FIFA 2018: Russia sour Salah's return to close in on last 16

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Entering this World Cup, the fitness of Liverpool and Egypt star Mo Salah was news topic 1A (1b was the Spain manager upheaval and subsequent drama).

Egypt coach Hector Cuper had little option but to play him, of course, given a second consecutive match missed would likely mean Salah being fitter only for a dead rubber against Saudi Arabia.

A shoulder injury kept Salah out of Egypt's opening game against Group A favourites Uruguay, in which the team from north Africa were beaten 1-0.

Russia's place in the round of 16 will be assured if Uruguay wins or draws against the Saudis on Wednesday (NZT Thursday).

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It got worse for the Pharaohs minutes later as Artem Dzyuba brought the ball down on his chest to beat his marker before finishing off with a neatly placed goal into the bottom corner.

World Cup hosts Russian Federation virtually booked their place in the second round with a 3-1 win over Egypt on Tuesday that moved them to top of Group A with six points from two games. After the two confident victories, with eight goals, the public appear to have taken the team to their hearts.

Denis Cheryshev, meanwhile, is expected to start after impressing off the bench against Saudi Arabia.

Mourinho while continuing his gig as a World Cup analyst for the Kremlin network Russia Today, offered this bit of punditry in regards to the PFA and Premier League player of the year. We are happy although we know that we have things to improve.

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Salah spent last season scything through some of the best defences in Europe, scoring 44 goals in all competitions for Liverpool in the most prolific campaign of his career. We didn't give Egypt a centimeter of the pitch. "We held back Salah and deserved to win", he said.

"It is hard to say this but in the World Cup you have to wait until the very last minute, although it's true that our chances are minimal".

After consulting his video assistant, referee Enrique Caceres upgraded the free-kick into a penalty and Salah made no mistake.

"Maybe you have a question about the match we just played".

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