's not running back and they're just trying to get the ball up to him." 7:57PM Pretty fair Russia vs Egypt shots on goal 7:46PM Half time: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That'll do it for the half, not many chances, but plenty of energy. 7:44PM 42 mins Fun, B- quality, end-to-end stuff, here are the Russians with a corner. Gabr involved in a good old fashioned grappling contest with Dzyuba. Risky business in these VAR times... 7:42PM 40 mins There's our boy! Class from Salah, Mohsen dummies, Salah gets it and spins away from his man. Peach of a curling effort but not quite. 7:40PM 37 mins Lovely counter by Egypt, but it starts in bizarre fashion when the ball hits the ref, wrong-footing everyone! Elneny with a great ball in and Mohsen should have done a lot better. 7:35PM 34 mins Nice ball in! Mohsen just misses out to Figueira Fernandes of Russia. More even now. 7:34PM 33 mins Better spell from Egypt. Passing it, higher up the pitch. Looking slicker, ball into the area from Shafy is flicked on. Salah nearly there at the back stick! Corner. Delivery is poor. 7:33PM 30 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Enjoyable game so far. Russia unsophisticated but useful, got some pace, got some who can deliver the ball, attack in numbers. Egypt are unbalanced. They need to just get a bit of the ball, play themselves into this. 7:28PM 27 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Decent from Salah as he holds it up to tee up Trézéguet , whose shot is charged down. But it is a momentary respite: here come the Russians again. 7:27PM 25 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 This Egypt defence are making some blunders and I think they are going to be sorry. A ball is played in by Cheryshev. Keeper El-Shenawy comes, and is barged off it by Hegazi. Don't panic! 7:25PM 22 mins Salah is not doing a lot. And as I say, he is not offering anything defensively, just standing out on the right wing. Here come the Russians down the left. Gazinskii crosses and the big lad Dzyuba gets up well but glances his header too fine. 7:19PM 18 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Zhirkov takes a freekick but is wasteful with the delivery. But Russia get a lucky break when it rebounds out to Cheryshev. he has a crack, and it is not far over. 7:16PM 16 mins Lovely run from Trézéguet down the inside-left, he tries to bend it in at the far post and he is not far at all from achieving that end. 7:15PM 14 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 El Said spins away from Kutepov and was fouled. From a corner, Egypt have a headed chance. Attempt Saved: Russia 0 - 0 Egypt (Marwan Mohsen, 15 min) Behind for another corner. Another good ball in, cleared but only as far as the corner flag. Good spell for the visitors, their best of the match so far. 7:13PM 13 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That's it! Salah gets a long ball on the right, gives it inside and goes into the box. He is stopped by multiple Russians. 7:11PM 11 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Samedov and Figueira Fernandes link up well down the right but the latter cannot quite find the final ball. 7:10PM 10 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Very encouraging start from the hosts. Egypt pinned back. Salah hasn't featured. Also: Salah is not tracking back, which is fine in and of itself but somebody else needs to help out the right back in which case. 7:08PM 8 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 It's all Russia. Egypt cannot get out. 7:08PM 6 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Defensive blunder by Egypt! Sloppy, dawdling play out from the back, Golovin pinches it and races forward. He is disappointed not to have done better with the shot. 7:07PM 5 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Russia have the game's first corner.. Taken short, and it is played in by Samedov, headed by the veteran Ignashevich. Not troubling anyone, that. 7:04PM 3 mins Plenty of atmos, some beefy challenges but neither side able to dominate so far. Russia looking for raking balls to their hefty forward Artem Dzyuba. 7:01PM 1 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Egypt, in white, kick off. 7:01PM And Egypt Egypt side Credit: BBC 6:58PM Here's how Russia should line up Credit: BBC 6:56PM Russian anthem Powerful stuff. 6:55PM Egyptian anthem being belted out around the stadium, they seem to have got a few in. Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah... he's in! Credit: AFP/Getty 6:50PM Noice Russia ���� fans gather outside the entrance to Red Square as anticipation mounts ahead of the hosts’ group match against Egypt ���� in St. Petersburg. Mo Salah starts for The Pharaohs #RUSEGY ⁦@FIFAWorldCup⁩ ⁦@RT_com⁩ pic.twitter.com/TEqBth3fTC— Kate Partridge (@KatePartridge33) June 19, 2018 6:49PM Danny Murphy Bit over-dressed, aren't you? Like you just stepped out of a bookies: Danny Murphy Credit: BBC 6:48PM Fans Credit: BBC 6:35PM Who's having a good tournament? 6:34PM Where's your money, then? Here is our betting guide to a tasty fixture. Russia: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Zobnin, Gazinsky, Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev, Dzyuba. Subs: Lunev, Semenov, Kuzyaev, Dzagoev, Smolov, Kudryashov, Granat, Aleksey Miranchuk, Anton Miranchuk, Erokhin, Smolnikov, Gabulov. Egypt: El Shenawy, Fathi, Gabr, Hegazi, Abdel-Shafy, Hamed, Elneny, Salah, Said, Trezeguet, Mohsen. Subs: El Hadary, Elmohamady, Gaber, Morsy, Kahraba, Ashraf, Sobhi, Hamdy, Shikabala, Samir, Warda, Ekramy. Referee: Enrique Caceres (Paraguay) 6:21PM Salah news! The Premier League's top scorer adds some much-needed bite to an Egyptian attack that struggled to threaten Uruguay in a 1-0 loss Friday. On the other side, Russia winger Denis Cheryshev has promoted to the starting lineup after scoring twice as a substitute in Thursday's tournament-opening 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia. Egypt: Mohamed Elshenawy, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Abdelshafy, Ahmed Fathi, Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Elneny, Abdalla Said, Mohamed Salah, Mahmoud Hassan, Marwan Mohsen. Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kutepov, Sergei Ignashevich, Denis Cheryshev, Yuri Gazinsky, Fyodor Smolov, Roman Zobnin, Alexander Golovin, Yuri Zhirkov, Alexander Samedov. 6:20PM Heartwarming news! Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Blatter posed for photographs with people on his arrival at a five-star hotel downtown. The 82-year-old former FIFA president is banned from official football duty until October 2021 for financial misconduct during this 17-year rule. This is Blatter's first public appearance outside his native Switzerland since July 2015 when the World Cup qualifying draw was conducted in St. Petersburg. Blatter shared the stage that day with Putin and could meet with the Russian president this week. The FIFA ban does not prevent Blatter attending games and he is expected to see Portugal play Morocco on Wednesday at Luzhniki Stadium. 5:49PM And please welcome your hosts.... Russia! Starting Eleven @TeamRussia vs @Pharaohs#Rusia2018#RUSEGYpic.twitter.com/HLD5EZt081— Сборная России (@TeamRussia) June 19, 2018 Playing in their controversial 4-4-4 formation and giving a start to an old geezer who has come in the wrong PE kit. 5:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Saint Petersburg Stadium 5:46PM More on Mo Egypt striker Mohamed Salah will make his first appearance at the World Cup after being named in the starting line-up for tonight's match with Russia, the Egyptian Football Association has announced. The Liverpool forward has been sidelined since injuring his shoulder during last month's Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid. Salah, who was an unused substitute in Egypt's Group A opener against Uruguay on Friday, will lead his side as they face hosts Russia at Krestovsky Stadium in an attempt to bounce back from that defeat with a result. 5:45PM Here's all our reaction to the England game Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men 5:44PM Liverpool sending good vibes @MoSalah starts. ������#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/UbZbrhIFPR— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 19, 2018 5:43PM Teams إليكم تشكيل #الفراعنة لمباراة الليلة #worldcup#ThePharaohs#RUSEGY#RUS �� #Egypic.twitter.com/fMV9pNzzYk— Egypt National Football Team (@Pharaohs) June 19, 2018 5:39PM He's in Mo Salah starts! Full team news coming up. Great news: Mo Salah starts for Egypt.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 19, 2018 5:35PM All hail the Egyptian King! Good evening, and welcome to our live blog of the first of the second round of group games. Everyone, with the exception of the Russian football team and fans, is surely hoping that Mo Salah is fit enough to play in this match, and fit enough to give a good account of himself. Ronaldo has already lit up the tournament, Messi was poor, Suarez looked a bit fat and off the pace, De Bruyne had his moments, and now it is the chance for one of the other top, top, top, top players to make his mark, we hope. his Egypt side will play the hosts badly needing a result. Egypt lost by the single goal to Uruguay the other day and cannot afford another slip up. As for the hosts, they got the tournament off to an unexpectedly joyous start in the first game when they walloped Saudi Arabia. Of all the teams I have seen in the competition only the Saudis could be said to be without merit or ability, and I full expect all the other teams in this group to have the full three points off them. But anyone will be doing well to better the goal difference good times that Russia have got for themselves. In all likelihood, Uruguay are going to have six points within the next 24 hours and that means that this game is a very important fixture for Egypt. We will have the team news as soon as it comes in, the match itself starts at 7pm UK time. Meanwhile, why not follow the end of Poland V Senegal here with JJ Bull?
Russia move to brink of qualification for knockout rounds after second half blitz sees off Egypt
Senegal survive late Poland onslaught to throw Group H wide open Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama Host nation Russia are on the verge of the second round of the 2018 World Cup after they beat Mohamed Salah's Egypt in St Petersburg. A 15-minute period at the start of the second half in which an Ahmed Fathy own goal was followed by strikes from Denis Cheryshev and Artem Dzyuba sent Russia into an unassailable three-goal lead. Egypt rallied, with the returning Salah scoring a 73rd-minute penalty that gave them a glimmer of hope, but Russia held on to make it six points from their first two World Cup games on home soil. 9:03PM That's moved the boy Denis Level with He Who Must Not Be Mentioned in the race for the Golden Boot. 8:58PM Class piece from Jim White Seems absolutely ridiculous that these two fans have to travel to Russia to watch their team play football live. Why? Because they are women from Iran. https://t.co/pSLIeiuqvz— Jim White (@jimw1) June 19, 2018 8:57PM Uruguay will have enjoyed that. Now a World Cup last-16 place is theirs for the taking if they beat Saudi Arabia. 8:55PM Group A Table 8:54PM Nice! Best goal difference by a host nation through two #WorldCup games: +7 ���� 2018 Russia +7 ���� 1998 France (won title) +6 ���� 1934 Italy (won title) +5 ���� 1930 Uruguay (won title)— Paul Carr (@PaulCarrTM) June 19, 2018 8:52PM Full time: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Hard lines for Egypt, but Russia are having a bit of a moment and deserved their win. 8:49PM 90+ mins: there will be four minutes added Warda and Kudryashov square up. Kudryashov looks like he could eat Warda for breakfast and still have room for pancakes. The hosts are, barring an astonishing Saudi Arabia result, going through. 8:47PM 89 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Nice move, Salah nearly dancing through, they get the break of the ball and Warda, from the right, hits it wide of the post. 8:46PM 86 mins Warda with a useful cross in. Since they, erm, went 3-0 down Egypt have played with a lot more vim. Also, other attacking players have started trying to do something rather than just looking to Salah. This is the problem with a one man team, obvs. 8:45PM 85 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt having the odd 1/4 chance but to be honest this feels remote in the extreme as a possibility. 8:42PM 84 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kahraba on, Mohsen off. Yuri Zhirkov is replaced by Fedor Kudryashov. 8:38PM 80 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Egypt getting greedy, now they want another pen. Mohsen hits the deck. Kutepov the accused. No penalty. And I'll tell you why not: because Mohsen had fouled HIM. 8:37PM 79 mins: Golovin controls the ball majestically, nips past Gabr and waits for the foul, and the inevitable freekick. Ref doesn't give it. Snigger. Smolov comes on for Dzubya. 8:33PM 75 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 1 Kuziaev comes on, the dangerman Cheryshev off. Russia have a decent opportunity to slam the coffin lid down when Samedov delivers a useful freekick to the back stick. Ignashevich's header is saved. 8:31PM VAR to the rescue Again, VAR gets there. But poor refereeing. Always been a penalty.— Matt Smith (@msmith850) June 19, 2018 8:31PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 1 (Salah 73 pen) He's wellied that! Bosh. No messing from Mo Salah. Is that an improbable lifeline? 8:30PM 71 mins: Russia 3 Egypt 0 Salah is hauled down. To most viewers, it is clear that it is inside the box. But not to the referee though. He gives it outside the box but fortunately the VAR comes to the rescue. A PENALTY IS AWARDED Credit: BBC 8:25PM 66 mins Fed by Salah with a nice ball, Trezeguet has a shot wide, and that will be Trezeguet's last contribution. He's getting the hook, and here comes Sobhi. 8:22PM 65 mins Warda on, Elneny off. Egypt have a freekick, Gabr tries to make amends for his defensive spinelessness with a header. No. 8:20PM GOAL! Russia 3 Egypt 0 (Dzyuba 62) Another one! Oh dear, this is turning into a horrible night for the Pharoahs. Route one, big Dzyuba chests the ball down and it's men against boys as Gabr and Hegazi crumble and let him through. Hammers it home and that, my friends, is the night boat to Cairo. Artem Dzyuba of Russia scores Credit: Getty 8:16PM GOAL! Russia 2 Egypt 0 (Cheryshev 59) Ooh, that is going to be the killer blow, surely. Nice work from Figueira Fernandes, heart and energy down the right to join the attack. Pulls the ball back, and there is the deadly Denis Cheryshev to slot the ball home. That's his third of the tournament by the way, and it looks likely that it is going to send Russia through... and send poor Egypt home. 8:14PM No OG no fun There were no own-goals at all at the 1958 and 1962 World Cups. What miserable times they must have been.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) June 19, 2018 8:13PM 55 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 That was the moment? Maybe? The ball is played into the Russian box, knockdown, Salah has it at his feet eight yards out.... but he cannot get it out from under him and the desperate Russians can clear. Fully fit, he jinks and smashes that. But he is not confident in his body. 8:10PM 52 mins: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Russians enjoying a couple of corners. At this rate (5 own goals in 17 matches), this World Cup will have 19 own goals. The record most in a single World Cup is 6, set in 1998. #WorldCup#RUS#EGY— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) June 19, 2018 8:04PM OWN GOAL! by Fathy: Russia 1 Egypt 0 Aw, that is rotten luck for Egypt, although their keeper must carry his fair share of blame. Golovin crosses it in, the keeper comes out with a flappy, silly punch. Shoulda caught that. Instead, he punches, the Russian 11 Zobnin drills it back in and a panicking Fathy stabs it into his own net. (Fathy OG 47 mins) Dreadful shot by Zobnin by the way, would have practically gone out for a corner had Fathy not intervened. Egypt's goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy (R) watches as the ball ends up in his net after a deflection by Egypt's defender Ahmed Fathi (L) Credit: AFP/Getty 8:03PM 46 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Always a shame to see a brilliant player not at his best due to injury. But hopefully Mo Salah can weave a bit of magic. 8:00PM This shows Salah's position (10) Average touch positions (half time) He's basically playing as a narrow advanced forward. Alan Shearer sums it up well on BBC: "Mo Salah, you can tell, is only 70-75% fit and they know that - they're protecting him, he's not running back and they're just trying to get the ball up to him." 7:57PM Pretty fair Russia vs Egypt shots on goal 7:46PM Half time: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That'll do it for the half, not many chances, but plenty of energy. 7:44PM 42 mins Fun, B- quality, end-to-end stuff, here are the Russians with a corner. Gabr involved in a good old fashioned grappling contest with Dzyuba. Risky business in these VAR times... 7:42PM 40 mins There's our boy! Class from Salah, Mohsen dummies, Salah gets it and spins away from his man. Peach of a curling effort but not quite. 7:40PM 37 mins Lovely counter by Egypt, but it starts in bizarre fashion when the ball hits the ref, wrong-footing everyone! Elneny with a great ball in and Mohsen should have done a lot better. 7:35PM 34 mins Nice ball in! Mohsen just misses out to Figueira Fernandes of Russia. More even now. 7:34PM 33 mins Better spell from Egypt. Passing it, higher up the pitch. Looking slicker, ball into the area from Shafy is flicked on. Salah nearly there at the back stick! Corner. Delivery is poor. 7:33PM 30 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Enjoyable game so far. Russia unsophisticated but useful, got some pace, got some who can deliver the ball, attack in numbers. Egypt are unbalanced. They need to just get a bit of the ball, play themselves into this. 7:28PM 27 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Decent from Salah as he holds it up to tee up Trézéguet , whose shot is charged down. But it is a momentary respite: here come the Russians again. 7:27PM 25 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 This Egypt defence are making some blunders and I think they are going to be sorry. A ball is played in by Cheryshev. Keeper El-Shenawy comes, and is barged off it by Hegazi. Don't panic! 7:25PM 22 mins Salah is not doing a lot. And as I say, he is not offering anything defensively, just standing out on the right wing. Here come the Russians down the left. Gazinskii crosses and the big lad Dzyuba gets up well but glances his header too fine. 7:19PM 18 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Zhirkov takes a freekick but is wasteful with the delivery. But Russia get a lucky break when it rebounds out to Cheryshev. he has a crack, and it is not far over. 7:16PM 16 mins Lovely run from Trézéguet down the inside-left, he tries to bend it in at the far post and he is not far at all from achieving that end. 7:15PM 14 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 El Said spins away from Kutepov and was fouled. From a corner, Egypt have a headed chance. Attempt Saved: Russia 0 - 0 Egypt (Marwan Mohsen, 15 min) Behind for another corner. Another good ball in, cleared but only as far as the corner flag. Good spell for the visitors, their best of the match so far. 7:13PM 13 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 That's it! Salah gets a long ball on the right, gives it inside and goes into the box. He is stopped by multiple Russians. 