Russian football team qualifies for knockout stage

Russian football team qualifies for knockout stage
Denis Cheryshev Photo: Alexander Polukeev, IA Rosbalt

Russia sensationally defeated the Egyptian team at the 2018 World Cup. There is only an insignificant chance that we will not leave the group.

A few hours before the match in St. Petersburg weather deteriorated: pouring rain and a strong wind met each other. The Egyptians could thoroughly learn to own cost the atmosphere of the northern capital. And those who came from other cities were shivering from the cold and regretted that they had no jackets and scarves.

The match with Egypt was to be all-in-all for the Russian team. A brilliant victory over Saudi Arabia (5:0) made the country believe in the team, but everyone understood that this was just a check before the fight against real rivals. If we overcome Egypt, we qualify for the knockout stage of the 2018 World Cup for the first time in all modern history.

Head coach Stanislav Cherchesov decided not to break the 'tool' that has finally worked. So he outted the same team, which defeated the Arabs. That is, they acted according to the scheme with four defenders. The home zone got Zobnin and Gazinsky, on the wings - Samedov and Cheryshev. Dzyuba and Golovin were strikers.

"How will you stop Salah?" journalists asked Cherchesov on the eve of the game. "The most important thing is to keep away the ball from Salah," the fans said. Indeed, the star of Liverpool and the enfant cheri of all Egyptian fans was discussed the most. He scored 44 goals for 52 games - a fantastic result. But he was injured in the final of the Champions League, therefore missed the preparations for the World Cup and the first match of the tournament, in which the Egyptians lost to Uruguay. So the game against Russia was supposed to end with triumph.

"Mo Salah, Mo Salah is running to victory, Mo Salah is our Egyptian king," the fans chanted. Their team, if you say in Russian, is called “Masr,” which means "Egypt."

It is unlikely that the stadium of St. Petersburg will see so many ‘pharaohs’ once again. The Russians were happy to take pictures with Egyptian dressmakers. "Russo turisto! Obliko morale! Verstanden? Do you understand me?" a man addressed one of them. And, seeing a misunderstanding, pointed to the phone: "Photo! A photo!"

But on the outcome, Salah was not so ‘dangerous.’ Rather, ours successfully blocked him. "Oh!" - The fans scared every time the Egyptian broke through to the penalty area. But the defenders helped us, and Salah blundered a couple of times.

The high cross tactics were chosen, but Dzyuba did not have time to reach the ball or was blocked by the Egyptians. Only at the beginning of the second half, the gates of the Egyptians met the goal, thanks to the awkward chop-in of Ahmed Fathy into his own woodwork.

And then the Russian team glared. First, Mario Fernández gave a pass to Denis Cheryshev, and he scored his third goal in this championship. And then Dzyuba found the net. After the goal, the striker turned to the coach and snapped a salute. The camera caught the suffering face of Salah.

However, the Egyptian star managed to score at the World Cup out of a video replay. The judge decided to award a penalty. The Liverpool player was accurate making a penalty kick. But this was only a consolation prize after a defeat. The Russian team won 3:1.

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People in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other cities have already gone out on the streets to celebrate, and the players have not even left the stadium. An hour after the game, Cheryshev noted that he had not also checked the messages in the phone yet. Dzyuba was pleased to give interviews, talked about the "historical moment" and luck.

"Maybe it's a little arrogance, but we'll fight for the first place in the group. We had a tough, very dynamic match. Struggling was ‘viscous’ on every site. And the most important thing is that we did not lose a centimeter or a millimeter of the football field, and today fortunes turned. I think we deservedly won because we kept both Salah and their shirtfront," he said.

The Russian national team is waiting for the game with Uruguay, which decides who will be the first and who will be the second. The chances of Saudi Arabia and Egypt to intervene in this struggle are virtually insignificant, Mohamed Salah silently passed by all the journalists. One could understand.

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