The return of Mohamed Salah from injury couldn't prevent World Cup hosts Russia virtually sealing their place in the last 16 by beating Egypt 3-1 on Tuesday. An own goal by Egypt captain Ahmed Fathy opened the floodgates on a sodden night in Saint Petersburg before goals from Denis Cheryshev and Artem Dzyuba furthered Russian hopes they can defy pre-tournament expectations with a deep run into the latter stages. Salah did net Egypt's first goal at a World Cup since 1990 from the penalty spot after he had been hauled down 17 minutes from time, but it was too little, too late for the Pharaohs. Russia will be guaranteed a place in the last 16 and Egypt eliminated unless Saudi Arabia beat Uruguay on Wednesday. (Highlights: Russia vs Egypt)
Highlights of 2018 FIFA World Cup, Russia vs Egypt straight from Saint Petersburg Stadium, St. Petersburg
01:30 IST: Thank you for joining us for the live blog.
01:20 IST: FINAL WHISTLE! Russia thrash Egypt 3-1. 8 goals in two matches for the hosts as they look through to the knock-out stages. Egypt, meanwhile after a return into the World Cup after 28 years have lost two matches on a strech.
01:16 IST: 4 minutes added! Russia goalkeeper Akinfeev kicks the ball deep into the Egyptian half but Egypt are looking to contain the ball attack, looking for a consolation.
01:14 IST: Salah on the volley, miscued shot goes high in the 87th minute. Noting going right for the Egyptian!
01:10 IST: Russia constantly pushing Egypt on the back-foot. The hosts keeping the ball, making the clock tick and every second is hurting the Egyptians. Meanwhile, Zhirkov has been replaced by Kudriashov in the 86th minute.
01:05 IST: Dzyuba replaced by Smolov in the 79th minute and he gets a huge reception by the home fans as he makes his way out. 2 goals in 2 matches for the former.
00:59 IST: Penalty for Egypt! Mohamed Salah makes no mistake, thrashes it in the back of the net. First goal Russia concede in the World Cup in the 73rd minute. Russia 3-1 Egypt.
00:53 IST: Close! Trezguet gets a delicious ball in the space through Mohamed Salah but he just puts it wide and has been quickly substituted. Ramadan replaces him in the 68th minute.
00:48 IST: GOAL AGAIN! Artem Dzyuba makes brilliant first-touch to get past the clumsy Egyptian defender, inside the box and finishes the ball at the back of the net. Russia strike twice inside 5 minutes, lead 3-0 in the 62nd minute.
00:46 IST: GOAL! Mario Fernandes steps in, crosses the ball to Denis Cheryshev, who was left unmarked and he puts the ball in the back of the net. Russia lead 2-0 in 59 minutes.
00:42 IST: Blocked! Salah was in space, tries to take a shot but Mario Fernandes steps between the shot which could have well end in the back of the net.
00:40 IST: Corner for Russia, Samedov curls it in cleared away for a throw-in. Russia pressing high, Egypt looking to find space. 55 minutes into the game.
00:37 IST: Chants for Russia suddenly growing across the stadium. The home side fans believe their side can make it through this match.
00:32 IST: Own goal! Egypt captain Ahmed Fathi gets a knee on the ball and Russia takes a 1-0 lead in the 48th minute. Horrible, horrible moment!
Key stats: #RUS have now only conceded once in the first half in their last nine #WorldCup matches (versus #BEL in 2002)— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 19, 2018
This is #EGY's sixth World Cup match and only in their first the half-time score was not 0-0 (trailing 2-1 against Hungary in 1934).#RUSEGY pic.twitter.com/OrGom5IErZ
00:15 IST: HT: Russia 0-0 Egypt. The hosts started with a flurry of chances but the Pharaohs came from behind and growing, Trazaguet and Salah in particular have been spectacular for the Egyptians. It's all to play for to break the deadlock in the second half.
00:11 IST: Chance! Salah turns and twists inside the box, takes a shot but the ball drifts away from the far corner, 41 goalless minutes.
00:07 IST: Cheryshev bends a cross from the right flank, but no one for the Russian's waiting inside the box, 38 minutes up.
00:04 IST: Corner for Egypt, Abdalla delivers but it results into goal kick.
00:00 IST: Egypt are looking to play more off the long balls but failing to get their target man right, 30 minutes up in the game.
23:58 IST: Match Stat: Egyptian star Salah has the least touch on the ball so far in his side, the Russian have done their homework right, looks like, so far.
23:56 IST: Russia on the counter, Cheryshev crosses the ball but ElShenawy gathers it on the second attempt.
23:54 IST: Salah on the right flank, passes the ball to Trezeguet who takes a shot but his effort falls back on the re-bound, cleared away by Russia. We have seen 25 goalless minute so far.
23:53 IST: Russia on the break, Egypt put on the back-foot every now and then. The Pharaohs failing to maintain control on the ball, the hosts raising the intensity of the match. 22 minutes down!
23:48 IST: Cheryshev hits the ball from a re-bound off a free-kick but his effort just inches past the cross-bar. Russia are in the mood here.
23:46 IST: CHANCE! Trezeguet tries to bend one in but hie effort just goes past the post, better from Egypt in the 16th minute.
23:44 IST: Corner for Egypt, Abdalla delivers but the near post header just goes wide. Throw-in for Egypt in Russia's half, but the fail to keep possession.
23:37 IST: Corner again for Russia, off a free-kick which is headed wide. Russia imposing early threat on Egypt.
23:35 IST: First corner of the game for Russia in the fifth minute. Zhirkov takes it, header from Ignashevich straight into the arms of the M.Elshenawy.
23:30 IST: Kick-off! Egypt gets the ball rolling and straight on they are looking to maintain possession on the ball.
23:37 IST: National anthems have been sung we are few minutes away from the kick-off!
23:10 IST: Hosts Russia after thrashing Saudi Arabia 5-0 will be aiming to get their second straight win in a row to qualify for the knock-out while Egypt will eye their first victory with key man Mohamed Salah starting.
22:10 IST: Mohamed Salah has been named in the Egypt starting XI after he started from the bench but did not take on the turf in Egypt's inaugural match against Uruguay.
22:00 IST: Hello and welcome to the live commentary from the Group A match between hosts Russia and Egypt.
Mutko is the most powerful official in Russian football and a close ally of President Vladimir Putin. He oversaw a budget of more than $13 billion (11.2 billion euros) while spearheading preparations for Russia's first World Cup at home.
But he was forced to quit as football federation president in December because of his alleged role in running a doping programme that got Russia banned from last winter's Olympic Games.
Russian athletes who did take part competed under the neutral flag.
Mutko still serves on the federation's executive committee but was also stripped of his sports brief in a government reshuffle last month.
Russia conclude the group phase against two-time world champions Uruguay on June 25.
Two victories from their first two matches would guarantee Russia's qualification for the knockout stage and a possible matchup against either Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal of high-octane Spain.
A draw against Egypt would put extra pressure on Russia against Uruguay that they would rather avoid.