7:11PM 11 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Samedov and Figueira Fernandes link up well down the right but the latter cannot quite find the final ball. 7:10PM 10 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Very encouraging start from the hosts. Egypt pinned back. Salah hasn't featured. Also: Salah is not tracking back, which is fine in and of itself but somebody else needs to help out the right back in which case. 7:08PM 8 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 It's all Russia. Egypt cannot get out. 7:08PM 6 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Defensive blunder by Egypt! Sloppy, dawdling play out from the back, Golovin pinches it and races forward. He is disappointed not to have done better with the shot. 7:07PM 5 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Russia have the game's first corner.. Taken short, and it is played in by Samedov, headed by the veteran Ignashevich. Not troubling anyone, that. 7:04PM 3 mins Plenty of atmos, some beefy challenges but neither side able to dominate so far. Russia looking for raking balls to their hefty forward Artem Dzyuba. 7:01PM 1 mins: Russia 0 Egypt 0 Egypt, in white, kick off. 7:01PM And Egypt Egypt side Credit: BBC 6:58PM Here's how Russia should line up Credit: BBC 6:56PM Russian anthem Powerful stuff. 6:55PM Egyptian anthem being belted out around the stadium, they seem to have got a few in. Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah... he's in! Credit: AFP/Getty 6:50PM Noice Russia ���� fans gather outside the entrance to Red Square as anticipation mounts ahead of the hosts’ group match against Egypt ���� in St. Petersburg. Mo Salah starts for The Pharaohs #RUSEGY ⁦@FIFAWorldCup⁩ ⁦@RT_com⁩ pic.twitter.com/TEqBth3fTC— Kate Partridge (@KatePartridge33) June 19, 2018 6:49PM Danny Murphy Bit over-dressed, aren't you? Like you just stepped out of a bookies: Danny Murphy Credit: BBC 6:48PM Fans Credit: BBC 6:35PM Who's having a good tournament? 6:34PM Where's your money, then? Here is our betting guide to a tasty fixture. Russia: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Zobnin, Gazinsky, Samedov, Golovin, Cheryshev, Dzyuba. Subs: Lunev, Semenov, Kuzyaev, Dzagoev, Smolov, Kudryashov, Granat, Aleksey Miranchuk, Anton Miranchuk, Erokhin, Smolnikov, Gabulov. Egypt: El Shenawy, Fathi, Gabr, Hegazi, Abdel-Shafy, Hamed, Elneny, Salah, Said, Trezeguet, Mohsen. Subs: El Hadary, Elmohamady, Gaber, Morsy, Kahraba, Ashraf, Sobhi, Hamdy, Shikabala, Samir, Warda, Ekramy. Referee: Enrique Caceres (Paraguay) 6:21PM Salah news! The Premier League's top scorer adds some much-needed bite to an Egyptian attack that struggled to threaten Uruguay in a 1-0 loss Friday. On the other side, Russia winger Denis Cheryshev has promoted to the starting lineup after scoring twice as a substitute in Thursday's tournament-opening 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia. Egypt: Mohamed Elshenawy, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Abdelshafy, Ahmed Fathi, Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Elneny, Abdalla Said, Mohamed Salah, Mahmoud Hassan, Marwan Mohsen. Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kutepov, Sergei Ignashevich, Denis Cheryshev, Yuri Gazinsky, Fyodor Smolov, Roman Zobnin, Alexander Golovin, Yuri Zhirkov, Alexander Samedov. 6:20PM Heartwarming news! Suspended former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Blatter posed for photographs with people on his arrival at a five-star hotel downtown. The 82-year-old former FIFA president is banned from official football duty until October 2021 for financial misconduct during this 17-year rule. This is Blatter's first public appearance outside his native Switzerland since July 2015 when the World Cup qualifying draw was conducted in St. Petersburg. Blatter shared the stage that day with Putin and could meet with the Russian president this week. The FIFA ban does not prevent Blatter attending games and he is expected to see Portugal play Morocco on Wednesday at Luzhniki Stadium. 5:49PM And please welcome your hosts.... Russia! Starting Eleven @TeamRussia vs @Pharaohs#Rusia2018#RUSEGYpic.twitter.com/HLD5EZt081— Сборная России (@TeamRussia) June 19, 2018 Playing in their controversial 4-4-4 formation and giving a start to an old geezer who has come in the wrong PE kit. 5:47PM Where is the match? World Cup 2018 stadium: Saint Petersburg Stadium 5:46PM More on Mo Egypt striker Mohamed Salah will make his first appearance at the World Cup after being named in the starting line-up for tonight's match with Russia, the Egyptian Football Association has announced. The Liverpool forward has been sidelined since injuring his shoulder during last month's Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid. Salah, who was an unused substitute in Egypt's Group A opener against Uruguay on Friday, will lead his side as they face hosts Russia at Krestovsky Stadium in an attempt to bounce back from that defeat with a result. 5:45PM Here's all our reaction to the England game Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men 5:44PM Liverpool sending good vibes @MoSalah starts. ������#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/UbZbrhIFPR— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 19, 2018 5:43PM Teams إليكم تشكيل #الفراعنة لمباراة الليلة #worldcup#ThePharaohs#RUSEGY#RUS �� #Egypic.twitter.com/fMV9pNzzYk— Egypt National Football Team (@Pharaohs) June 19, 2018 5:39PM He's in Mo Salah starts! Full team news coming up. Great news: Mo Salah starts for Egypt.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 19, 2018 5:35PM All hail the Egyptian King! Good evening, and welcome to our live blog of the first of the second round of group games. Everyone, with the exception of the Russian football team and fans, is surely hoping that Mo Salah is fit enough to play in this match, and fit enough to give a good account of himself. Ronaldo has already lit up the tournament, Messi was poor, Suarez looked a bit fat and off the pace, De Bruyne had his moments, and now it is the chance for one of the other top, top, top, top players to make his mark, we hope. his Egypt side will play the hosts badly needing a result. Egypt lost by the single goal to Uruguay the other day and cannot afford another slip up. As for the hosts, they got the tournament off to an unexpectedly joyous start in the first game when they walloped Saudi Arabia. Of all the teams I have seen in the competition only the Saudis could be said to be without merit or ability, and I full expect all the other teams in this group to have the full three points off them. But anyone will be doing well to better the goal difference good times that Russia have got for themselves. In all likelihood, Uruguay are going to have six points within the next 24 hours and that means that this game is a very important fixture for Egypt. We will have the team news as soon as it comes in, the match itself starts at 7pm UK time. Meanwhile, why not follow the end of Poland V Senegal here with JJ Bull?
/ Reuters
L'extrême droite allemande demande l'exclusion d'Özil et Gündogan de la Mannschaft
/ Reuters
Because the GTS isn't already hardcore enough...
BMW M4 GTS Spied Testing With Extreme Aero Kit
Because the GTS isn't already hardcore enough...
Because the GTS isn't already hardcore enough...
BMW M4 GTS Spied Testing With Extreme Aero Kit
Because the GTS isn't already hardcore enough...
World Cup hype is to be discouraged, especially if it’s about England’s chances. Nevertheless, here is a grand statement: this is the best World Cup for kits of all time. Recent tournaments have been weighed down by a few templates dominating the overall set, this year the majority of teams have something unique. There is a pleasing mix throughout of tradition being respected, but playfully twisted. Astonishingly, among 64 kits not one is entirely horrendous. As ever, these rankings are entirely subjective but they are also entirely correct. To my mind a good international tournament kit is five things: Correct for its time, slightly different to what has come before, aware that it will be seen on TV far more often than in person, memorable, and, perhaps most important of all, not all-white. For those keeping score at home the manufacturers count this year breaks down as follows: World Cup 2018 kit manufacturers With that bit of thrilling administrative business taken care of, let's begin our countdown with the very worst kit of this year’s World Cup. 64. Switzerland home Credit: PUMA The trouble with the aforementioned lack of honking clangers in this year’s collection is that someone still has to come bottom. Luckily no-one will shed any tears for Switzerland, seemingly invited to every World Cup despite never bringing anything good to drink. This is a marble cake monstrosity, an OS map of a doomed hike, a pattern in lieu of a personality. The overly-relaxed promotional shot also suggests Switzerland just aren’t taking this competition seriously enough. Too late to swap them out for a more interesting team? 63. Australia away Credit: NIKE Always a worrying sign when it’s hard to picture Mile Jedinak in a kit but no struggle whatsoever to imagine the same outfit on Shane Warne. This fails an important test: does it look like a football shirt? Would pass for the uniform of a garden centre employee with the addition of an “I’m here to help” badge. Unfortunately the gaudy crossing streams bring to mind some top lads messing about at the urinals. On this evidence both have an awful lot to learn about hydration. 62. Serbia away Credit: PUMA Pretty ropey business from Puma which has decided with all the wisdom of a large cat that away shirts at this year’s tournament MUST be white. Shame such decisiveness wasn’t in play for that stripe running down the middle which isn’t quite sure where to start or end. In France for Euro 2016 you could buy face-painting sticks which smeared something like a French flag down your face*. This looks like an accident with one of those. Improved by a number on the front as demonstrated by the fine men to the right. * If you’d like to see a man who really likes football kits being accosted by one of these, this is the video of your dreams: 61. Morocco home Credit: Adidas Morocco delayed their launch for both of their shirts until this week, because they were so concerned about forged versions reaching the market, both abstract and actual. Was it worth the wait? No, no it was not. Somehow both dull and brash. A deeply uninspired effort. 60. Egypt away Credit: GETTY IMAGES Rubbish. Put a pyramid on it, at least. So lacking in verve that in the event of a kit clash Egypt might as well just play in skins. 59. Iran home Credit: AP Really not sold on the idea of a modern kit launch, Iran simply strode out of the tunnel for a friendly against Turkey wearing this, their new home kit. No photoshopped Lions, no meaningless three-word mottos, no press releases about fabric which periodically sprays your skin with expensive serum. We applaud their approach, but not their anonymous kit. Looks familiar, doesn’t it? It’s the same template as Morocco home with the same half-arsed lack of flair as Egypt’s similarly white away shirt. Seeing the spectacular work Adidas has done for several of the kits higher on this chart it’s clear where its priorities lie. 58. Saudi Arabia home Credit: Nike How to make the blank canvas of a white Nike kit instantly less appealing? Add a sickly shade of green! Limp and tedious. 57. Panama home Credit: New Balance As long-time kit ranking-enjoyers will attest, I am in the tank for New Balance. It generally finds a way to upheld the best traditional aspects of a team’s look while adding memorable flourishes. What happens when a team has no notable tradition to speak of? Maths-paper squares, it would seem. Disappointingly cheap-looking. 56. Belgium away Credit: Adidas The Watford side of the 1980s may seem like an unlikely influence for an international football kit in 2018, but here we are. Something a bit public transport upholstery about the shirt, which appears to be mere lines at first, before squares start appearing like a disappointing Magic Eye. Fails to hang together in a pleasing way as a set, and I suspect it’s that weak Pro Evo-like team emblem which is to blame. 55. Tunisia home Credit: Uhlsport A schoolfriend of mine once brought back several Tunisia home shirts from a holiday so our dreadful five-a-side team could have a matching kit. Suffice to say they were not Official Licensed Team Products. The memory of that shirt and all of its kind, shiny, utterly impermeable, clinging to your entire back after five minutes, came flooding back seeing this aggressively boring home kit. Little to recommend beyond some minor attempts at geometry on the side. Not good enough. 54. Senegal home Credit: Puma Last year Senegal wore a fearsome roaring lion on their shoulder, made out of bold dashes of colour: Credit: REUTERS This year Senegal have moved on with their lives and are trying to forget about their wild summer of lion. They have deleted his number. They’re going out less. They have, unfortunately, got dull. Sublimated patterns are all well and good in the context of pictures of kits on the internet, but IRL this is a tedious white shirt with some uninspired trim in an unappealing green. 53. Morocco away Credit: Adidas An Adidas teamwear template that’s available for any Sunday League team that fancies it. Not a particularly offensive one, but surely something slightly more exciting is possible? As may have been mentioned before, this is the World Cup. 52. Switzerland away Credit: Puma Honestly, Switzerland, why bother? What is the point? You’re cheating yourself, Switzerland. You’re capable of more, Puma. That’s too many logos, both of you. Liven up your ideas. You are harshing my World Cup buzz. 51. Iceland away Credit: Errea Some sad news for you: this will not be Iceland’s World Cup. Lightning doesn’t strike twice, and international football tournament shock artists do not repeat the trick in consecutive competitions. Especially when Gylfi Sigurdsson is injured. Still, we will have a great time getting behind Iceland, enjoying their incredible support and trying to clap along with them at the correct moment. We will just not be wearing this shirt, because the collar is silly and there is something iffy about those sleeves. 50. Iran away Credit: GETTY IMAGES A little more oopmh behind this Iran effort, but still impossible to shake the feeling their only notable contribution to this World Cup will be to provide a future low-scoring answer on Pointless. 49. Spain away Credit: Adidas Unsure about what’s happened here, but somewhere along the line mistakes have been made. Spain have been wearing white as change or third strips since 1982, but few stick in the memory beyond this belter from 2016: Credit: EPA This one will not be hanging around for long in anyone's mind, with its trim like dubious Sangria and a vague waterfall of pointless turquoise. The abandonment of a largely-glorious history of navy away shirts should lead to a root and branch review in whichever Spanish quango is responsible for choosing kits. 48. Uruguay away Credit: Puma Yr man here looks like he’s on his way to cause some aggro. Don’t try that in Russia, pal. It will not end well. Few discerning remarks for another tedious white away shirt from Puma’s big book of uninspired ideas. 47. Belgium home Credit: Adidas Theoretically amazing but does not come off. A re-hash of Belgium’s Euro 84 kit, a tournament in which they beat Yugoslavia, were hammered by France then lost 3-2 to Denmark after leading 2-0. If we’re commemorating farce let’s give Gareth Southgate a cool “retro” umbrella. Proof that Argyle and football shirts just don’t mix, as everyone except Plymouth die-hards will admit. Gives impression that Belgium would much rather be good at cycling than football. Check out those constricting sleeves - only suitable if you have the freakishly tiny upper arms of Chris Froome. 46. Serbia home Credit: Puma More middle of the road than a central reservation. Cannot be redeemed, even by a number font on loan from a Disneyfied Balkans-themed restaurant menu. 45. Tunisia away Credit: Uhlsport Like a dull Denmark. Won’t upset anyone, either stylistically or on the pitch. (Let’s see how well that statement ages after the match taking place in Volgograd on 18 June…) 44. Poland away Credit: Nike We have similar to come in this countdown with Poland’s home effort which is (spoilers) identical, albeit in a different colour. So just hold that thought if waiting for a verdict on this one and remember that, sometimes, white looks better than red. The socks, sadly absent here, are also red. Red, red, red. Never much fun. 43. Saudi Arabia away Credit: Nike Fairly muted and tasteful, whether or not the team can muster a single second of balletic glory which mirrors the Nike promotional material here remains to be seen. Some extra points for the number placement above the right breast, a welcome trend for several of Nike’s shirts in Russia. 42. Iceland home Credit: Errea Lovable though Iceland are, there is a fine line between joyful throwbacks to the design trends of 1997 and just looking like the Chesterfield side who nearly reached the FA Cup final. Unfortunately this falls just the wrong side. Never mind, it will bring back happy memories for Sean Dyche. 41. South Korea home Credit: Nike That’s quite the bland shirt you have there, South Korea. You are in danger of disappointing the excellent tiger who lives on your emblem. The black shorts help the overall look, as does a very excited model. 40. Japan away Credit: Adidas It takes a special sort of kit tragic to see a new shirt and immediately think “Albania change 2016.” Reader, I am that anorak. This is a more refined take on the radiator texture chic explored by the Eagles in the last European Championships. It still looks more like it was designed more to impress as a niche Parkrun choice than to create TV memories at an international tournament. That’s a trend to be discouraged. 39. Senegal away Credit: Puma A shade of green which does not look interested in messing around. The overall combination of pattern, trim and sublimated image is a touch dated but just about gets over the line between striking and naff. 38. Nigeria home Credit: Nike This is it, the great novelty. The bold statement. The reported 3million pre-orders. Memorable, certainly. Bold, undoubtedly. But somehow quite calculated, a bit knowing. A feeling that its designers are deliberately attempting to court controversy rather than make something with the sort of weird beauty which will inevitably divide opinion. Perhaps I am too cynical, and I appreciate the effort. But I cannot find it in my heart to love the kit. A nation weeps as one. 37. Sweden home Credit: Adidas Like any self-respecting adult I have a favourite two-colour combination for sports kits and it’s yellow and blue. I have, though, been burned by too many forgettable Sweden appearances at World Cups. They have been no fun since 1994. Neither is this kit, really, despite the same diagonal stripes also seen on Real Madrid’s current home shirt which look like an afterthought. 36. Panama away Credit: New Balance A man, a plan, a canal… Pretty patterns! This is a bit more like it from Team Canal and their official Matchday supplier - Team Balancing Things in New and Inventive ways. Some risk, some invention, an odd plunging collar. A qualified success. 