Egypt needed a last ditch penalty by Mohammed Salah to ensure their place in the 2018 World Cup.
Egypt World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide
Egypt vs Russia (19th June) Match Report
Russia Starting XI: 1 Igor Akinfeev, 2 Mario Fernandes, 3 Ilya Kutepov, 4 Sergei Ignashevich, 6 Denis Cheryshev (7 Daler Kuzyayev 74), 8 Yury Gazinsky, 11 Roman Zobnin, 17 Aleksandr Golovin, 18 Yuri Zhirkov (13 Fyodor Kudriashov 86), 19 Aleksandr Samedov, 22 Artem Dzyuba (10 Fydor Smolov 79)
Egypt Starting XI: 23 Mohamed El Shenenawy, 2 Ali Gabr, 6 Ahmed Hegazy, 7 Ahmed Fathi, 8 Tarek Hamed, 9 Marwan Mohsen (11 Kahraba 82), 10 Mohamed Salah, 13 Mohamed Abdelshafy, 17 Mohamed Elneny (22 Amr Warda 64), 19 Abdallah Said, 21 Trezeguet (14 Ramadan Sobhi 68)
RUSSIA 3 EGYPT 1
Russia: Fathi 47og, Cheryshev 59, Dzuba 62
Egypt: Salah 73pen
Hosts Russia all but confirmed their place in the knockout stages after recording the best start by a home nation in the history of the tournament.
Emboldened by their 5-0 rout of Saudi Arabia in the opening match, Stanislav Cherchesov’s side came up against a far more organised team in Egypt and struggled to break them down in the first half.
But in a blistering quarter-hour spell at the start of the second half the hosts blow Egypt away with an assured, confident performance that delighted the home crowd in Saint Petersburg.
Egypt looked to talisman Mohamed Salah to bring them back into the game. Although he won and converted a late penalty, Salah was a shadow of the figure seen at Liverpool this season.
Matter of fact
Russia bettered the record of hosts Italy in 1934 by scoring eight goals and conceding one in their first two games (Italy beat USA 7-1 and drew with Spain 1-1).
Mohamed Salah, having missed his side’s opening game while continuing his recovery from the shoulder injury suffered in the Champions League Final, started for Egypt. But he was below-par and clearly not yet fully fit.
Possession (%): 46/54
Goal attempts: 11/13
Attempts on target: 5/8
Pass accuracy (%): 73/78
Distance covered (km): 115/110
Egypt vs Uruguay (15th June) Match Report
Egypt Starting XI: 23 Mohamed El-Shenawy, 2 Ali Gabr, 6 Ahmed Hegazy, 7 Ahmed Fathi, 8 Tarek Hamed (5 Sam Morsy 50), 9 Marwan Mohsen (11 Kahraba 63), 13 Mohamed Abdelshafy, 17 Mohamed Elneny, 19 Abdalla Said, 21 Trezeguet, 22 Amr Warda (14 Ramadan Sobhi 82)
Uruguay Starting XI: 1 Fernando Muslera, 2 Jose Gimenez, 3 Diego Godin, 4 Guillermo Varela, 6 Rodrigo Betancur, 8 Nahitan Nandez (5 Carlos Sanchez 58), 9 Luis Suarez, 10 Giorgian De Arrascaeta (7 Cristian Rodriguez 59), 15 Matias Vecino (14 Lucas Torreira 87), 21 Edinson Cavani, 22 Martin Caceres
URUGUAY 1 EGYPT 0
Uruguay: Gimenez 89
Uruguay won their opening game at the World Cup for first time since 1970 despite being lacklustre in attack for most of the game. Luis Suarez looked below-par throughout, putting an excellent first-half chance from a corner into the side netting, while his strike partner Edinson Cavani saw two efforts saved, first by Egyptian keeper Mohamed El-Shenawy and then by a post. Instead it was a defender, Jose Gimenez, who made the late breakthrough for Uruguay, as Egypt, who had done enough to earn a point, took their eye off the ball.
Mohammed Salah, injured in the Champions League Final for Liverpool against Real Madrid, failed to recover in time to play in Egypt’s opening game. His presence would have given the Egyptians a much greater threat in attack and forced Uruguay on to the back foot.
