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The New Arab

World Cup LIVEBLOG: Russia v Egypt

Date of publication: 19 June, 2018

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Don't miss a moment as Egypt vie to break Arab teams' losing streak at Russia2018. Refresh this page to get up-to-the-minute updates

20:57:16 - That's it from us for tonight - but join us again tomorrow for a super Wednesday of Middle Eastern teams at the World Cup! We've got Portugal-Morocco, Uruguay-Saudi Arabia AND Iran-Spain.

And, you never know...

20:55:32 - Well, Egypt were the greatest chance of an Arab team progressing to the round of 16, but they'd need something of a miracle now... Like Saudi Arabia beating Uruguay!

20:52:20 - FULL TIME - Russia 3 - Egypt 1

20:51:19 - A brief period of Egyptian possession in the dying moments of the game ends with Warda falling down in the penalty box. Ref's having none of it.

20:49:01 - Four minutes of added time

20:48:08 - The ball comes to Salah in the box, but there's no space - it falls to Warda - and gets dragged wide to the right

20:45:43 - Are we going to see any more action in the final two minutes? It's pretty quiet in this Ekaterinberg restaurant...

20:41:51 - YELLOW CARD for Smolov for hit on Sobhi

20:41:25 - Inside the final ten minutes now, and the pace of the game hasn't dropped off.

20:39:46 - CHANGE for Egypt - Mohsen off, Kharaba on.

20:38:56 - Golovny must have been on then, but delayed and delayed, and got surrounded by white-shirted Pharoahs.

20:36:40 - CHANGE for Russia - goalscorer Dzyuba coming off, makes way for Smolov, Russia's top goalscorer in the domestic league

20:35:31 - That was Egypt's first World Cup goal since 1990. That sound you can hear? That's 100 million Egyptians screaming...

20:32:49 - Not just a goal, but a GOOOOAAAALLL!

20:31:36 - GOAL for Mo Salah's Egypt!

20:30:17 - PENALTY given!

20:29:59 - VAR checking...

20:29:49 - Referee says outside the box!

20:29:22 - SALAH PULLED DOWN inside the box!

20:28:06 - SHOT! Abdullah ElSaid sends a long shot up into the stands somewhere

20:26:52 - Russia just easing off now as the rain pours down on St Petersburg.

20:25:05 - CLOSE! Trezeguet just puts it wide of the post, but is taken off the pitch, replaced by #14, Amr Warda

20:22:30 - Even more pressure on an injured Salah. At 75 percent of his best, he just can't carry this team.



20:19:26 - GOAL! Two goals in three minutes. Dzyuba, who has looked threatening all night, finishes a move that ends Egypt's game. Difficult to see how Egypt comes back from this.

20:17:34 - GOAL! It's another for Cheryshev, who shone in the Saudi Arabia game. Fernandes with the assist. Russia 2 - Egypt 0 

20:16:00 - Russia's Samedov being extra brave in his defending, getting his head down to boot level.

20:14:36 - Egypt's turn to apply the pressure now. Another half-chance for Salah, followed by a corner whipped straight through the box. Salah can't quite get onto its return - but surely this team can't revolve entirely around one man?

20:13:08 - Egypt's midfielder Mahmoud 'Kahraba' Abdel-Moneim fights for the ball with Russia's midfielder Denis Cheryshev [AFP]

20:11:50 - Corner for Russia cleared for a repeat corner, both taken by Samedov. Second also cleared without concern.

20:09:52 - A collision between Egypt's Gabr and Russia's Dzyuba leaves the Russian striker on the ground, complaining of a foul. No free kick given, and Dzyuba gets up to play

20:06:29 - GOAL! It's an own goal - Egypt's captain, Fathi, sends an otherwise wayward Russian cross straight into the net. Russia 1 - Egypt 0

20:03:53 - Right! We're underway again, and straightaway Trezeguet gets an elbow in the face and hits the deck. Seems to be fine, though

19:52:40 - Russia's opening 5-0 scoreline excited fans, and most importantly pleased Putin. But their true colours are being shown now. Egypt's not a great team in the style of Spain or Brazil - and Russia still can't score.