35. England home Credit: Nike A return to the sort of England kit a seven-year-old would draw if brought up in the 1990s, after some CONTROVERSIAL experimentation with devilry such as light blue sleeves and (gasp!) red socks for Euro 2016. Everything about that tournament must now be expunged from English football history, but I’m not convinced that a return to such a safe set is helpful. Especially at a time already coloured by questionable memories of how perfect things used to be in England in the good old days when everything was simpler. Add my name to the growing list of people who wish they’d gone with their excellent training top as home shirt instead: Credit: Nike 34. Portugal away Credit: Nike Nice try Portugal, with your constellation of stars on the front, but this is still all-white and therefore not eligible for the upper reaches. Can imagine Ronaldo will look resplendent in this while eagerly indicating that he wants a throw-in delivered to him NOW by one of the inferior men he must tolerate every couple of years for a few weeks. I bet one of his own team-mates will try to swap shirts with him. 33. Peru home Credit: Umbro Has Umbro muffed it? I think it might have done. You wait so long for a proud Peruvian sash at a World Cup then when it comes it’s served with a side order of unnecessary gold ribbon. You can’t even pick it off. You probably can, but it will invalidate your shirt’s warranty. A country who are a wonderful addition to the tournament, a great shame the kit isn’t the classic it should be. 32. Australia home Credit: Nike If you like your lager advertising chummy, your Cahills to be called Tim (not Gary), and your dinkum fair have we got the World Cup kit for you? ‘Straylia! Seismograph sleeves complement gold as bold as a slap in the face from a lovable rogue in Earl’s Court Walkabout. 31. Russia home Credit: Adidas Remember the Soviet Union? I don’t, really, but expect its citizens would be as proud as their rulers would permit to wear this. Strong, bold and inscrutable. Stick “CCCP” on the front and put Frankie Goes To Hollywood on and we’re back in 1984. No not Relax, the other one. No! not The Power Of Love… Oh, forget it. 30. Nigeria away Credit: Nike Not the Nigeria shirt that everyone (anyone) is talking about at this year’s World Cup, but the sensible Super Eagles Super Fan’s Super Choice. An unusual shade of dark green, rarely seen on a football shirt. Perhaps with good reason, this is the kit most likely to suffer the same “players can’t pick eachother out” fate as Manchester United’s grey from 1996. 29. Spain home Credit: Adidas I am a little wary of the trend to look backwards when designing kits. Nick a flourish, sure, but there seems little point in slavishly aping past designs. Adidas has largely “drawn inspiration” rather than “shamelessly pilfered” from its past for this tournament, but this lapses into outright cover version. Spain reached the quarter-finals in 1994 wearing a very similar shirt to this, but the lined effect on this year’s diamonds takes the edge off in 2018. There has been some controversy about what looks like purple, which is a contentious colour in Spain because of its use in the Republican flag, used by anti-monarchy protesters. Despite it all, this is fairly tasty. Shorts and socks especially so. 28. Egypt home Credit: Adidas Tidy, no nonsense, playing a straight bat, stiff upper lip, masking the sadness of an entire nation about a bad thing Sergio Ramos did. 27. Portugal home Credit: Nike Nothing to fault, nothing to feel excited about. Green socks are fairly jolly. Portugal have been gradually losing claret since peak-bastard Cristiano in 2006. This edges back to that deeper, more soulful colour than recent journeys towards the light. Embrace the evil, Portugal. Strike us down with all of your hatred. 26. Argentina home Credit: Adidas Very little to see here beyond some acceptable gradient work on the blue stripes. Some kits are protected like greenbelt land. The excess white at the shoulder where the blue marries the sleeve looks almost like a manufacturing error. There are perhaps six people in the world who care about this. 25. Costa Rica home Credit: New Balance Here we go Costa Rica, that’s how you do a subtle shirt pattern! The lines are DNA, apparently for… reasons. Don’t ask New Balance too many questions or you’ll end up in that glass chamber. 24. Poland home Credit: Nike As has been covered at length, all-white is not the way to my heart, but this is very tidy indeed. Brought to life by its diagonal halving, elevating it immediately from dull to borderline memorable. What does it all mean? Nothing. Almost certainly nothing. 23. Argentina away Credit: Adidas The closest we come to a template to be bored of at this year’s World Cup is this, the Adidas nipple-emphasis side-stripes. Happily, like its similarly ubiquitous USA 94 designs worn by Romania, Sweden, Bulgaria and Norway, it’s a peach. We’ll be seeing plenty more of it in what remains of this list. Argentina have one of the less memorable incarnations, but it’s still totally pleasant. 22. South Korea away Credit: Nike Now we’re talking. This is how to jolt an all-white change strip into life - by adding the graphic style of an aspirational hi-tech power shower that you will never be able to afford. 21. England away Credit: Nike Shades of 1998 here, when England had a deeper shade of red which also featured a St George’s cross pattern. Picture David Beckham’s free kick against Colombia. Yes, that’s the one. Now how do you feel? Maximum patriotic! Six pints before kick-off! A scuffle outside a suburban chain pub! It’s coming home, it’s coming home etc. 20. Mexico home Credit: Adidas Welcome back, delightful Adidas template. Okay, you’re approaching our nipples from a different angle. Look, I’m open-minded. I’ll give it a go. Variety is the spice of life. This ticks a lot of boxes. A retro flourish, confident boldness, unusual socks. Yes to all. 19. Denmark away Credit: Hummel Don’t panic, fans of the 1980s. The appropriate fawning over Denmark and the manufacturers of their kit will follow when we reach their home kit. Odd how white shorts under red shirts looks textbook, but the opposite seems transgressive and maverick. Nevertheless, nothing wrong here whatsoever. 18. Russia away Credit: Adidas Briefly made me smile, which is more than the country of Russia is likely to do for the majority of fans visiting this summer. Official literature says the shirt pattern “Depicts an abstract vision of Russian architecture and pays homage to the architectural landmarks and industrial cities of the country’s….” Hahahahaha! Looks more like the user interface of a sinister computer program that’s methodically stealing an entire continent’s private data. Shorts and socks: decent. Overall verdict: da. 17. Colombia away Credit: Adidas Missing Holland? And the 1994 World Cup? Hey, things are looking up! The Colombia party bus pulls into the official Fifa World Cup Parking Zone and is ready to shake things up. Hop on board, and remember - it’s pronounced Ham-ez. Try it with some other familiar J-words and phrases until you get the hang of it: Hury service, hoint custody, ham har. Congratulations, you are now a citizen of Colombia. 16. Peru away Credit: Umbro This is far better work from the boys from the… place. With the… stuff. Anyway, reawaken Nobby Solano because a new day is dawning. The accent gold makes far more sense here than on its hostile invasion of the home shirt. A winner. 15. Mexico away Credit: Adidas How often can you say you’ve never seen a football kit quite like this before? (Be quiet, Nigeria home) 'Soy Mexico' is printed on the collar, not a tribute to the least-used condiment bottle in your new neighbourhood taco pop-up, but “I am Mexico” in Spanish. A distant cousin on the 78-9 away shirt (made by Levi’s, fact fans), but the vertical stripes on that have been rotated. Six thumbs up. 14. Croatia home Credit: Nike There’s no easy way to break this to you Croatia, but your checks need some balances. They have grown too big. You’re out of control! The subtle effect on their edges is a nice way to spruce up what must be one of the hardest shirts to do anything inventive with. Is really going to sing with some numbers in Nike’s off-centred position judging by Luka Modric in the promotional shots: Credit: NIKE 13. Uruguay home Credit: Puma Say what you like about the Uruguay brand (and MANY have), but they have really taken ownership of a very specific shade of blue. Still light, not-quite-sky: pre-dawn. It does a wonderful job of masking some truly reprehensible tackles. The pattern shares the same message as the timeless classic by Inner City: "We're having big sun". Sure, why not? 12. France away Credit: Nike Remember when England tried to get a bit clever by roping in graphic designer Peter Saville and putting some multicoloured patterned crosses on their shirt? Sure you do: There is something similar going on here, but it’s far nicer. As the French say “un touch de class”. 11. Sweden away Credit: Adidas A nourishing meal of lines and squares on this shirt, previously sighted in less appealing form on Belgium’s change shirt. The difference here is that the pattern becomes a focal point with this colour scheme, rather than something to squint at which may cause migraine. These shorts also look like the best day of your summer holiday. The model on Adidas’s website is promising some very relaxed socks too: Credit: ADIDAS 10. Denmark home Credit: Hummel Nothing too fussy going on here, which has hurt similar straightforward red-shirted outfits lower down in this ranking. But come on. Denmark, in a World Cup, in Hummel, as the football gods intended. What am I not made of? Stone. The answer is stone. 9. Brazil home Credit: Nike Nike taking few chances with one of the least-ruinable kit configurations in football. You don’t take chances after the trauma of 2014 and losing 7-1 on your own patch, you look to shut up shop, minimise anyone’s ability to hurt you and keep it tight at the back for the next 300 or so years. A kit to make new and better memories in. 8. France home Credit: Nike Manchester City share this new Nike Vapor template, but it makes more sense here with a darker blue base colour and the brighter accents on the sleeves. The white shorts and red sock combo create an overall vibe like an accomplished classical music performance. 7. Costa Rica away Credit: New Balance There is some subtle magic occurring here because with white, black and a some basically invisible shirt patterning this should be forgettable. And yet, I can’t stop looking at it. Perhaps I have been hypnotised by that shiny spiral of a crest. I do not mind, this is wonderful. 6. Croatia away Credit: Nike Intimidatingly cool. Transcending the usual busted flush of all-dark kits with an unapologetically massive crest, pleasingly retaining its usual colours. Bigger checks suit the muted palette. Nailed on future-classic. 5. Germany away Credit: Adidas This is firmly up the correct alley of taking inspiration from the past rather than merely replicating it. Describe this to someone who hadn’t seen it and you’d probably use the same adjectives as doing similar for the West Germany 1990 away strip. They are related, but cousins rather than twins. The green has grown up, the geometry has shifted into something more complex, creating unresolved patterns which somehow add up to something coherent. Masterful and mesmerising. 4. Japan home Credit: Adidas A pattern which doubles as a Cheese Box board, the square-drawing game which no-one ever played on the back of Top Trumps cards. There’s something strange and novel at work and it deserves to win hearts and minds. It’s as if Japan know the team’s not up to much so have concentrated trying to win at kits. In other words: Ideal. Unusual and beautiful. 3. Brazil away Credit: Nike Pow! An utter stunner. Even the socks look super-cool. Would endorse getting drunk on Caipirinhas wearing this shirt, while getting drunk on Caipirinhas wearing this shirt. 2. Germany home Credit: Adidas Simultaneously modern and retro. Both bold and classy. Again, it has an echo of the 1990 West Germany kit but isn’t ripping it off. A sublime piece of work. You’d thank them for beating you on penalties. 1. Colombia home Credit: Adidas On first impression it looked to me like the yellow here was not quite popping like on Colombia’s also-spectacular 2014 shirt, with the neat diagonal pinstripes. I also wondered about stripe overkill this time: There are stripes on the nipple-troublers, located just underneath the Adidas shoulder stripes. But I have peeked at this kit periodically since it was unveiled in March. It got better every time I returned to it. As my excitement for the tournament has built, so has my appreciation for this kit. My initial problems were nit-picking in the extreme, the result of a winter which wouldn’t go away. Now the sun is out we can see this kit for what it is: borderline pornographic. Our winner. Thom Gibbs's previous kit rankings | Putting things into order since 2014 John Devlin’s delightful new book True Colours: International Football Kits was a valuable resource during the compilation of this article. More information here. World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018 kits: ranked - Every strip assessed including Peru, Nigeria, England and Panama
World Cup hype is to be discouraged, especially if it’s about England’s chances. Nevertheless, here is a grand statement: this is the best World Cup for kits of all time. Recent tournaments have been weighed down by a few templates dominating the overall set, this year the majority of teams have something unique. There is a pleasing mix throughout of tradition being respected, but playfully twisted. Astonishingly, among 64 kits not one is entirely horrendous. As ever, these rankings are entirely subjective but they are also entirely correct. To my mind a good international tournament kit is five things: Correct for its time, slightly different to what has come before, aware that it will be seen on TV far more often than in person, memorable, and, perhaps most important of all, not all-white. For those keeping score at home the manufacturers count this year breaks down as follows: World Cup 2018 kit manufacturers With that bit of thrilling administrative business taken care of, let's begin our countdown with the very worst kit of this year’s World Cup. 64. Switzerland home Credit: PUMA The trouble with the aforementioned lack of honking clangers in this year’s collection is that someone still has to come bottom. Luckily no-one will shed any tears for Switzerland, seemingly invited to every World Cup despite never bringing anything good to drink. This is a marble cake monstrosity, an OS map of a doomed hike, a pattern in lieu of a personality. The overly-relaxed promotional shot also suggests Switzerland just aren’t taking this competition seriously enough. Too late to swap them out for a more interesting team? 63. Australia away Credit: NIKE Always a worrying sign when it’s hard to picture Mile Jedinak in a kit but no struggle whatsoever to imagine the same outfit on Shane Warne. This fails an important test: does it look like a football shirt? Would pass for the uniform of a garden centre employee with the addition of an “I’m here to help” badge. Unfortunately the gaudy crossing streams bring to mind some top lads messing about at the urinals. On this evidence both have an awful lot to learn about hydration. 62. Serbia away Credit: PUMA Pretty ropey business from Puma which has decided with all the wisdom of a large cat that away shirts at this year’s tournament MUST be white. Shame such decisiveness wasn’t in play for that stripe running down the middle which isn’t quite sure where to start or end. In France for Euro 2016 you could buy face-painting sticks which smeared something like a French flag down your face*. This looks like an accident with one of those. Improved by a number on the front as demonstrated by the fine men to the right. * If you’d like to see a man who really likes football kits being accosted by one of these, this is the video of your dreams: 61. Morocco home Credit: Adidas Morocco delayed their launch for both of their shirts until this week, because they were so concerned about forged versions reaching the market, both abstract and actual. Was it worth the wait? No, no it was not. Somehow both dull and brash. A deeply uninspired effort. 60. Egypt away Credit: GETTY IMAGES Rubbish. Put a pyramid on it, at least. So lacking in verve that in the event of a kit clash Egypt might as well just play in skins. 59. Iran home Credit: AP Really not sold on the idea of a modern kit launch, Iran simply strode out of the tunnel for a friendly against Turkey wearing this, their new home kit. No photoshopped Lions, no meaningless three-word mottos, no press releases about fabric which periodically sprays your skin with expensive serum. We applaud their approach, but not their anonymous kit. Looks familiar, doesn’t it? It’s the same template as Morocco home with the same half-arsed lack of flair as Egypt’s similarly white away shirt. Seeing the spectacular work Adidas has done for several of the kits higher on this chart it’s clear where its priorities lie. 58. Saudi Arabia home Credit: Nike How to make the blank canvas of a white Nike kit instantly less appealing? Add a sickly shade of green! Limp and tedious. 57. Panama home Credit: New Balance As long-time kit ranking-enjoyers will attest, I am in the tank for New Balance. It generally finds a way to upheld the best traditional aspects of a team’s look while adding memorable flourishes. What happens when a team has no notable tradition to speak of? Maths-paper squares, it would seem. Disappointingly cheap-looking. 56. Belgium away Credit: Adidas The Watford side of the 1980s may seem like an unlikely influence for an international football kit in 2018, but here we are. Something a bit public transport upholstery about the shirt, which appears to be mere lines at first, before squares start appearing like a disappointing Magic Eye. Fails to hang together in a pleasing way as a set, and I suspect it’s that weak Pro Evo-like team emblem which is to blame. 55. Tunisia home Credit: Uhlsport A schoolfriend of mine once brought back several Tunisia home shirts from a holiday so our dreadful five-a-side team could have a matching kit. Suffice to say they were not Official Licensed Team Products. The memory of that shirt and all of its kind, shiny, utterly impermeable, clinging to your entire back after five minutes, came flooding back seeing this aggressively boring home kit. Little to recommend beyond some minor attempts at geometry on the side. Not good enough. 54. Senegal home Credit: Puma Last year Senegal wore a fearsome roaring lion on their shoulder, made out of bold dashes of colour: Credit: REUTERS This year Senegal have moved on with their lives and are trying to forget about their wild summer of lion. They have deleted his number. They’re going out less. They have, unfortunately, got dull. Sublimated patterns are all well and good in the context of pictures of kits on the internet, but IRL this is a tedious white shirt with some uninspired trim in an unappealing green. 53. Morocco away Credit: Adidas An Adidas teamwear template that’s available for any Sunday League team that fancies it. Not a particularly offensive one, but surely something slightly more exciting is possible? As may have been mentioned before, this is the World Cup. 52. Switzerland away Credit: Puma Honestly, Switzerland, why bother? What is the point? You’re cheating yourself, Switzerland. You’re capable of more, Puma. That’s too many logos, both of you. Liven up your ideas. You are harshing my World Cup buzz. 51. Iceland away Credit: Errea Some sad news for you: this will not be Iceland’s World Cup. Lightning doesn’t strike twice, and international football tournament shock artists do not repeat the trick in consecutive competitions. Especially when Gylfi Sigurdsson is injured. Still, we will have a great time getting behind Iceland, enjoying their incredible support and trying to clap along with them at the correct moment. We will just not be wearing this shirt, because the collar is silly and there is something iffy about those sleeves. 