Mohamed Salah scores but Egypt face World Cup heartbreak

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Although he scored from the penalty spot, Egypt were beaten 3-1 to leave them on the brink of elimination.

Egypt head coach Hector Cuper said Mohamed Salah was "100 per cent" fit for the World Cup, but his absence in training ahead of the tournament due to injury was hard.

Alexander Samedov pushed the ball out wide to Mario Fernandes, the Brazilian born right back who had powered forward from deep to deliver a flawless pull-back into the path of Denis Cheryshev who slotted home his third goal of the tournament.

The English Premier League player of the year scored a late consolation penalty in his team's 3-1 loss to Russian Federation on Tuesday (Wednesday NZT), a result that makes it extremely unlikely for Egypt to advance.

Egypt, coached by Argentine Hector Cuper, is still targeting a second-placed finish in the group, but must beat Russian Federation to have any hope of achieving that goal. The host country enters on the heels of a 5-0 shellacking over Saudi Arabia; a tremendous result that ended a very long losing streak.

And the Egypt worldwide had to watch on as Uruguay claimed a 1-0 win over his side in their group stage opener.

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The advance followed heavy overnight clashes with the Iran-backed Houthi rebels holding Hodeidah city and its port and airport. About 80 percent of humanitarian relief goods for the country are transported through the port.

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Returning from a shoulder injury to play in his first ever World Cup match, Salah provided a few glimpses of the skills and marksmanship that helped him score 44 goals in all competitions with Liverpool last season.

"Nobody can argue about Salah's importance to the team and we've been anxious since he got injured and it would have been preferable to have had him at our training camp in the build-up to the tournament", Cuper said.

"The most important thing is we won".

The referee initially whistled for a free kick just at the top of the box, but replay showed Salah was still in the process of being dragged down by the arm into the penalty area. "We held back Salah and deserved to win", he said. Sometimes a mistake can be made, or the wrong step. "But we know the quality he has". The game plan is simple - get the ball into Salah's feet quickly and let him do what he does best.

"We still have another match to play", he continued.

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