Russia 3-1 Egypt: 5 things we learned as the hosts ran riot once more
Billed as the biggest game in Group A, Russia blew away Egypt and will now almost certainly feature in the knockout stages for the first time.
Russia, the lowest-ranked team in this year’s World Cup, will now almost certainly make it the Round of 16.
Only two victories by the Saudi Arabian side they so roundly thumped last week, along with a defeat of their own against Uruguay, would see the hosts bomb out at the first hurdle.
That looks highly unlikely and, in what was a hugely important tussle, they swept aside Egypt in Saint Petersburg. The Africans’ lack of a World Cup finals victory will now stretch beyond half a century if they fail to beat the Saudis next Monday. Either way, their chances of progressing are almost nil.
Tuesday’s crucial victory was not quite as easy as the scoreline made it look, with the first half, in particular, proving a tight, messy affair. But Stanislav Cherchesov’s men did what was necessary and now find themselves looking ahead to a knockout tie, likely against the might of either Portugal or Spain.
Here are five things we learned from events at the Krestovsky Stadium.