50. Iran away Credit: GETTY IMAGES A little more oopmh behind this Iran effort, but still impossible to shake the feeling their only notable contribution to this World Cup will be to provide a future low-scoring answer on Pointless. 49. Spain away Credit: Adidas Unsure about what’s happened here, but somewhere along the line mistakes have been made. Spain have been wearing white as change or third strips since 1982, but few stick in the memory beyond this belter from 2016: Credit: EPA This one will not be hanging around for long in anyone's mind, with its trim like dubious Sangria and a vague waterfall of pointless turquoise. The abandonment of a largely-glorious history of navy away shirts should lead to a root and branch review in whichever Spanish quango is responsible for choosing kits. 48. Uruguay away Credit: Puma Yr man here looks like he’s on his way to cause some aggro. Don’t try that in Russia, pal. It will not end well. Few discerning remarks for another tedious white away shirt from Puma’s big book of uninspired ideas. 47. Belgium home Credit: Adidas Theoretically amazing but does not come off. A re-hash of Belgium’s Euro 84 kit, a tournament in which they beat Yugoslavia, were hammered by France then lost 3-2 to Denmark after leading 2-0. If we’re commemorating farce let’s give Gareth Southgate a cool “retro” umbrella. Proof that Argyle and football shirts just don’t mix, as everyone except Plymouth die-hards will admit. Gives impression that Belgium would much rather be good at cycling than football. Check out those constricting sleeves - only suitable if you have the freakishly tiny upper arms of Chris Froome. 46. Serbia home Credit: Puma More middle of the road than a central reservation. Cannot be redeemed, even by a number font on loan from a Disneyfied Balkans-themed restaurant menu. 45. Tunisia away Credit: Uhlsport Like a dull Denmark. Won’t upset anyone, either stylistically or on the pitch. (Let’s see how well that statement ages after the match taking place in Volgograd on 18 June…) 44. Poland away Credit: Nike We have similar to come in this countdown with Poland’s home effort which is (spoilers) identical, albeit in a different colour. So just hold that thought if waiting for a verdict on this one and remember that, sometimes, white looks better than red. The socks, sadly absent here, are also red. Red, red, red. Never much fun. 43. Saudi Arabia away Credit: Nike Fairly muted and tasteful, whether or not the team can muster a single second of balletic glory which mirrors the Nike promotional material here remains to be seen. Some extra points for the number placement above the right breast, a welcome trend for several of Nike’s shirts in Russia. 42. Iceland home Credit: Errea Lovable though Iceland are, there is a fine line between joyful throwbacks to the design trends of 1997 and just looking like the Chesterfield side who nearly reached the FA Cup final. Unfortunately this falls just the wrong side. Never mind, it will bring back happy memories for Sean Dyche. 41. South Korea home Credit: Nike That’s quite the bland shirt you have there, South Korea. You are in danger of disappointing the excellent tiger who lives on your emblem. The black shorts help the overall look, as does a very excited model. 40. Japan away Credit: Adidas It takes a special sort of kit tragic to see a new shirt and immediately think “Albania change 2016.” Reader, I am that anorak. This is a more refined take on the radiator texture chic explored by the Eagles in the last European Championships. It still looks more like it was designed more to impress as a niche Parkrun choice than to create TV memories at an international tournament. That’s a trend to be discouraged. 39. Senegal away Credit: Puma A shade of green which does not look interested in messing around. The overall combination of pattern, trim and sublimated image is a touch dated but just about gets over the line between striking and naff. 38. Nigeria home Credit: Nike This is it, the great novelty. The bold statement. The reported 3million pre-orders. Memorable, certainly. Bold, undoubtedly. But somehow quite calculated, a bit knowing. A feeling that its designers are deliberately attempting to court controversy rather than make something with the sort of weird beauty which will inevitably divide opinion. Perhaps I am too cynical, and I appreciate the effort. But I cannot find it in my heart to love the kit. A nation weeps as one. 37. Sweden home Credit: Adidas Like any self-respecting adult I have a favourite two-colour combination for sports kits and it’s yellow and blue. I have, though, been burned by too many forgettable Sweden appearances at World Cups. They have been no fun since 1994. Neither is this kit, really, despite the same diagonal stripes also seen on Real Madrid’s current home shirt which look like an afterthought. 36. Panama away Credit: New Balance A man, a plan, a canal… Pretty patterns! This is a bit more like it from Team Canal and their official Matchday supplier - Team Balancing Things in New and Inventive ways. Some risk, some invention, an odd plunging collar. A qualified success. 35. England home Credit: Nike A return to the sort of England kit a seven-year-old would draw if brought up in the 1990s, after some CONTROVERSIAL experimentation with devilry such as light blue sleeves and (gasp!) red socks for Euro 2016. Everything about that tournament must now be expunged from English football history, but I’m not convinced that a return to such a safe set is helpful. Especially at a time already coloured by questionable memories of how perfect things used to be in England in the good old days when everything was simpler. Add my name to the growing list of people who wish they’d gone with their excellent training top as home shirt instead: Credit: Nike 34. Portugal away Credit: Nike Nice try Portugal, with your constellation of stars on the front, but this is still all-white and therefore not eligible for the upper reaches. Can imagine Ronaldo will look resplendent in this while eagerly indicating that he wants a throw-in delivered to him NOW by one of the inferior men he must tolerate every couple of years for a few weeks. I bet one of his own team-mates will try to swap shirts with him. 33. Peru home Credit: Umbro Has Umbro muffed it? I think it might have done. You wait so long for a proud Peruvian sash at a World Cup then when it comes it’s served with a side order of unnecessary gold ribbon. You can’t even pick it off. You probably can, but it will invalidate your shirt’s warranty. A country who are a wonderful addition to the tournament, a great shame the kit isn’t the classic it should be. 32. Australia home Credit: Nike If you like your lager advertising chummy, your Cahills to be called Tim (not Gary), and your dinkum fair have we got the World Cup kit for you? ‘Straylia! Seismograph sleeves complement gold as bold as a slap in the face from a lovable rogue in Earl’s Court Walkabout. 31. Russia home Credit: Adidas Remember the Soviet Union? I don’t, really, but expect its citizens would be as proud as their rulers would permit to wear this. Strong, bold and inscrutable. Stick “CCCP” on the front and put Frankie Goes To Hollywood on and we’re back in 1984. No not Relax, the other one. No! not The Power Of Love… Oh, forget it. 30. Nigeria away Credit: Nike Not the Nigeria shirt that everyone (anyone) is talking about at this year’s World Cup, but the sensible Super Eagles Super Fan’s Super Choice. An unusual shade of dark green, rarely seen on a football shirt. Perhaps with good reason, this is the kit most likely to suffer the same “players can’t pick eachother out” fate as Manchester United’s grey from 1996. 29. Spain home Credit: Adidas I am a little wary of the trend to look backwards when designing kits. Nick a flourish, sure, but there seems little point in slavishly aping past designs. Adidas has largely “drawn inspiration” rather than “shamelessly pilfered” from its past for this tournament, but this lapses into outright cover version. Spain reached the quarter-finals in 1994 wearing a very similar shirt to this, but the lined effect on this year’s diamonds takes the edge off in 2018. There has been some controversy about what looks like purple, which is a contentious colour in Spain because of its use in the Republican flag, used by anti-monarchy protesters. Despite it all, this is fairly tasty. Shorts and socks especially so. 28. Egypt home Credit: Adidas Tidy, no nonsense, playing a straight bat, stiff upper lip, masking the sadness of an entire nation about a bad thing Sergio Ramos did. 27. Portugal home Credit: Nike Nothing to fault, nothing to feel excited about. Green socks are fairly jolly. Portugal have been gradually losing claret since peak-bastard Cristiano in 2006. This edges back to that deeper, more soulful colour than recent journeys towards the light. Embrace the evil, Portugal. Strike us down with all of your hatred. 26. Argentina home Credit: Adidas Very little to see here beyond some acceptable gradient work on the blue stripes. Some kits are protected like greenbelt land. The excess white at the shoulder where the blue marries the sleeve looks almost like a manufacturing error. There are perhaps six people in the world who care about this. 25. Costa Rica home Credit: New Balance Here we go Costa Rica, that’s how you do a subtle shirt pattern! The lines are DNA, apparently for… reasons. Don’t ask New Balance too many questions or you’ll end up in that glass chamber. 24. Poland home Credit: Nike As has been covered at length, all-white is not the way to my heart, but this is very tidy indeed. Brought to life by its diagonal halving, elevating it immediately from dull to borderline memorable. What does it all mean? Nothing. Almost certainly nothing. 23. Argentina away Credit: Adidas The closest we come to a template to be bored of at this year’s World Cup is this, the Adidas nipple-emphasis side-stripes. Happily, like its similarly ubiquitous USA 94 designs worn by Romania, Sweden, Bulgaria and Norway, it’s a peach. We’ll be seeing plenty more of it in what remains of this list. Argentina have one of the less memorable incarnations, but it’s still totally pleasant. 22. South Korea away Credit: Nike Now we’re talking. This is how to jolt an all-white change strip into life - by adding the graphic style of an aspirational hi-tech power shower that you will never be able to afford. 21. England away Credit: Nike Shades of 1998 here, when England had a deeper shade of red which also featured a St George’s cross pattern. Picture David Beckham’s free kick against Colombia. Yes, that’s the one. Now how do you feel? Maximum patriotic! Six pints before kick-off! A scuffle outside a suburban chain pub! It’s coming home, it’s coming home etc. 20. Mexico home Credit: Adidas Welcome back, delightful Adidas template. Okay, you’re approaching our nipples from a different angle. Look, I’m open-minded. I’ll give it a go. Variety is the spice of life. This ticks a lot of boxes. A retro flourish, confident boldness, unusual socks. Yes to all. 19. Denmark away Credit: Hummel Don’t panic, fans of the 1980s. The appropriate fawning over Denmark and the manufacturers of their kit will follow when we reach their home kit. Odd how white shorts under red shirts looks textbook, but the opposite seems transgressive and maverick. Nevertheless, nothing wrong here whatsoever. 18. Russia away Credit: Adidas Briefly made me smile, which is more than the country of Russia is likely to do for the majority of fans visiting this summer. Official literature says the shirt pattern “Depicts an abstract vision of Russian architecture and pays homage to the architectural landmarks and industrial cities of the country’s….” Hahahahaha! Looks more like the user interface of a sinister computer program that’s methodically stealing an entire continent’s private data. Shorts and socks: decent. Overall verdict: da. 17. Colombia away Credit: Adidas Missing Holland? And the 1994 World Cup? Hey, things are looking up! The Colombia party bus pulls into the official Fifa World Cup Parking Zone and is ready to shake things up. Hop on board, and remember - it’s pronounced Ham-ez. Try it with some other familiar J-words and phrases until you get the hang of it: Hury service, hoint custody, ham har. Congratulations, you are now a citizen of Colombia. 16. Peru away Credit: Umbro This is far better work from the boys from the… place. With the… stuff. Anyway, reawaken Nobby Solano because a new day is dawning. The accent gold makes far more sense here than on its hostile invasion of the home shirt. A winner. 15. Mexico away Credit: Adidas How often can you say you’ve never seen a football kit quite like this before? (Be quiet, Nigeria home) 'Soy Mexico' is printed on the collar, not a tribute to the least-used condiment bottle in your new neighbourhood taco pop-up, but “I am Mexico” in Spanish. A distant cousin on the 78-9 away shirt (made by Levi’s, fact fans), but the vertical stripes on that have been rotated. Six thumbs up. 14. Croatia home Credit: Nike There’s no easy way to break this to you Croatia, but your checks need some balances. They have grown too big. You’re out of control! The subtle effect on their edges is a nice way to spruce up what must be one of the hardest shirts to do anything inventive with. Is really going to sing with some numbers in Nike’s off-centred position judging by Luka Modric in the promotional shots: Credit: NIKE 13. Uruguay home Credit: Puma Say what you like about the Uruguay brand (and MANY have), but they have really taken ownership of a very specific shade of blue. Still light, not-quite-sky: pre-dawn. It does a wonderful job of masking some truly reprehensible tackles. The pattern shares the same message as the timeless classic by Inner City: "We're having big sun". Sure, why not? 12. France away Credit: Nike Remember when England tried to get a bit clever by roping in graphic designer Peter Saville and putting some multicoloured patterned crosses on their shirt? Sure you do: There is something similar going on here, but it’s far nicer. As the French say “un touch de class”. 11. Sweden away Credit: Adidas A nourishing meal of lines and squares on this shirt, previously sighted in less appealing form on Belgium’s change shirt. The difference here is that the pattern becomes a focal point with this colour scheme, rather than something to squint at which may cause migraine. These shorts also look like the best day of your summer holiday. The model on Adidas’s website is promising some very relaxed socks too: Credit: ADIDAS 10. Denmark home Credit: Hummel Nothing too fussy going on here, which has hurt similar straightforward red-shirted outfits lower down in this ranking. But come on. Denmark, in a World Cup, in Hummel, as the football gods intended. What am I not made of? Stone. The answer is stone. 9. Brazil home Credit: Nike Nike taking few chances with one of the least-ruinable kit configurations in football. You don’t take chances after the trauma of 2014 and losing 7-1 on your own patch, you look to shut up shop, minimise anyone’s ability to hurt you and keep it tight at the back for the next 300 or so years. A kit to make new and better memories in. 8. France home Credit: Nike Manchester City share this new Nike Vapor template, but it makes more sense here with a darker blue base colour and the brighter accents on the sleeves. The white shorts and red sock combo create an overall vibe like an accomplished classical music performance. 7. Costa Rica away Credit: New Balance There is some subtle magic occurring here because with white, black and a some basically invisible shirt patterning this should be forgettable. And yet, I can’t stop looking at it. Perhaps I have been hypnotised by that shiny spiral of a crest. I do not mind, this is wonderful. 6. Croatia away Credit: Nike Intimidatingly cool. Transcending the usual busted flush of all-dark kits with an unapologetically massive crest, pleasingly retaining its usual colours. Bigger checks suit the muted palette. Nailed on future-classic. 5. Germany away Credit: Adidas This is firmly up the correct alley of taking inspiration from the past rather than merely replicating it. Describe this to someone who hadn’t seen it and you’d probably use the same adjectives as doing similar for the West Germany 1990 away strip. They are related, but cousins rather than twins. The green has grown up, the geometry has shifted into something more complex, creating unresolved patterns which somehow add up to something coherent. Masterful and mesmerising. 4. Japan home Credit: Adidas A pattern which doubles as a Cheese Box board, the square-drawing game which no-one ever played on the back of Top Trumps cards. There’s something strange and novel at work and it deserves to win hearts and minds. It’s as if Japan know the team’s not up to much so have concentrated trying to win at kits. In other words: Ideal. Unusual and beautiful. 3. Brazil away Credit: Nike Pow! An utter stunner. Even the socks look super-cool. Would endorse getting drunk on Caipirinhas wearing this shirt, while getting drunk on Caipirinhas wearing this shirt. 2. Germany home Credit: Adidas Simultaneously modern and retro. Both bold and classy. Again, it has an echo of the 1990 West Germany kit but isn’t ripping it off. A sublime piece of work. You’d thank them for beating you on penalties. 1. Colombia home Credit: Adidas On first impression it looked to me like the yellow here was not quite popping like on Colombia’s also-spectacular 2014 shirt, with the neat diagonal pinstripes. I also wondered about stripe overkill this time: There are stripes on the nipple-troublers, located just underneath the Adidas shoulder stripes. But I have peeked at this kit periodically since it was unveiled in March. It got better every time I returned to it. As my excitement for the tournament has built, so has my appreciation for this kit. My initial problems were nit-picking in the extreme, the result of a winter which wouldn’t go away. Now the sun is out we can see this kit for what it is: borderline pornographic. Our winner. Thom Gibbs's previous kit rankings | Putting things into order since 2014 John Devlin’s delightful new book True Colours: International Football Kits was a valuable resource during the compilation of this article. More information here. World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Germany's chastening loss to Mexico in Moscow has their World Cup defence in jeopardy and Thomas Muller urged his colleagues to response.
Muller: Germany under extreme pressure
Germany's chastening loss to Mexico in Moscow has their World Cup defence in jeopardy and Thomas Muller urged his colleagues to response.
The USGA made changes overnight to try and slow down the course at Shinnecock Hills.
U.S. Open 2018: USGA makes changes to course for final round after extreme complaints
The USGA made changes overnight to try and slow down the course at Shinnecock Hills.
Un Shinnecock Hills à l'extrême limite du jouable a totalement rebattu les cartes après un moving day complètement improbable. Un quatuor surnage à +3 : Dustin Johnson, Daniel Berger, Tony Finau et Brooks Koepka. Matthieu Pavon est 43e.
Golf - US Open - Shinnecock Hills c'est plus fort que toi !
Un Shinnecock Hills à l'extrême limite du jouable a totalement rebattu les cartes après un moving day complètement improbable. Un quatuor surnage à +3 : Dustin Johnson, Daniel Berger, Tony Finau et Brooks Koepka. Matthieu Pavon est 43e.