19:51:11 - In the second half, Salah is either going to find his feet and finally shake off that shoulder injury - or be subbed off and Egypt's spirit will dwindle.

19:49:34 - Russia's gameplan: Shut down Mo Salah, run it wide up to Dzyuba. Egypt's gameplan: Get the ball to Salah and pray.

19:47:13 - HALF-TIME - Russia 0 - Egypt 0

19:45:18 - It's fair to say the Egyptian national team is no Liverpool.

19:44:31 - More danger here for Egypt, as Dzyuba held tight to miss getting a boot to the ball in front of goal

19:42:59 - CLOSE! Finally Mo Salah gets a half-chance, forced to shoot while turning on the edge of the box, but fired wide

19:42:16 - Russian corner taken by Samedov, headed out for a goal-kick

19:40:48 - CLOSE - Great chance for Mohsen after another cross floated in from Elneny - but headed straight into Akinfeev's waiting arms

19:39:45 - 22 great players on the field, but most have come to see one:

19:39:06 - It's exhausting just watching...

19:37:06 - Another Russian counter-attack; Zobnin fires wide to the left

19:36:41 - Mohsen rises, gets his head to it, but can't quite get it in.

19:35:06 - CLOSE! Zhirkov denies Salah a close-range shot

19:34:21 - Awww...

19:32:25 - This has been end-to-end stuff - and we're only half an hour into the game. Can either side keep up this pace for another hour?

19:29:22 - Salah puts Zhirkov under pressure, but is repaid with another Russian break

19:27:08 - Some encouraging signs from Egypt interrupted by a lightning Russian break down the left wing. Confusion between Hegazi and the keeper, but ElShenawy manages to gather the ball on second attempt. Panic over - for now.

19:26:01 - Let's not forget, even without Salah, Egypt is a half-decent team. Arsenal star Elneny leads the rest of the pack, but don't write off Ramadan Sobhy, Mahmoud Trezeguet, Amr Warda and Ahmed Hegazy.

That said:

19:24:15 - Gazinsky fires in a cross, but Dzyuba - right in front of goal - can't get to it

19:22:32 - Egypt are trying to get the ball to Salah to let the Egyptian king work his magic; Russia are understandably targeting him for tight marking

19:21:46 - Cheryshev's throw-in comes harmlessly to Egypt's keeper without anyone breaking sweat

19:20:08 - CLOSE! Cheryshev's shot fires just over the crossbar

19:19:48 - Foul by Egypt's Trezeguet gives Russia a free kick, held comfortably by ElShenawy, the Pharoahs' keeper

19:17:59 - Egypt finally putting real pressure on Russia

19:15:45 - Corner taken for Egypt by ElSaid, flicked out wide for a repeat corner, which is pinged into the box, bounces around a few times and goes out for a throw-in.

19:15:07 - A break for Egypt led by Trezeguet, backed up by Elneny - comes towards Salah in the box, but gets a Russian head to it and is nodded out for a corner

19:12:46 - Egypt coming under sustained pressure from Russia here

19:11:27 - Russia 2018, the most Middle Eastern World Cup ever:

19:10:44 - Samedov goes down easily after an Egyptian challenge, but no free kick

19:09:07 - Free kick deep in Egypt's territory is whipped in but headed out for a corner - which, when taken sails across the face of the goal and out for an Egypt throw-in

19:07:32 - Russia come again - but Golovin's shot dragged wide

19:06:59 - Corner for Russia saved comfortably by El Shenawy

19:03:27 - A half-chance for Russia is wasted

19:02:22 - A handy guide to tonight's team line-ups:

19:00:57 - There's someone else playing for Egypt?

