Russia scored three goals in 15 minutes early in the second half to set up a 3-1 win over Egypt that moved the host nation to the brink of the World Cup’s knockout stage on Tuesday.
Mohamed Salah won and converted a penalty for a consolation goal on his return from injury but Egypt’s first World Cup in 28 years could be over in barely five days after a second straight loss.
Ahmed Fathi poked the ball into his own net — for the fifth own-goal of the tournament already — to put Russia ahead in the 47th. Then Denis Cheryshev and Artyom Dzyuba scored in quick succession to leave Russia on course for a victory that followed up a 5-0 opening-night win over Saudi Arabia.
It was Cheryshev’s third goal of the World Cup, putting him tied with Cristiano Ronaldo atop the scoring charts.
Russia’s place in the round of 16 will be sealed if Uruguay wins or draws against the Saudis on Wednesday. Those two scenarios would also eliminate Egypt, which started with a 1-0 loss to Uruguay.