Four weeks after reporting for national duty at St George’s Park, England’s young lions will enter Monday’s first game as physically and scientifically prepared as any previous World Cup hopefuls. Dave Reddin, the Football Association’s head of team strategy and performance, and his medical and fitness team, will now switch modes and focus on supporting the players to pace themselves through what, England fans hope, will be the next month of tournament play. They will need to deal with inevitable injuries, actively maximise physical recovery and combat mental fatigue. Across the next few weeks, England will not seek to make their players “fitter” after a 10-month season. Rather, they will be trying to maintain it and to make sure they are fresh, and focused on team cohesion. The challenge is to keep all of the players at the same level of game readiness. In a squad of 23 players, 11 play and there is a maximum of three substitutions. Potentially, this leaves up to 12 unused players after each game to manage. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game The team, therefore, will be split in two, with the played group and the unused group. Those who played over 30-45 minutes would be included in the played group. They would then operate on a pre-defined match day (match day plus-one and match day plus-two) schedule. By match day plus-three, they will be back to normal squad training preparing for the next game. On match days, the played group will immediately have ice baths, massage therapy, and focus on the right nutrition and rehydration strategies. The other players may do some physical work, although they will not be allowed back on the pitch, so that would have to be in the dressing room. World Cup 2018 tactics | JJ Bull analyses formations, line-ups and more On match day plus-one, the played group will do a light recovery session. This may be off-feet (in the pool or on bikes), may involve some gym work and would involve some form of cryotherapy and massage treatment. The other players will train with a view to loading and stimulating them physically to mimic a match stimulus. By match day plus-three, there will be squad-based training with a lighter session for those who played, with additional “top up” for those who did not. The key, though, is not just physical recovery. Protecting the mental and emotional wellbeing of the players will allow maximal performance and reduce injury risk moving through the tournament. After a long, and often tortuous, domestic season for England’s players where many will have been close to breaking point, the brain needs time and space to recover from 90-plus minutes of intense exercise and key decision-making under pressure. How to predict a World Cup winner Times have changed and, while it is likely that Gary Lineker in 1986 probably had a book and a load of coins for the pay phone, modern-day players have no shortage of activities that can lead to a sensory overload. The worst thing for mental recovery is to over-task it by playing computer games or being active on social media. These type of activities will only drain the brain further and impede a quick recovery, and England should seek to limit the players’ time for these activities up to 48 hours after a game. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article To ensure the emotional wellbeing of the players, they will need to build in some time away from each other, ideally with family or friends. Cabin fever can pervade in these type of camps, and it can be expressed by extreme irritability and restlessness. Sometimes, something as simple as wearing their own clothes for an afternoon gives players their personal identity back, allowing them to be a normal human being and not having to manage the stress of projecting their “brand” image. Winning a World Cup often depends on key moments in key games. As England will remember in South Africa, they were forced to play a third-choice centre-back due to suspension (Jamie Carragher) and injury (Rio Ferdinand). Mike Davison is managing director of Isokinetic London
Ice baths, family time and a limit on computer games - how England's players will recover throughout the World Cup
Four weeks after reporting for national duty at St George’s Park, England’s young lions will enter Monday’s first game as physically and scientifically prepared as any previous World Cup hopefuls. Dave Reddin, the Football Association’s head of team strategy and performance, and his medical and fitness team, will now switch modes and focus on supporting the players to pace themselves through what, England fans hope, will be the next month of tournament play. They will need to deal with inevitable injuries, actively maximise physical recovery and combat mental fatigue. Across the next few weeks, England will not seek to make their players “fitter” after a 10-month season. Rather, they will be trying to maintain it and to make sure they are fresh, and focused on team cohesion. The challenge is to keep all of the players at the same level of game readiness. In a squad of 23 players, 11 play and there is a maximum of three substitutions. Potentially, this leaves up to 12 unused players after each game to manage. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game The team, therefore, will be split in two, with the played group and the unused group. Those who played over 30-45 minutes would be included in the played group. They would then operate on a pre-defined match day (match day plus-one and match day plus-two) schedule. By match day plus-three, they will be back to normal squad training preparing for the next game. On match days, the played group will immediately have ice baths, massage therapy, and focus on the right nutrition and rehydration strategies. The other players may do some physical work, although they will not be allowed back on the pitch, so that would have to be in the dressing room. World Cup 2018 tactics | JJ Bull analyses formations, line-ups and more On match day plus-one, the played group will do a light recovery session. This may be off-feet (in the pool or on bikes), may involve some gym work and would involve some form of cryotherapy and massage treatment. The other players will train with a view to loading and stimulating them physically to mimic a match stimulus. By match day plus-three, there will be squad-based training with a lighter session for those who played, with additional “top up” for those who did not. The key, though, is not just physical recovery. Protecting the mental and emotional wellbeing of the players will allow maximal performance and reduce injury risk moving through the tournament. After a long, and often tortuous, domestic season for England’s players where many will have been close to breaking point, the brain needs time and space to recover from 90-plus minutes of intense exercise and key decision-making under pressure. How to predict a World Cup winner Times have changed and, while it is likely that Gary Lineker in 1986 probably had a book and a load of coins for the pay phone, modern-day players have no shortage of activities that can lead to a sensory overload. The worst thing for mental recovery is to over-task it by playing computer games or being active on social media. These type of activities will only drain the brain further and impede a quick recovery, and England should seek to limit the players’ time for these activities up to 48 hours after a game. WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article To ensure the emotional wellbeing of the players, they will need to build in some time away from each other, ideally with family or friends. Cabin fever can pervade in these type of camps, and it can be expressed by extreme irritability and restlessness. Sometimes, something as simple as wearing their own clothes for an afternoon gives players their personal identity back, allowing them to be a normal human being and not having to manage the stress of projecting their “brand” image. Winning a World Cup often depends on key moments in key games. As England will remember in South Africa, they were forced to play a third-choice centre-back due to suspension (Jamie Carragher) and injury (Rio Ferdinand). Mike Davison is managing director of Isokinetic London
Pendant que Messi et Mascherano traînaient leurs vieux os sur le terrain, on a retrouvé l'Islande comme on l'avait laissée il y a deux ans : avec du cœur, des cuisses grosses comme ça et des tacles à couper des requins en deux.Argentine Un homme qui évolue à l'extrême droite et qui déborde souvent pour pas grand-chose ? Salvio Berlusconi, joli ruby. On n'a ...
Les notes d'Argentine-Islande
Pendant que Messi et Mascherano traînaient leurs vieux os sur le terrain, on a retrouvé l'Islande comme on l'avait laissée il y a deux ans : avec du cœur, des cuisses grosses comme ça et des tacles à couper des requins en deux.Argentine Un homme qui évolue à l'extrême droite et qui déborde souvent pour pas grand-chose ? Salvio Berlusconi, joli ruby. On n'a ...
Pacote adiciona equipamentos e detalhes visuais à versão aventureira do subcompacto
Fiat Mobi ganha série especial Way Extreme por R$ 43.490
Pacote adiciona equipamentos e detalhes visuais à versão aventureira do subcompacto
Pacote adiciona equipamentos e detalhes visuais à versão aventureira do subcompacto
Fiat Mobi ganha série especial Way Extreme por R$ 43.490
Pacote adiciona equipamentos e detalhes visuais à versão aventureira do subcompacto
Pacote adiciona equipamentos e detalhes visuais à versão aventureira do subcompacto
Fiat Mobi ganha série especial Way Extreme por R$ 43.490
Pacote adiciona equipamentos e detalhes visuais à versão aventureira do subcompacto
Pacote adiciona equipamentos e detalhes visuais à versão aventureira do subcompacto
Fiat Mobi ganha série especial Way Extreme por R$ 43.490
Pacote adiciona equipamentos e detalhes visuais à versão aventureira do subcompacto
World Cup hype is to be discouraged, especially if it’s about England’s chances. Nevertheless, here is a grand statement: this is the best World Cup for kits of all time. Recent tournaments have been weighed down by a few templates dominating the overall set, this year the majority of teams have something unique. There is a pleasing mix throughout of tradition being respected, but playfully twisted. Astonishingly, among 64 kits not one is entirely horrendous. As ever, these rankings are entirely subjective but they are also entirely correct. To my mind a good international tournament kit is five things: Correct for its time, slightly different to what has come before, aware that it will be seen on TV far more often than in person, memorable, and, perhaps most important of all, not all-white. For those keeping score at home the manufacturers count this year breaks down as follows: World Cup 2018 kit manufacturers With that bit of thrilling administrative business taken care of, let's begin our countdown with the very worst kit of this year’s World Cup. 64. Switzerland home Credit: PUMA The trouble with the aforementioned lack of honking clangers in this year’s collection is that someone still has to come bottom. Luckily no-one will shed any tears for Switzerland, seemingly invited to every World Cup despite never bringing anything good to drink. This is a marble cake monstrosity, an OS map of a doomed hike, a pattern in lieu of a personality. The overly-relaxed promotional shot also suggests Switzerland just aren’t taking this competition seriously enough. Too late to swap them out for a more interesting team? 63. Australia away Credit: NIKE Always a worrying sign when it’s hard to picture Mile Jedinak in a kit but no struggle whatsoever to imagine the same outfit on Shane Warne. This fails an important test: does it look like a football shirt? Would pass for the uniform of a garden centre employee with the addition of an “I’m here to help” badge. Unfortunately the gaudy crossing streams bring to mind some top lads messing about at the urinals. On this evidence both have an awful lot to learn about hydration. 62. Serbia away Credit: PUMA Pretty ropey business from Puma which has decided with all the wisdom of a large cat that away shirts at this year’s tournament MUST be white. Shame such decisiveness wasn’t in play for that stripe running down the middle which isn’t quite sure where to start or end. In France for Euro 2016 you could buy face-painting sticks which smeared something like a French flag down your face*. This looks like an accident with one of those. Improved by a number on the front as demonstrated by the fine men to the right. * If you’d like to see a man who really likes football kits being accosted by one of these, this is the video of your dreams: 61. Morocco home Credit: Adidas Morocco delayed their launch for both of their shirts until this week, because they were so concerned about forged versions reaching the market, both abstract and actual. Was it worth the wait? No, no it was not. Somehow both dull and brash. A deeply uninspired effort. 60. Egypt away Credit: GETTY IMAGES Rubbish. Put a pyramid on it, at least. So lacking in verve that in the event of a kit clash Egypt might as well just play in skins. 59. Iran home Credit: AP Really not sold on the idea of a modern kit launch, Iran simply strode out of the tunnel for a friendly against Turkey wearing this, their new home kit. No photoshopped Lions, no meaningless three-word mottos, no press releases about fabric which periodically sprays your skin with expensive serum. We applaud their approach, but not their anonymous kit. Looks familiar, doesn’t it? It’s the same template as Morocco home with the same half-arsed lack of flair as Egypt’s similarly white away shirt. Seeing the spectacular work Adidas has done for several of the kits higher on this chart it’s clear where its priorities lie. 58. Saudi Arabia home Credit: Nike How to make the blank canvas of a white Nike kit instantly less appealing? Add a sickly shade of green! Limp and tedious. 57. Panama home Credit: New Balance As long-time kit ranking-enjoyers will attest, I am in the tank for New Balance. It generally finds a way to upheld the best traditional aspects of a team’s look while adding memorable flourishes. What happens when a team has no notable tradition to speak of? Maths-paper squares, it would seem. Disappointingly cheap-looking. 56. Belgium away Credit: Adidas The Watford side of the 1980s may seem like an unlikely influence for an international football kit in 2018, but here we are. Something a bit public transport upholstery about the shirt, which appears to be mere lines at first, before squares start appearing like a disappointing Magic Eye. Fails to hang together in a pleasing way as a set, and I suspect it’s that weak Pro Evo-like team emblem which is to blame. 55. Tunisia home Credit: Uhlsport A schoolfriend of mine once brought back several Tunisia home shirts from a holiday so our dreadful five-a-side team could have a matching kit. Suffice to say they were not Official Licensed Team Products. The memory of that shirt and all of its kind, shiny, utterly impermeable, clinging to your entire back after five minutes, came flooding back seeing this aggressively boring home kit. Little to recommend beyond some minor attempts at geometry on the side. Not good enough. 54. Senegal home Credit: Puma Last year Senegal wore a fearsome roaring lion on their shoulder, made out of bold dashes of colour: Credit: REUTERS This year Senegal have moved on with their lives and are trying to forget about their wild summer of lion. They have deleted his number. They’re going out less. They have, unfortunately, got dull. Sublimated patterns are all well and good in the context of pictures of kits on the internet, but IRL this is a tedious white shirt with some uninspired trim in an unappealing green. 53. Morocco away Credit: Adidas An Adidas teamwear template that’s available for any Sunday League team that fancies it. Not a particularly offensive one, but surely something slightly more exciting is possible? As may have been mentioned before, this is the World Cup. 52. Switzerland away Credit: Puma Honestly, Switzerland, why bother? What is the point? You’re cheating yourself, Switzerland. You’re capable of more, Puma. That’s too many logos, both of you. Liven up your ideas. You are harshing my World Cup buzz. 51. Iceland away Credit: Errea Some sad news for you: this will not be Iceland’s World Cup. Lightning doesn’t strike twice, and international football tournament shock artists do not repeat the trick in consecutive competitions. Especially when Gylfi Sigurdsson is injured. Still, we will have a great time getting behind Iceland, enjoying their incredible support and trying to clap along with them at the correct moment. We will just not be wearing this shirt, because the collar is silly and there is something iffy about those sleeves. 50. Iran away Credit: GETTY IMAGES A little more oopmh behind this Iran effort, but still impossible to shake the feeling their only notable contribution to this World Cup will be to provide a future low-scoring answer on Pointless. 49. Spain away Credit: Adidas Unsure about what’s happened here, but somewhere along the line mistakes have been made. Spain have been wearing white as change or third strips since 1982, but few stick in the memory beyond this belter from 2016: Credit: EPA This one will not be hanging around for long in anyone's mind, with its trim like dubious Sangria and a vague waterfall of pointless turquoise. The abandonment of a largely-glorious history of navy away shirts should lead to a root and branch review in whichever Spanish quango is responsible for choosing kits. 48. Uruguay away Credit: Puma Yr man here looks like he’s on his way to cause some aggro. Don’t try that in Russia, pal. It will not end well. Few discerning remarks for another tedious white away shirt from Puma’s big book of uninspired ideas. 47. Belgium home Credit: Adidas Theoretically amazing but does not come off. A re-hash of Belgium’s Euro 84 kit, a tournament in which they beat Yugoslavia, were hammered by France then lost 3-2 to Denmark after leading 2-0. If we’re commemorating farce let’s give Gareth Southgate a cool “retro” umbrella. Proof that Argyle and football shirts just don’t mix, as everyone except Plymouth die-hards will admit. Gives impression that Belgium would much rather be good at cycling than football. Check out those constricting sleeves - only suitable if you have the freakishly tiny upper arms of Chris Froome. 46. Serbia home Credit: Puma More middle of the road than a central reservation. Cannot be redeemed, even by a number font on loan from a Disneyfied Balkans-themed restaurant menu. 45. Tunisia away Credit: Uhlsport Like a dull Denmark. Won’t upset anyone, either stylistically or on the pitch. (Let’s see how well that statement ages after the match taking place in Volgograd on 18 June…) 44. Poland away Credit: Nike We have similar to come in this countdown with Poland’s home effort which is (spoilers) identical, albeit in a different colour. So just hold that thought if waiting for a verdict on this one and remember that, sometimes, white looks better than red. The socks, sadly absent here, are also red. Red, red, red. Never much fun. 43. Saudi Arabia away Credit: Nike Fairly muted and tasteful, whether or not the team can muster a single second of balletic glory which mirrors the Nike promotional material here remains to be seen. Some extra points for the number placement above the right breast, a welcome trend for several of Nike’s shirts in Russia. 42. Iceland home Credit: Errea Lovable though Iceland are, there is a fine line between joyful throwbacks to the design trends of 1997 and just looking like the Chesterfield side who nearly reached the FA Cup final. Unfortunately this falls just the wrong side. Never mind, it will bring back happy memories for Sean Dyche. 41. South Korea home Credit: Nike That’s quite the bland shirt you have there, South Korea. You are in danger of disappointing the excellent tiger who lives on your emblem. The black shorts help the overall look, as does a very excited model. 40. Japan away Credit: Adidas It takes a special sort of kit tragic to see a new shirt and immediately think “Albania change 2016.” Reader, I am that anorak. This is a more refined take on the radiator texture chic explored by the Eagles in the last European Championships. It still looks more like it was designed more to impress as a niche Parkrun choice than to create TV memories at an international tournament. That’s a trend to be discouraged. 39. Senegal away Credit: Puma A shade of green which does not look interested in messing around. The overall combination of pattern, trim and sublimated image is a touch dated but just about gets over the line between striking and naff. 38. Nigeria home Credit: Nike This is it, the great novelty. The bold statement. The reported 3million pre-orders. Memorable, certainly. Bold, undoubtedly. But somehow quite calculated, a bit knowing. A feeling that its designers are deliberately attempting to court controversy rather than make something with the sort of weird beauty which will inevitably divide opinion. Perhaps I am too cynical, and I appreciate the effort. But I cannot find it in my heart to love the kit. A nation weeps as one. 37. Sweden home Credit: Adidas Like any self-respecting adult I have a favourite two-colour combination for sports kits and it’s yellow and blue. I have, though, been burned by too many forgettable Sweden appearances at World Cups. They have been no fun since 1994. Neither is this kit, really, despite the same diagonal stripes also seen on Real Madrid’s current home shirt which look like an afterthought. 