18:59:17 - Russia may have opened their campaign with a 5-0 victory, but let's face it, they were playing against Saudi Arabia, and most of you reading this are probably good enough to get into the Saudi squad.

Egypt against Russia is set to be quite the match. Salah against Russia is another matter entirely - can't miss football - the World Cup at its greatest.

18:57:05 - MO SALAH is on the pitch for the anthems! Here we go!

18:55:40 - While we're waiting for kick-off, let's remind ourselves what The New Arab's football correspondent, Uri Levy, had to say about Egypt ahead of the tournament...

The Pharoah's red home strip will stay in the
changing room tonight - they're playing in white [Getty]
 The Pharaohs

Coach: Hector Cúper

Star: Mohamed Salah, Liverpool

Arriving to Russia as: A promising squad, with all hopes resting on the shoulder of one player

Expectations: Round of 16. 

Egypt has returned to the World Cup after an absence of 28 years, and the nation has gone crazy for the Pharoahs since the qualification match against Congo Brazzaville. But all year, with every twist and turn of Mohamed Salah's contribution to Liverpool's fantastic season, the expectations have been raised higher and higher. 

Egypt is attending its third World Cup finals, and they are bringing one of the planet's best footballers.

That said, in the final match of the European season - the Champions League final - Egypt's dream suffered a huge blow as a collision with Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos dislocated Saleh's shoulder.

It was thought the injury would sideline him for four weeks, and badly hit the Pharaohs' training period.

But even though, aside from Salah, Cúper has brought only two natural strikers to Egypt - Marwan Mohsen and Mahmoud Kahraba, it would be wrong to underestimate the Egyptian squad's talent. 

Ramadan Sobhy, Mahmoud Trezeguet, Amr Warda and Ahmed Hegazy are coming to the finals after a positive season, and with Abdallah Said and Essam El-Hadary's experience, Egypt definitely has a decent team sheet any day of the week.

While Egypt represent the best chance for Arab fans at the World Cup, it has become clear from every friendly warm-up match that they are just not the same team without Salah. 

A 1-1 draw with Kuwait, a lucky 0-0 with Colombia and a 3-0 hammering loss to Belgium. In fact, since that famous match against Congo, Egypt haven't won a single match in six games. 

In March, they were dominating Portugal 1-0 and looked good, but after Salah was withdrawn, the red-shirted Pharoahs conceded two goals and lost the game.

According to multiple reports, Salah's recovery is going well - and every Egyptian is praying for the player's full restoration to match fitness. 

The hopes of Egypt qualifying as one of the top two teams in Group A - which also holds Uruguay, the Russian hosts and the Saudis - all laying on one shoulder of the kid from Nagrig. Ya rab.

Full squad:

Goalkeepers: Essam El Hadary (Al Taawoun, Saudi Arabia), Mohamed El-Shennawy (Al Ahly), Sherif Ekramy (Al Ahly).

Defenders: Ahmed Fathi, Saad Samir, Ayman Ashraf (all Al Ahly), Mahmoud Hamdy (Zamalek), Mohamed Abdel-Shafy (Al Fateh, Saudi Arabia), Ahmed Hegazi (West Brom), Ali Gabr (Zamalek), Ahmed Elmohamady (Aston Villa, England), Omar Gaber (Los Angeles FC, USA).

Midfielders: Tarek Hamed, (Zamalek), Shikabala (Zamalek), Abdallah Said (Al Ahli), Sam Morsy (Wigan Athletic), Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal), Ramadan Sobhi (Stoke City, England), Mahmoud Hassan (Kasimpasa, Turkey), Amr Warda (Atromitos Athens, Greece).

Forwards: Marwan Mohsen (Al Ahly), Mahmoud Kahraba (Al Ittihad, Saudi Arabia), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool, England).

18:32:10 - Half an hour until kick-off in the most important game in Egypt's long, long history. Ooohh, it's getting exciting!

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