36. Panama away Credit: New Balance A man, a plan, a canal… Pretty patterns! This is a bit more like it from Team Canal and their official Matchday supplier - Team Balancing Things in New and Inventive ways. Some risk, some invention, an odd plunging collar. A qualified success. 35. England home Credit: Nike A return to the sort of England kit a seven-year-old would draw if brought up in the 1990s, after some CONTROVERSIAL experimentation with devilry such as light blue sleeves and (gasp!) red socks for Euro 2016. Everything about that tournament must now be expunged from English football history, but I’m not convinced that a return to such a safe set is helpful. Especially at a time already coloured by questionable memories of how perfect things used to be in England in the good old days when everything was simpler. Add my name to the growing list of people who wish they’d gone with their excellent training top as home shirt instead: Credit: Nike 34. Portugal away Credit: Nike Nice try Portugal, with your constellation of stars on the front, but this is still all-white and therefore not eligible for the upper reaches. Can imagine Ronaldo will look resplendent in this while eagerly indicating that he wants a throw-in delivered to him NOW by one of the inferior men he must tolerate every couple of years for a few weeks. I bet one of his own team-mates will try to swap shirts with him. 33. Peru home Credit: Umbro Has Umbro muffed it? I think it might have done. You wait so long for a proud Peruvian sash at a World Cup then when it comes it’s served with a side order of unnecessary gold ribbon. You can’t even pick it off. You probably can, but it will invalidate your shirt’s warranty. A country who are a wonderful addition to the tournament, a great shame the kit isn’t the classic it should be. 32. Australia home Credit: Nike If you like your lager advertising chummy, your Cahills to be called Tim (not Gary), and your dinkum fair have we got the World Cup kit for you? ‘Straylia! Seismograph sleeves complement gold as bold as a slap in the face from a lovable rogue in Earl’s Court Walkabout. 31. Russia home Credit: Adidas Remember the Soviet Union? I don’t, really, but expect its citizens would be as proud as their rulers would permit to wear this. Strong, bold and inscrutable. Stick “CCCP” on the front and put Frankie Goes To Hollywood on and we’re back in 1984. No not Relax, the other one. No! not The Power Of Love… Oh, forget it. 30. Nigeria away Credit: Nike Not the Nigeria shirt that everyone (anyone) is talking about at this year’s World Cup, but the sensible Super Eagles Super Fan’s Super Choice. An unusual shade of dark green, rarely seen on a football shirt. Perhaps with good reason, this is the kit most likely to suffer the same “players can’t pick eachother out” fate as Manchester United’s grey from 1996. 29. Spain home Credit: Adidas I am a little wary of the trend to look backwards when designing kits. Nick a flourish, sure, but there seems little point in slavishly aping past designs. Adidas has largely “drawn inspiration” rather than “shamelessly pilfered” from its past for this tournament, but this lapses into outright cover version. Spain reached the quarter-finals in 1994 wearing a very similar shirt to this, but the lined effect on this year’s diamonds takes the edge off in 2018. There has been some controversy about what looks like purple, which is a contentious colour in Spain because of its use in the Republican flag, used by anti-monarchy protesters. Despite it all, this is fairly tasty. Shorts and socks especially so. 28. Egypt home Credit: Adidas Tidy, no nonsense, playing a straight bat, stiff upper lip, masking the sadness of an entire nation about a bad thing Sergio Ramos did. 27. Portugal home Credit: Nike Nothing to fault, nothing to feel excited about. Green socks are fairly jolly. Portugal have been gradually losing claret since peak-bastard Cristiano in 2006. This edges back to that deeper, more soulful colour than recent journeys towards the light. Embrace the evil, Portugal. Strike us down with all of your hatred. 26. Argentina home Credit: Adidas Very little to see here beyond some acceptable gradient work on the blue stripes. Some kits are protected like greenbelt land. The excess white at the shoulder where the blue marries the sleeve looks almost like a manufacturing error. There are perhaps six people in the world who care about this. 25. Costa Rica home Credit: New Balance Here we go Costa Rica, that’s how you do a subtle shirt pattern! The lines are DNA, apparently for… reasons. Don’t ask New Balance too many questions or you’ll end up in that glass chamber. 24. Poland home Credit: Nike As has been covered at length, all-white is not the way to my heart, but this is very tidy indeed. Brought to life by its diagonal halving, elevating it immediately from dull to borderline memorable. What does it all mean? Nothing. Almost certainly nothing. 23. Argentina away Credit: Adidas The closest we come to a template to be bored of at this year’s World Cup is this, the Adidas nipple-emphasis side-stripes. Happily, like its similarly ubiquitous USA 94 designs worn by Romania, Sweden, Bulgaria and Norway, it’s a peach. We’ll be seeing plenty more of it in what remains of this list. Argentina have one of the less memorable incarnations, but it’s still totally pleasant. 22. South Korea away Credit: Nike Now we’re talking. This is how to jolt an all-white change strip into life - by adding the graphic style of an aspirational hi-tech power shower that you will never be able to afford. 21. England away Credit: Nike Shades of 1998 here, when England had a deeper shade of red which also featured a St George’s cross pattern. Picture David Beckham’s free kick against Colombia. Yes, that’s the one. Now how do you feel? Maximum patriotic! Six pints before kick-off! A scuffle outside a suburban chain pub! It’s coming home, it’s coming home etc. 20. Mexico home Credit: Adidas Welcome back, delightful Adidas template. Okay, you’re approaching our nipples from a different angle. Look, I’m open-minded. I’ll give it a go. Variety is the spice of life. This ticks a lot of boxes. A retro flourish, confident boldness, unusual socks. Yes to all. 19. Denmark away Credit: Hummel Don’t panic, fans of the 1980s. The appropriate fawning over Denmark and the manufacturers of their kit will follow when we reach their home kit. Odd how white shorts under red shirts looks textbook, but the opposite seems transgressive and maverick. Nevertheless, nothing wrong here whatsoever. 18. Russia away Credit: Adidas Briefly made me smile, which is more than the country of Russia is likely to do for the majority of fans visiting this summer. Official literature says the shirt pattern “Depicts an abstract vision of Russian architecture and pays homage to the architectural landmarks and industrial cities of the country’s….” Hahahahaha! Looks more like the user interface of a sinister computer program that’s methodically stealing an entire continent’s private data. Shorts and socks: decent. Overall verdict: da. 17. Colombia away Credit: Adidas Missing Holland? And the 1994 World Cup? Hey, things are looking up! The Colombia party bus pulls into the official Fifa World Cup Parking Zone and is ready to shake things up. Hop on board, and remember - it’s pronounced Ham-ez. Try it with some other familiar J-words and phrases until you get the hang of it: Hury service, hoint custody, ham har. Congratulations, you are now a citizen of Colombia. 16. Peru away Credit: Umbro This is far better work from the boys from the… place. With the… stuff. Anyway, reawaken Nobby Solano because a new day is dawning. The accent gold makes far more sense here than on its hostile invasion of the home shirt. A winner. 15. Mexico away Credit: Adidas How often can you say you’ve never seen a football kit quite like this before? (Be quiet, Nigeria home) 'Soy Mexico' is printed on the collar, not a tribute to the least-used condiment bottle in your new neighbourhood taco pop-up, but “I am Mexico” in Spanish. A distant cousin on the 78-9 away shirt (made by Levi’s, fact fans), but the vertical stripes on that have been rotated. Six thumbs up. 14. Croatia home Credit: Nike There’s no easy way to break this to you Croatia, but your checks need some balances. They have grown too big. You’re out of control! The subtle effect on their edges is a nice way to spruce up what must be one of the hardest shirts to do anything inventive with. Is really going to sing with some numbers in Nike’s off-centred position judging by Luka Modric in the promotional shots: Credit: NIKE 13. Uruguay home Credit: Puma Say what you like about the Uruguay brand (and MANY have), but they have really taken ownership of a very specific shade of blue. Still light, not-quite-sky: pre-dawn. It does a wonderful job of masking some truly reprehensible tackles. The pattern shares the same message as the timeless classic by Inner City: "We're having big sun". Sure, why not? 12. France away Credit: Nike Remember when England tried to get a bit clever by roping in graphic designer Peter Saville and putting some multicoloured patterned crosses on their shirt? Sure you do: There is something similar going on here, but it’s far nicer. As the French say “un touch de class”. 11. Sweden away Credit: Adidas A nourishing meal of lines and squares on this shirt, previously sighted in less appealing form on Belgium’s change shirt. The difference here is that the pattern becomes a focal point with this colour scheme, rather than something to squint at which may cause migraine. These shorts also look like the best day of your summer holiday. The model on Adidas’s website is promising some very relaxed socks too: Credit: ADIDAS 10. Denmark home Credit: Hummel Nothing too fussy going on here, which has hurt similar straightforward red-shirted outfits lower down in this ranking. But come on. Denmark, in a World Cup, in Hummel, as the football gods intended. What am I not made of? Stone. The answer is stone. 9. Brazil home Credit: Nike Nike taking few chances with one of the least-ruinable kit configurations in football. You don’t take chances after the trauma of 2014 and losing 7-1 on your own patch, you look to shut up shop, minimise anyone’s ability to hurt you and keep it tight at the back for the next 300 or so years. A kit to make new and better memories in. 8. France home Credit: Nike Manchester City share this new Nike Vapor template, but it makes more sense here with a darker blue base colour and the brighter accents on the sleeves. The white shorts and red sock combo create an overall vibe like an accomplished classical music performance. 7. Costa Rica away Credit: New Balance There is some subtle magic occurring here because with white, black and a some basically invisible shirt patterning this should be forgettable. And yet, I can’t stop looking at it. Perhaps I have been hypnotised by that shiny spiral of a crest. I do not mind, this is wonderful. 6. Croatia away Credit: Nike Intimidatingly cool. Transcending the usual busted flush of all-dark kits with an unapologetically massive crest, pleasingly retaining its usual colours. Bigger checks suit the muted palette. Nailed on future-classic. 5. Germany away Credit: Adidas This is firmly up the correct alley of taking inspiration from the past rather than merely replicating it. Describe this to someone who hadn’t seen it and you’d probably use the same adjectives as doing similar for the West Germany 1990 away strip. They are related, but cousins rather than twins. The green has grown up, the geometry has shifted into something more complex, creating unresolved patterns which somehow add up to something coherent. Masterful and mesmerising. 4. Japan home Credit: Adidas A pattern which doubles as a Cheese Box board, the square-drawing game which no-one ever played on the back of Top Trumps cards. There’s something strange and novel at work and it deserves to win hearts and minds. It’s as if Japan know the team’s not up to much so have concentrated trying to win at kits. In other words: Ideal. Unusual and beautiful. 3. Brazil away Credit: Nike Pow! An utter stunner. Even the socks look super-cool. Would endorse getting drunk on Caipirinhas wearing this shirt, while getting drunk on Caipirinhas wearing this shirt. 2. Germany home Credit: Adidas Simultaneously modern and retro. Both bold and classy. Again, it has an echo of the 1990 West Germany kit but isn’t ripping it off. A sublime piece of work. You’d thank them for beating you on penalties. 1. Colombia home Credit: Adidas On first impression it looked to me like the yellow here was not quite popping like on Colombia’s also-spectacular 2014 shirt, with the neat diagonal pinstripes. I also wondered about stripe overkill this time: There are stripes on the nipple-troublers, located just underneath the Adidas shoulder stripes. But I have peeked at this kit periodically since it was unveiled in March. It got better every time I returned to it. As my excitement for the tournament has built, so has my appreciation for this kit. My initial problems were nit-picking in the extreme, the result of a winter which wouldn’t go away. Now the sun is out we can see this kit for what it is: borderline pornographic. Our winner. Thom Gibbs's previous kit rankings | Putting things into order since 2014 John Devlin’s delightful new book True Colours: International Football Kits was a valuable resource during the compilation of this article. More information here. World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018 kits: ranked - Every strip assessed including Peru, Nigeria, England and Panama
World Cup hype is to be discouraged, especially if it’s about England’s chances. Nevertheless, here is a grand statement: this is the best World Cup for kits of all time. Recent tournaments have been weighed down by a few templates dominating the overall set, this year the majority of teams have something unique. There is a pleasing mix throughout of tradition being respected, but playfully twisted. Astonishingly, among 64 kits not one is entirely horrendous. As ever, these rankings are entirely subjective but they are also entirely correct. To my mind a good international tournament kit is five things: Correct for its time, slightly different to what has come before, aware that it will be seen on TV far more often than in person, memorable, and, perhaps most important of all, not all-white. For those keeping score at home the manufacturers count this year breaks down as follows: World Cup 2018 kit manufacturers With that bit of thrilling administrative business taken care of, let's begin our countdown with the very worst kit of this year’s World Cup. 64. Switzerland home Credit: PUMA The trouble with the aforementioned lack of honking clangers in this year’s collection is that someone still has to come bottom. Luckily no-one will shed any tears for Switzerland, seemingly invited to every World Cup despite never bringing anything good to drink. This is a marble cake monstrosity, an OS map of a doomed hike, a pattern in lieu of a personality. The overly-relaxed promotional shot also suggests Switzerland just aren’t taking this competition seriously enough. Too late to swap them out for a more interesting team? 63. Australia away Credit: NIKE Always a worrying sign when it’s hard to picture Mile Jedinak in a kit but no struggle whatsoever to imagine the same outfit on Shane Warne. This fails an important test: does it look like a football shirt? Would pass for the uniform of a garden centre employee with the addition of an “I’m here to help” badge. Unfortunately the gaudy crossing streams bring to mind some top lads messing about at the urinals. On this evidence both have an awful lot to learn about hydration. 62. Serbia away Credit: PUMA Pretty ropey business from Puma which has decided with all the wisdom of a large cat that away shirts at this year’s tournament MUST be white. Shame such decisiveness wasn’t in play for that stripe running down the middle which isn’t quite sure where to start or end. In France for Euro 2016 you could buy face-painting sticks which smeared something like a French flag down your face*. This looks like an accident with one of those. Improved by a number on the front as demonstrated by the fine men to the right. * If you’d like to see a man who really likes football kits being accosted by one of these, this is the video of your dreams: 61. Morocco home Credit: Adidas Morocco delayed their launch for both of their shirts until this week, because they were so concerned about forged versions reaching the market, both abstract and actual. Was it worth the wait? No, no it was not. Somehow both dull and brash. A deeply uninspired effort. 60. Egypt away Credit: GETTY IMAGES Rubbish. Put a pyramid on it, at least. So lacking in verve that in the event of a kit clash Egypt might as well just play in skins. 59. Iran home Credit: AP Really not sold on the idea of a modern kit launch, Iran simply strode out of the tunnel for a friendly against Turkey wearing this, their new home kit. No photoshopped Lions, no meaningless three-word mottos, no press releases about fabric which periodically sprays your skin with expensive serum. We applaud their approach, but not their anonymous kit. Looks familiar, doesn’t it? It’s the same template as Morocco home with the same half-arsed lack of flair as Egypt’s similarly white away shirt. Seeing the spectacular work Adidas has done for several of the kits higher on this chart it’s clear where its priorities lie. 58. Saudi Arabia home Credit: Nike How to make the blank canvas of a white Nike kit instantly less appealing? Add a sickly shade of green! Limp and tedious. 57. Panama home Credit: New Balance As long-time kit ranking-enjoyers will attest, I am in the tank for New Balance. It generally finds a way to upheld the best traditional aspects of a team’s look while adding memorable flourishes. What happens when a team has no notable tradition to speak of? Maths-paper squares, it would seem. Disappointingly cheap-looking. 56. Belgium away Credit: Adidas The Watford side of the 1980s may seem like an unlikely influence for an international football kit in 2018, but here we are. Something a bit public transport upholstery about the shirt, which appears to be mere lines at first, before squares start appearing like a disappointing Magic Eye. Fails to hang together in a pleasing way as a set, and I suspect it’s that weak Pro Evo-like team emblem which is to blame. 55. Tunisia home Credit: Uhlsport A schoolfriend of mine once brought back several Tunisia home shirts from a holiday so our dreadful five-a-side team could have a matching kit. Suffice to say they were not Official Licensed Team Products. The memory of that shirt and all of its kind, shiny, utterly impermeable, clinging to your entire back after five minutes, came flooding back seeing this aggressively boring home kit. Little to recommend beyond some minor attempts at geometry on the side. Not good enough. 54. Senegal home Credit: Puma Last year Senegal wore a fearsome roaring lion on their shoulder, made out of bold dashes of colour: Credit: REUTERS This year Senegal have moved on with their lives and are trying to forget about their wild summer of lion. They have deleted his number. They’re going out less. They have, unfortunately, got dull. Sublimated patterns are all well and good in the context of pictures of kits on the internet, but IRL this is a tedious white shirt with some uninspired trim in an unappealing green. 53. Morocco away Credit: Adidas An Adidas teamwear template that’s available for any Sunday League team that fancies it. Not a particularly offensive one, but surely something slightly more exciting is possible? As may have been mentioned before, this is the World Cup. 52. Switzerland away Credit: Puma Honestly, Switzerland, why bother? What is the point? You’re cheating yourself, Switzerland. You’re capable of more, Puma. That’s too many logos, both of you. Liven up your ideas. You are harshing my World Cup buzz. 51. Iceland away Credit: Errea Some sad news for you: this will not be Iceland’s World Cup. Lightning doesn’t strike twice, and international football tournament shock artists do not repeat the trick in consecutive competitions. Especially when Gylfi Sigurdsson is injured. Still, we will have a great time getting behind Iceland, enjoying their incredible support and trying to clap along with them at the correct moment. We will just not be wearing this shirt, because the collar is silly and there is something iffy about those sleeves. 50. Iran away Credit: GETTY IMAGES A little more oopmh behind this Iran effort, but still impossible to shake the feeling their only notable contribution to this World Cup will be to provide a future low-scoring answer on Pointless. 49. Spain away Credit: Adidas Unsure about what’s happened here, but somewhere along the line mistakes have been made. Spain have been wearing white as change or third strips since 1982, but few stick in the memory beyond this belter from 2016: Credit: EPA This one will not be hanging around for long in anyone's mind, with its trim like dubious Sangria and a vague waterfall of pointless turquoise. The abandonment of a largely-glorious history of navy away shirts should lead to a root and branch review in whichever Spanish quango is responsible for choosing kits. 48. Uruguay away Credit: Puma Yr man here looks like he’s on his way to cause some aggro. Don’t try that in Russia, pal. It will not end well. Few discerning remarks for another tedious white away shirt from Puma’s big book of uninspired ideas. 47. Belgium home Credit: Adidas Theoretically amazing but does not come off. A re-hash of Belgium’s Euro 84 kit, a tournament in which they beat Yugoslavia, were hammered by France then lost 3-2 to Denmark after leading 2-0. If we’re commemorating farce let’s give Gareth Southgate a cool “retro” umbrella. Proof that Argyle and football shirts just don’t mix, as everyone except Plymouth die-hards will admit. Gives impression that Belgium would much rather be good at cycling than football. Check out those constricting sleeves - only suitable if you have the freakishly tiny upper arms of Chris Froome. 46. Serbia home Credit: Puma More middle of the road than a central reservation. Cannot be redeemed, even by a number font on loan from a Disneyfied Balkans-themed restaurant menu. 45. Tunisia away Credit: Uhlsport Like a dull Denmark. Won’t upset anyone, either stylistically or on the pitch. (Let’s see how well that statement ages after the match taking place in Volgograd on 18 June…) 44. Poland away Credit: Nike We have similar to come in this countdown with Poland’s home effort which is (spoilers) identical, albeit in a different colour. So just hold that thought if waiting for a verdict on this one and remember that, sometimes, white looks better than red. The socks, sadly absent here, are also red. Red, red, red. Never much fun. 43. Saudi Arabia away Credit: Nike Fairly muted and tasteful, whether or not the team can muster a single second of balletic glory which mirrors the Nike promotional material here remains to be seen. Some extra points for the number placement above the right breast, a welcome trend for several of Nike’s shirts in Russia. 42. Iceland home Credit: Errea Lovable though Iceland are, there is a fine line between joyful throwbacks to the design trends of 1997 and just looking like the Chesterfield side who nearly reached the FA Cup final. Unfortunately this falls just the wrong side. Never mind, it will bring back happy memories for Sean Dyche. 41. South Korea home Credit: Nike That’s quite the bland shirt you have there, South Korea. You are in danger of disappointing the excellent tiger who lives on your emblem. The black shorts help the overall look, as does a very excited model. 40. Japan away Credit: Adidas It takes a special sort of kit tragic to see a new shirt and immediately think “Albania change 2016.” Reader, I am that anorak. This is a more refined take on the radiator texture chic explored by the Eagles in the last European Championships. It still looks more like it was designed more to impress as a niche Parkrun choice than to create TV memories at an international tournament. That’s a trend to be discouraged. 39. Senegal away Credit: Puma A shade of green which does not look interested in messing around. The overall combination of pattern, trim and sublimated image is a touch dated but just about gets over the line between striking and naff. 38. Nigeria home Credit: Nike This is it, the great novelty. The bold statement. The reported 3million pre-orders. Memorable, certainly. Bold, undoubtedly. But somehow quite calculated, a bit knowing. A feeling that its designers are deliberately attempting to court controversy rather than make something with the sort of weird beauty which will inevitably divide opinion. Perhaps I am too cynical, and I appreciate the effort. But I cannot find it in my heart to love the kit. A nation weeps as one. 37. Sweden home Credit: Adidas Like any self-respecting adult I have a favourite two-colour combination for sports kits and it’s yellow and blue. I have, though, been burned by too many forgettable Sweden appearances at World Cups. They have been no fun since 1994. Neither is this kit, really, despite the same diagonal stripes also seen on Real Madrid’s current home shirt which look like an afterthought. 36. Panama away Credit: New Balance A man, a plan, a canal… Pretty patterns! This is a bit more like it from Team Canal and their official Matchday supplier - Team Balancing Things in New and Inventive ways. Some risk, some invention, an odd plunging collar. A qualified success. 35. England home Credit: Nike A return to the sort of England kit a seven-year-old would draw if brought up in the 1990s, after some CONTROVERSIAL experimentation with devilry such as light blue sleeves and (gasp!) red socks for Euro 2016. Everything about that tournament must now be expunged from English football history, but I’m not convinced that a return to such a safe set is helpful. Especially at a time already coloured by questionable memories of how perfect things used to be in England in the good old days when everything was simpler. Add my name to the growing list of people who wish they’d gone with their excellent training top as home shirt instead: Credit: Nike 34. Portugal away Credit: Nike Nice try Portugal, with your constellation of stars on the front, but this is still all-white and therefore not eligible for the upper reaches. Can imagine Ronaldo will look resplendent in this while eagerly indicating that he wants a throw-in delivered to him NOW by one of the inferior men he must tolerate every couple of years for a few weeks. I bet one of his own team-mates will try to swap shirts with him. 33. Peru home Credit: Umbro Has Umbro muffed it? I think it might have done. You wait so long for a proud Peruvian sash at a World Cup then when it comes it’s served with a side order of unnecessary gold ribbon. You can’t even pick it off. You probably can, but it will invalidate your shirt’s warranty. A country who are a wonderful addition to the tournament, a great shame the kit isn’t the classic it should be. 32. Australia home Credit: Nike If you like your lager advertising chummy, your Cahills to be called Tim (not Gary), and your dinkum fair have we got the World Cup kit for you? ‘Straylia! Seismograph sleeves complement gold as bold as a slap in the face from a lovable rogue in Earl’s Court Walkabout. 31. Russia home Credit: Adidas Remember the Soviet Union? I don’t, really, but expect its citizens would be as proud as their rulers would permit to wear this. Strong, bold and inscrutable. Stick “CCCP” on the front and put Frankie Goes To Hollywood on and we’re back in 1984. No not Relax, the other one. No! not The Power Of Love… Oh, forget it. 30. Nigeria away Credit: Nike Not the Nigeria shirt that everyone (anyone) is talking about at this year’s World Cup, but the sensible Super Eagles Super Fan’s Super Choice. An unusual shade of dark green, rarely seen on a football shirt. Perhaps with good reason, this is the kit most likely to suffer the same “players can’t pick eachother out” fate as Manchester United’s grey from 1996. 29. Spain home Credit: Adidas I am a little wary of the trend to look backwards when designing kits. Nick a flourish, sure, but there seems little point in slavishly aping past designs. Adidas has largely “drawn inspiration” rather than “shamelessly pilfered” from its past for this tournament, but this lapses into outright cover version. Spain reached the quarter-finals in 1994 wearing a very similar shirt to this, but the lined effect on this year’s diamonds takes the edge off in 2018. There has been some controversy about what looks like purple, which is a contentious colour in Spain because of its use in the Republican flag, used by anti-monarchy protesters. Despite it all, this is fairly tasty. Shorts and socks especially so. 28. Egypt home Credit: Adidas Tidy, no nonsense, playing a straight bat, stiff upper lip, masking the sadness of an entire nation about a bad thing Sergio Ramos did. 27. Portugal home Credit: Nike Nothing to fault, nothing to feel excited about. Green socks are fairly jolly. Portugal have been gradually losing claret since peak-bastard Cristiano in 2006. This edges back to that deeper, more soulful colour than recent journeys towards the light. Embrace the evil, Portugal. Strike us down with all of your hatred. 26. Argentina home Credit: Adidas Very little to see here beyond some acceptable gradient work on the blue stripes. Some kits are protected like greenbelt land. The excess white at the shoulder where the blue marries the sleeve looks almost like a manufacturing error. There are perhaps six people in the world who care about this. 25. Costa Rica home Credit: New Balance Here we go Costa Rica, that’s how you do a subtle shirt pattern! The lines are DNA, apparently for… reasons. Don’t ask New Balance too many questions or you’ll end up in that glass chamber. 24. Poland home Credit: Nike As has been covered at length, all-white is not the way to my heart, but this is very tidy indeed. Brought to life by its diagonal halving, elevating it immediately from dull to borderline memorable. What does it all mean? Nothing. Almost certainly nothing. 23. Argentina away Credit: Adidas The closest we come to a template to be bored of at this year’s World Cup is this, the Adidas nipple-emphasis side-stripes. Happily, like its similarly ubiquitous USA 94 designs worn by Romania, Sweden, Bulgaria and Norway, it’s a peach. We’ll be seeing plenty more of it in what remains of this list. Argentina have one of the less memorable incarnations, but it’s still totally pleasant. 22. South Korea away Credit: Nike Now we’re talking. This is how to jolt an all-white change strip into life - by adding the graphic style of an aspirational hi-tech power shower that you will never be able to afford. 21. England away Credit: Nike Shades of 1998 here, when England had a deeper shade of red which also featured a St George’s cross pattern. Picture David Beckham’s free kick against Colombia. Yes, that’s the one. Now how do you feel? Maximum patriotic! Six pints before kick-off! A scuffle outside a suburban chain pub! It’s coming home, it’s coming home etc. 20. Mexico home Credit: Adidas Welcome back, delightful Adidas template. Okay, you’re approaching our nipples from a different angle. Look, I’m open-minded. I’ll give it a go. Variety is the spice of life. This ticks a lot of boxes. A retro flourish, confident boldness, unusual socks. Yes to all. 19. Denmark away Credit: Hummel Don’t panic, fans of the 1980s. The appropriate fawning over Denmark and the manufacturers of their kit will follow when we reach their home kit. Odd how white shorts under red shirts looks textbook, but the opposite seems transgressive and maverick. Nevertheless, nothing wrong here whatsoever. 18. Russia away Credit: Adidas Briefly made me smile, which is more than the country of Russia is likely to do for the majority of fans visiting this summer. Official literature says the shirt pattern “Depicts an abstract vision of Russian architecture and pays homage to the architectural landmarks and industrial cities of the country’s….” Hahahahaha! Looks more like the user interface of a sinister computer program that’s methodically stealing an entire continent’s private data. Shorts and socks: decent. Overall verdict: da. 17. Colombia away Credit: Adidas Missing Holland? And the 1994 World Cup? Hey, things are looking up! The Colombia party bus pulls into the official Fifa World Cup Parking Zone and is ready to shake things up. Hop on board, and remember - it’s pronounced Ham-ez. Try it with some other familiar J-words and phrases until you get the hang of it: Hury service, hoint custody, ham har. Congratulations, you are now a citizen of Colombia. 16. Peru away Credit: Umbro This is far better work from the boys from the… place. With the… stuff. Anyway, reawaken Nobby Solano because a new day is dawning. The accent gold makes far more sense here than on its hostile invasion of the home shirt. A winner. 15. Mexico away Credit: Adidas How often can you say you’ve never seen a football kit quite like this before? (Be quiet, Nigeria home) 'Soy Mexico' is printed on the collar, not a tribute to the least-used condiment bottle in your new neighbourhood taco pop-up, but “I am Mexico” in Spanish. A distant cousin on the 78-9 away shirt (made by Levi’s, fact fans), but the vertical stripes on that have been rotated. Six thumbs up. 14. Croatia home Credit: Nike There’s no easy way to break this to you Croatia, but your checks need some balances. They have grown too big. You’re out of control! The subtle effect on their edges is a nice way to spruce up what must be one of the hardest shirts to do anything inventive with. Is really going to sing with some numbers in Nike’s off-centred position judging by Luka Modric in the promotional shots: Credit: NIKE 13. Uruguay home Credit: Puma Say what you like about the Uruguay brand (and MANY have), but they have really taken ownership of a very specific shade of blue. Still light, not-quite-sky: pre-dawn. It does a wonderful job of masking some truly reprehensible tackles. The pattern shares the same message as the timeless classic by Inner City: "We're having big sun". Sure, why not? 12. France away Credit: Nike Remember when England tried to get a bit clever by roping in graphic designer Peter Saville and putting some multicoloured patterned crosses on their shirt? Sure you do: There is something similar going on here, but it’s far nicer. As the French say “un touch de class”. 11. Sweden away Credit: Adidas A nourishing meal of lines and squares on this shirt, previously sighted in less appealing form on Belgium’s change shirt. The difference here is that the pattern becomes a focal point with this colour scheme, rather than something to squint at which may cause migraine. These shorts also look like the best day of your summer holiday. The model on Adidas’s website is promising some very relaxed socks too: Credit: ADIDAS 10. Denmark home Credit: Hummel Nothing too fussy going on here, which has hurt similar straightforward red-shirted outfits lower down in this ranking. But come on. Denmark, in a World Cup, in Hummel, as the football gods intended. What am I not made of? Stone. The answer is stone. 9. Brazil home Credit: Nike Nike taking few chances with one of the least-ruinable kit configurations in football. You don’t take chances after the trauma of 2014 and losing 7-1 on your own patch, you look to shut up shop, minimise anyone’s ability to hurt you and keep it tight at the back for the next 300 or so years. A kit to make new and better memories in. 8. France home Credit: Nike Manchester City share this new Nike Vapor template, but it makes more sense here with a darker blue base colour and the brighter accents on the sleeves. The white shorts and red sock combo create an overall vibe like an accomplished classical music performance. 7. Costa Rica away Credit: New Balance There is some subtle magic occurring here because with white, black and a some basically invisible shirt patterning this should be forgettable. And yet, I can’t stop looking at it. Perhaps I have been hypnotised by that shiny spiral of a crest. I do not mind, this is wonderful. 6. Croatia away Credit: Nike Intimidatingly cool. Transcending the usual busted flush of all-dark kits with an unapologetically massive crest, pleasingly retaining its usual colours. Bigger checks suit the muted palette. Nailed on future-classic. 5. Germany away Credit: Adidas This is firmly up the correct alley of taking inspiration from the past rather than merely replicating it. Describe this to someone who hadn’t seen it and you’d probably use the same adjectives as doing similar for the West Germany 1990 away strip. They are related, but cousins rather than twins. The green has grown up, the geometry has shifted into something more complex, creating unresolved patterns which somehow add up to something coherent. Masterful and mesmerising. 4. Japan home Credit: Adidas A pattern which doubles as a Cheese Box board, the square-drawing game which no-one ever played on the back of Top Trumps cards. There’s something strange and novel at work and it deserves to win hearts and minds. It’s as if Japan know the team’s not up to much so have concentrated trying to win at kits. In other words: Ideal. Unusual and beautiful. 3. Brazil away Credit: Nike Pow! An utter stunner. Even the socks look super-cool. Would endorse getting drunk on Caipirinhas wearing this shirt, while getting drunk on Caipirinhas wearing this shirt. 2. Germany home Credit: Adidas Simultaneously modern and retro. Both bold and classy. Again, it has an echo of the 1990 West Germany kit but isn’t ripping it off. A sublime piece of work. You’d thank them for beating you on penalties. 1. Colombia home Credit: Adidas On first impression it looked to me like the yellow here was not quite popping like on Colombia’s also-spectacular 2014 shirt, with the neat diagonal pinstripes. I also wondered about stripe overkill this time: There are stripes on the nipple-troublers, located just underneath the Adidas shoulder stripes. But I have peeked at this kit periodically since it was unveiled in March. It got better every time I returned to it. As my excitement for the tournament has built, so has my appreciation for this kit. My initial problems were nit-picking in the extreme, the result of a winter which wouldn’t go away. Now the sun is out we can see this kit for what it is: borderline pornographic. Our winner. Thom Gibbs's previous kit rankings | Putting things into order since 2014 John Devlin’s delightful new book True Colours: International Football Kits was a valuable resource during the compilation of this article. More information here. World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup hype is to be discouraged, especially if it’s about England’s chances. Nevertheless, here is a grand statement: this is the best World Cup for kits of all time. Recent tournaments have been weighed down by a few templates dominating the overall set, this year the majority of teams have something unique. There is a pleasing mix throughout of tradition being respected, but playfully twisted. Astonishingly, among 64 kits not one is entirely horrendous. As ever, these rankings are entirely subjective but they are also entirely correct. To my mind a good international tournament kit is five things: Correct for its time, slightly different to what has come before, aware that it will be seen on TV far more often than in person, memorable, and, perhaps most important of all, not all-white. For those keeping score at home the manufacturers count this year breaks down as follows: World Cup 2018 kit manufacturers With that bit of thrilling administrative business taken care of, let's begin our countdown with the very worst kit of this year’s World Cup. 64. Switzerland home Credit: PUMA The trouble with the aforementioned lack of honking clangers in this year’s collection is that someone still has to come bottom. Luckily no-one will shed any tears for Switzerland, seemingly invited to every World Cup despite never bringing anything good to drink. This is a marble cake monstrosity, an OS map of a doomed hike, a pattern in lieu of a personality. The overly-relaxed promotional shot also suggests Switzerland just aren’t taking this competition seriously enough. Too late to swap them out for a more interesting team? 63. Australia away Credit: NIKE Always a worrying sign when it’s hard to picture Mile Jedinak in a kit but no struggle whatsoever to imagine the same outfit on Shane Warne. This fails an important test: does it look like a football shirt? Would pass for the uniform of a garden centre employee with the addition of an “I’m here to help” badge. Unfortunately the gaudy crossing streams bring to mind some top lads messing about at the urinals. On this evidence both have an awful lot to learn about hydration. 62. Serbia away Credit: PUMA Pretty ropey business from Puma which has decided with all the wisdom of a large cat that away shirts at this year’s tournament MUST be white. Shame such decisiveness wasn’t in play for that stripe running down the middle which isn’t quite sure where to start or end. In France for Euro 2016 you could buy face-painting sticks which smeared something like a French flag down your face*. This looks like an accident with one of those. Improved by a number on the front as demonstrated by the fine men to the right. * If you’d like to see a man who really likes football kits being accosted by one of these, this is the video of your dreams: 61. Morocco home Credit: Adidas Morocco delayed their launch for both of their shirts until this week, because they were so concerned about forged versions reaching the market, both abstract and actual. Was it worth the wait? No, no it was not. Somehow both dull and brash. A deeply uninspired effort. 60. Egypt away Credit: GETTY IMAGES Rubbish. Put a pyramid on it, at least. So lacking in verve that in the event of a kit clash Egypt might as well just play in skins. 59. Iran home Credit: AP Really not sold on the idea of a modern kit launch, Iran simply strode out of the tunnel for a friendly against Turkey wearing this, their new home kit. No photoshopped Lions, no meaningless three-word mottos, no press releases about fabric which periodically sprays your skin with expensive serum. We applaud their approach, but not their anonymous kit. Looks familiar, doesn’t it? It’s the same template as Morocco home with the same half-arsed lack of flair as Egypt’s similarly white away shirt. Seeing the spectacular work Adidas has done for several of the kits higher on this chart it’s clear where its priorities lie. 58. Saudi Arabia home Credit: Nike How to make the blank canvas of a white Nike kit instantly less appealing? Add a sickly shade of green! Limp and tedious. 57. Panama home Credit: New Balance As long-time kit ranking-enjoyers will attest, I am in the tank for New Balance. It generally finds a way to upheld the best traditional aspects of a team’s look while adding memorable flourishes. What happens when a team has no notable tradition to speak of? Maths-paper squares, it would seem. Disappointingly cheap-looking. 56. Belgium away Credit: Adidas The Watford side of the 1980s may seem like an unlikely influence for an international football kit in 2018, but here we are. Something a bit public transport upholstery about the shirt, which appears to be mere lines at first, before squares start appearing like a disappointing Magic Eye. Fails to hang together in a pleasing way as a set, and I suspect it’s that weak Pro Evo-like team emblem which is to blame. 55. Tunisia home Credit: Uhlsport A schoolfriend of mine once brought back several Tunisia home shirts from a holiday so our dreadful five-a-side team could have a matching kit. Suffice to say they were not Official Licensed Team Products. The memory of that shirt and all of its kind, shiny, utterly impermeable, clinging to your entire back after five minutes, came flooding back seeing this aggressively boring home kit. Little to recommend beyond some minor attempts at geometry on the side. Not good enough. 54. Senegal home Credit: Puma Last year Senegal wore a fearsome roaring lion on their shoulder, made out of bold dashes of colour: Credit: REUTERS This year Senegal have moved on with their lives and are trying to forget about their wild summer of lion. They have deleted his number. They’re going out less. They have, unfortunately, got dull. Sublimated patterns are all well and good in the context of pictures of kits on the internet, but IRL this is a tedious white shirt with some uninspired trim in an unappealing green. 53. Morocco away Credit: Adidas An Adidas teamwear template that’s available for any Sunday League team that fancies it. Not a particularly offensive one, but surely something slightly more exciting is possible? As may have been mentioned before, this is the World Cup. 52. Switzerland away Credit: Puma Honestly, Switzerland, why bother? What is the point? You’re cheating yourself, Switzerland. You’re capable of more, Puma. That’s too many logos, both of you. Liven up your ideas. You are harshing my World Cup buzz. 51. Iceland away Credit: Errea Some sad news for you: this will not be Iceland’s World Cup. Lightning doesn’t strike twice, and international football tournament shock artists do not repeat the trick in consecutive competitions. Especially when Gylfi Sigurdsson is injured. Still, we will have a great time getting behind Iceland, enjoying their incredible support and trying to clap along with them at the correct moment. We will just not be wearing this shirt, because the collar is silly and there is something iffy about those sleeves. 50. Iran away Credit: GETTY IMAGES A little more oopmh behind this Iran effort, but still impossible to shake the feeling their only notable contribution to this World Cup will be to provide a future low-scoring answer on Pointless. 49. Spain away Credit: Adidas Unsure about what’s happened here, but somewhere along the line mistakes have been made. Spain have been wearing white as change or third strips since 1982, but few stick in the memory beyond this belter from 2016: Credit: EPA This one will not be hanging around for long in anyone's mind, with its trim like dubious Sangria and a vague waterfall of pointless turquoise. The abandonment of a largely-glorious history of navy away shirts should lead to a root and branch review in whichever Spanish quango is responsible for choosing kits. 48. Uruguay away Credit: Puma Yr man here looks like he’s on his way to cause some aggro. Don’t try that in Russia, pal. It will not end well. Few discerning remarks for another tedious white away shirt from Puma’s big book of uninspired ideas. 47. Belgium home Credit: Adidas Theoretically amazing but does not come off. A re-hash of Belgium’s Euro 84 kit, a tournament in which they beat Yugoslavia, were hammered by France then lost 3-2 to Denmark after leading 2-0. If we’re commemorating farce let’s give Gareth Southgate a cool “retro” umbrella. Proof that Argyle and football shirts just don’t mix, as everyone except Plymouth die-hards will admit. Gives impression that Belgium would much rather be good at cycling than football. Check out those constricting sleeves - only suitable if you have the freakishly tiny upper arms of Chris Froome. 46. Serbia home Credit: Puma More middle of the road than a central reservation. Cannot be redeemed, even by a number font on loan from a Disneyfied Balkans-themed restaurant menu. 45. Tunisia away Credit: Uhlsport Like a dull Denmark. Won’t upset anyone, either stylistically or on the pitch. (Let’s see how well that statement ages after the match taking place in Volgograd on 18 June…) 44. Poland away Credit: Nike We have similar to come in this countdown with Poland’s home effort which is (spoilers) identical, albeit in a different colour. So just hold that thought if waiting for a verdict on this one and remember that, sometimes, white looks better than red. The socks, sadly absent here, are also red. Red, red, red. Never much fun. 43. Saudi Arabia away Credit: Nike Fairly muted and tasteful, whether or not the team can muster a single second of balletic glory which mirrors the Nike promotional material here remains to be seen. Some extra points for the number placement above the right breast, a welcome trend for several of Nike’s shirts in Russia. 42. Iceland home Credit: Errea Lovable though Iceland are, there is a fine line between joyful throwbacks to the design trends of 1997 and just looking like the Chesterfield side who nearly reached the FA Cup final. Unfortunately this falls just the wrong side. Never mind, it will bring back happy memories for Sean Dyche. 41. South Korea home Credit: Nike That’s quite the bland shirt you have there, South Korea. You are in danger of disappointing the excellent tiger who lives on your emblem. The black shorts help the overall look, as does a very excited model. 40. Japan away Credit: Adidas It takes a special sort of kit tragic to see a new shirt and immediately think “Albania change 2016.” Reader, I am that anorak. This is a more refined take on the radiator texture chic explored by the Eagles in the last European Championships. It still looks more like it was designed more to impress as a niche Parkrun choice than to create TV memories at an international tournament. That’s a trend to be discouraged. 39. Senegal away Credit: Puma A shade of green which does not look interested in messing around. The overall combination of pattern, trim and sublimated image is a touch dated but just about gets over the line between striking and naff. 38. Nigeria home Credit: Nike This is it, the great novelty. The bold statement. The reported 3million pre-orders. Memorable, certainly. Bold, undoubtedly. But somehow quite calculated, a bit knowing. A feeling that its designers are deliberately attempting to court controversy rather than make something with the sort of weird beauty which will inevitably divide opinion. Perhaps I am too cynical, and I appreciate the effort. But I cannot find it in my heart to love the kit. A nation weeps as one. 37. Sweden home Credit: Adidas Like any self-respecting adult I have a favourite two-colour combination for sports kits and it’s yellow and blue. I have, though, been burned by too many forgettable Sweden appearances at World Cups. They have been no fun since 1994. Neither is this kit, really, despite the same diagonal stripes also seen on Real Madrid’s current home shirt which look like an afterthought. 36. Panama away Credit: New Balance A man, a plan, a canal… Pretty patterns! This is a bit more like it from Team Canal and their official Matchday supplier - Team Balancing Things in New and Inventive ways. Some risk, some invention, an odd plunging collar. A qualified success. 35. England home Credit: Nike A return to the sort of England kit a seven-year-old would draw if brought up in the 1990s, after some CONTROVERSIAL experimentation with devilry such as light blue sleeves and (gasp!) red socks for Euro 2016. Everything about that tournament must now be expunged from English football history, but I’m not convinced that a return to such a safe set is helpful. Especially at a time already coloured by questionable memories of how perfect things used to be in England in the good old days when everything was simpler. Add my name to the growing list of people who wish they’d gone with their excellent training top as home shirt instead: Credit: Nike 34. Portugal away Credit: Nike Nice try Portugal, with your constellation of stars on the front, but this is still all-white and therefore not eligible for the upper reaches. Can imagine Ronaldo will look resplendent in this while eagerly indicating that he wants a throw-in delivered to him NOW by one of the inferior men he must tolerate every couple of years for a few weeks. I bet one of his own team-mates will try to swap shirts with him. 33. Peru home Credit: Umbro Has Umbro muffed it? I think it might have done. You wait so long for a proud Peruvian sash at a World Cup then when it comes it’s served with a side order of unnecessary gold ribbon. You can’t even pick it off. You probably can, but it will invalidate your shirt’s warranty. A country who are a wonderful addition to the tournament, a great shame the kit isn’t the classic it should be. 32. Australia home Credit: Nike If you like your lager advertising chummy, your Cahills to be called Tim (not Gary), and your dinkum fair have we got the World Cup kit for you? ‘Straylia! Seismograph sleeves complement gold as bold as a slap in the face from a lovable rogue in Earl’s Court Walkabout. 31. Russia home Credit: Adidas Remember the Soviet Union? I don’t, really, but expect its citizens would be as proud as their rulers would permit to wear this. Strong, bold and inscrutable. Stick “CCCP” on the front and put Frankie Goes To Hollywood on and we’re back in 1984. No not Relax, the other one. No! not The Power Of Love… Oh, forget it. 30. Nigeria away Credit: Nike Not the Nigeria shirt that everyone (anyone) is talking about at this year’s World Cup, but the sensible Super Eagles Super Fan’s Super Choice. An unusual shade of dark green, rarely seen on a football shirt. Perhaps with good reason, this is the kit most likely to suffer the same “players can’t pick eachother out” fate as Manchester United’s grey from 1996. 29. Spain home Credit: Adidas I am a little wary of the trend to look backwards when designing kits. Nick a flourish, sure, but there seems little point in slavishly aping past designs. Adidas has largely “drawn inspiration” rather than “shamelessly pilfered” from its past for this tournament, but this lapses into outright cover version. Spain reached the quarter-finals in 1994 wearing a very similar shirt to this, but the lined effect on this year’s diamonds takes the edge off in 2018. There has been some controversy about what looks like purple, which is a contentious colour in Spain because of its use in the Republican flag, used by anti-monarchy protesters. Despite it all, this is fairly tasty. Shorts and socks especially so. 28. Egypt home Credit: Adidas Tidy, no nonsense, playing a straight bat, stiff upper lip, masking the sadness of an entire nation about a bad thing Sergio Ramos did. 27. Portugal home Credit: Nike Nothing to fault, nothing to feel excited about. Green socks are fairly jolly. Portugal have been gradually losing claret since peak-bastard Cristiano in 2006. This edges back to that deeper, more soulful colour than recent journeys towards the light. Embrace the evil, Portugal. Strike us down with all of your hatred. 26. Argentina home Credit: Adidas Very little to see here beyond some acceptable gradient work on the blue stripes. Some kits are protected like greenbelt land. The excess white at the shoulder where the blue marries the sleeve looks almost like a manufacturing error. There are perhaps six people in the world who care about this. 25. Costa Rica home Credit: New Balance Here we go Costa Rica, that’s how you do a subtle shirt pattern! The lines are DNA, apparently for… reasons. Don’t ask New Balance too many questions or you’ll end up in that glass chamber. 24. Poland home Credit: Nike As has been covered at length, all-white is not the way to my heart, but this is very tidy indeed. Brought to life by its diagonal halving, elevating it immediately from dull to borderline memorable. What does it all mean? Nothing. Almost certainly nothing. 23. Argentina away Credit: Adidas The closest we come to a template to be bored of at this year’s World Cup is this, the Adidas nipple-emphasis side-stripes. Happily, like its similarly ubiquitous USA 94 designs worn by Romania, Sweden, Bulgaria and Norway, it’s a peach. We’ll be seeing plenty more of it in what remains of this list. Argentina have one of the less memorable incarnations, but it’s still totally pleasant. 22. South Korea away Credit: Nike Now we’re talking. This is how to jolt an all-white change strip into life - by adding the graphic style of an aspirational hi-tech power shower that you will never be able to afford. 21. England away Credit: Nike Shades of 1998 here, when England had a deeper shade of red which also featured a St George’s cross pattern. Picture David Beckham’s free kick against Colombia. Yes, that’s the one. Now how do you feel? Maximum patriotic! Six pints before kick-off! A scuffle outside a suburban chain pub! It’s coming home, it’s coming home etc. 20. Mexico home Credit: Adidas Welcome back, delightful Adidas template. Okay, you’re approaching our nipples from a different angle. Look, I’m open-minded. I’ll give it a go. Variety is the spice of life. This ticks a lot of boxes. A retro flourish, confident boldness, unusual socks. Yes to all. 19. Denmark away Credit: Hummel Don’t panic, fans of the 1980s. The appropriate fawning over Denmark and the manufacturers of their kit will follow when we reach their home kit. Odd how white shorts under red shirts looks textbook, but the opposite seems transgressive and maverick. Nevertheless, nothing wrong here whatsoever. 18. Russia away Credit: Adidas Briefly made me smile, which is more than the country of Russia is likely to do for the majority of fans visiting this summer. Official literature says the shirt pattern “Depicts an abstract vision of Russian architecture and pays homage to the architectural landmarks and industrial cities of the country’s….” Hahahahaha! Looks more like the user interface of a sinister computer program that’s methodically stealing an entire continent’s private data. Shorts and socks: decent. Overall verdict: da. 17. Colombia away Credit: Adidas Missing Holland? And the 1994 World Cup? Hey, things are looking up! The Colombia party bus pulls into the official Fifa World Cup Parking Zone and is ready to shake things up. Hop on board, and remember - it’s pronounced Ham-ez. Try it with some other familiar J-words and phrases until you get the hang of it: Hury service, hoint custody, ham har. Congratulations, you are now a citizen of Colombia. 16. Peru away Credit: Umbro This is far better work from the boys from the… place. With the… stuff. Anyway, reawaken Nobby Solano because a new day is dawning. The accent gold makes far more sense here than on its hostile invasion of the home shirt. A winner. 15. Mexico away Credit: Adidas How often can you say you’ve never seen a football kit quite like this before? (Be quiet, Nigeria home) 'Soy Mexico' is printed on the collar, not a tribute to the least-used condiment bottle in your new neighbourhood taco pop-up, but “I am Mexico” in Spanish. A distant cousin on the 78-9 away shirt (made by Levi’s, fact fans), but the vertical stripes on that have been rotated. Six thumbs up. 14. Croatia home Credit: Nike There’s no easy way to break this to you Croatia, but your checks need some balances. They have grown too big. You’re out of control! The subtle effect on their edges is a nice way to spruce up what must be one of the hardest shirts to do anything inventive with. Is really going to sing with some numbers in Nike’s off-centred position judging by Luka Modric in the promotional shots: Credit: NIKE 13. Uruguay home Credit: Puma Say what you like about the Uruguay brand (and MANY have), but they have really taken ownership of a very specific shade of blue. Still light, not-quite-sky: pre-dawn. It does a wonderful job of masking some truly reprehensible tackles. The pattern shares the same message as the timeless classic by Inner City: "We're having big sun". Sure, why not? 12. France away Credit: Nike Remember when England tried to get a bit clever by roping in graphic designer Peter Saville and putting some multicoloured patterned crosses on their shirt? Sure you do: There is something similar going on here, but it’s far nicer. As the French say “un touch de class”. 11. Sweden away Credit: Adidas A nourishing meal of lines and squares on this shirt, previously sighted in less appealing form on Belgium’s change shirt. The difference here is that the pattern becomes a focal point with this colour scheme, rather than something to squint at which may cause migraine. These shorts also look like the best day of your summer holiday. The model on Adidas’s website is promising some very relaxed socks too: Credit: ADIDAS 10. Denmark home Credit: Hummel Nothing too fussy going on here, which has hurt similar straightforward red-shirted outfits lower down in this ranking. But come on. Denmark, in a World Cup, in Hummel, as the football gods intended. What am I not made of? Stone. The answer is stone. 9. Brazil home Credit: Nike Nike taking few chances with one of the least-ruinable kit configurations in football. You don’t take chances after the trauma of 2014 and losing 7-1 on your own patch, you look to shut up shop, minimise anyone’s ability to hurt you and keep it tight at the back for the next 300 or so years. A kit to make new and better memories in. 8. France home Credit: Nike Manchester City share this new Nike Vapor template, but it makes more sense here with a darker blue base colour and the brighter accents on the sleeves. The white shorts and red sock combo create an overall vibe like an accomplished classical music performance. 7. Costa Rica away Credit: New Balance There is some subtle magic occurring here because with white, black and a some basically invisible shirt patterning this should be forgettable. And yet, I can’t stop looking at it. Perhaps I have been hypnotised by that shiny spiral of a crest. I do not mind, this is wonderful. 6. Croatia away Credit: Nike Intimidatingly cool. Transcending the usual busted flush of all-dark kits with an unapologetically massive crest, pleasingly retaining its usual colours. Bigger checks suit the muted palette. Nailed on future-classic. 5. Germany away Credit: Adidas This is firmly up the correct alley of taking inspiration from the past rather than merely replicating it. Describe this to someone who hadn’t seen it and you’d probably use the same adjectives as doing similar for the West Germany 1990 away strip. They are related, but cousins rather than twins. The green has grown up, the geometry has shifted into something more complex, creating unresolved patterns which somehow add up to something coherent. Masterful and mesmerising. 4. Japan home Credit: Adidas A pattern which doubles as a Cheese Box board, the square-drawing game which no-one ever played on the back of Top Trumps cards. There’s something strange and novel at work and it deserves to win hearts and minds. It’s as if Japan know the team’s not up to much so have concentrated trying to win at kits. In other words: Ideal. Unusual and beautiful. 3. Brazil away Credit: Nike Pow! An utter stunner. Even the socks look super-cool. Would endorse getting drunk on Caipirinhas wearing this shirt, while getting drunk on Caipirinhas wearing this shirt. 2. Germany home Credit: Adidas Simultaneously modern and retro. Both bold and classy. Again, it has an echo of the 1990 West Germany kit but isn’t ripping it off. A sublime piece of work. You’d thank them for beating you on penalties. 1. Colombia home Credit: Adidas On first impression it looked to me like the yellow here was not quite popping like on Colombia’s also-spectacular 2014 shirt, with the neat diagonal pinstripes. I also wondered about stripe overkill this time: There are stripes on the nipple-troublers, located just underneath the Adidas shoulder stripes. But I have peeked at this kit periodically since it was unveiled in March. It got better every time I returned to it. As my excitement for the tournament has built, so has my appreciation for this kit. My initial problems were nit-picking in the extreme, the result of a winter which wouldn’t go away. Now the sun is out we can see this kit for what it is: borderline pornographic. Our winner. Thom Gibbs's previous kit rankings | Putting things into order since 2014 John Devlin’s delightful new book True Colours: International Football Kits was a valuable resource during the compilation of this article. More information here. World Cup 2018 | The best of the Telegraph's coverage WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article