Possession (%): 43/57
Goal attempts: 8/14
Attempts on target: 3/6
Pass accuracy (%): 78/86
Distance covered (km): 107/106
Egypt World Cup Guide
For decades, Egypt have failed to turn their dominance of the African game into World Cup qualification – until a last-gasp penalty ensured their place in the field for the 2018 World Cup. They last participated at the finals in 1990 and since then they have suffered the agony of several close misses, including a rare play-off game after finishing level with Algeria in the 2010 preliminaries. Over the years a myriad of coaches – including Ruud Krol, Marco Tardelli and Bob Bradley – have tried to take them to the promised land, but it was Hector Cuper who finally got them over the line.
Key Moments in Qualifying
A 1-0 loss away to Chad in the first leg of a preliminary game held out the possibility that the 2018 campaign might again be another Egyptian flop. However, it takes just 10 minutes in the return for the deficit to be cancelled out and they go on to win 4-1 on aggregate.
Ghana had hammered Egypt 6-1 to qualify for the 2014 finals but revenge is extracted with a 2-0 win for the Pharaohs, who suddenly find themselves five points clear in Group E.
Having lost 1-0 in Kampala just days earlier, Egypt host Uganda in Alexandria and win a nervy encounter with an early goal from Mohamed Salah in a less than convincing performance.
Needing a win to make sure that they qualify with a game still to play, a last-gasp Salah penalty ends the agony for Egyptian supporters as they edge bottom-placed Congo 2-1 at the Borg El Arab Stadium.
Egypt World Cup Group
Egypt World Cup Friendlies
The World Cup friendlies have not gone well for Egypt. First they lost to Portugal, and then Greece four days later. Then they had two draws against Colombia and Kuwait, before a final 3-0 loss to Belgium on the 6th of June.
- 23rd March – Portugal (lost 2-1)
- 27th March – Greece (lost 1-0)
- 26th May – Kuwait (drew 1-1)
- 1st June – Colombia (drew 0-0)
- 6th June – Belgium (lost 3-0)
Egypt World Cup Fixtures
Egypt will play their first World Cup Fixture on the 15th of June against arguably the toughest team in the group, Uruguay. On the 19th they will play the hosts Russia, and will then finish their group stage against Saudi Arabia on the 25th.
Related: Mohamed Salah June 2013
Hector Cuper, age 61 (16.11.55)
Appointed in March 2015 on a three-year contract, the Argentinian took Mallorca to the European Cup-winners Cup Final and Valencia to two successive Champions League Finals.
Mohamed Salah is very much the talisman of the team.
Keeper Essam El Hadary, who is 45 in January, could become the oldest player ever at the World Cup. Ahmed Fathy has won 122 caps, while mercurial midfield talent Shikabala has recently returned to the national set-up after a three-year absence.
Basem Morsy has not played since being punished for leaving the stadium after being substituted when Egypt beat Ghana in November 2016.
Amr Marey, a striker who plays for Etoile Sahel in Tunisia, received his first call-up.
Egypt World Cup Squad
Final 23-man squad –
GOALKEEPERS: Essam El Hadary (Al Taawoun), Mohamed El-Shennawy (Al Ahly), Sherif Ekramy (Al Ahly).
DEFENDERS: Ahmed Fathi, Saad Samir, Ayman Ashraf (all Al Ahly), Mahmoud Hamdy (Zamalek), Mohamed Abdel-Shafy (Al Fateh), Ahmed Hegazi (West Brom), Ali Gabr (Zamalek), Ahmed Elmohamady (Aston Villa), Omar Gaber (Los Angeles FC).
MIDFIELDERS: Tarek Hamed, (Zamalek), Shikabala (Zamalek), Abdallah Said (Al Ahli), Sam Morsy (Wigan Athletic), Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal), Mahmoud Kahraba (Al Ittihad), Ramadan Sobhi (Stoke City), Mahmoud Hassan (Kasimpasa), Amr Warda (Atromitos Athens).
FORWARDS: Marwan Mohsen (Al Ahly), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool).
Egypt World Cup Injuries
Mohamed Salah injured his shoulder during the champions League Final after a challenge by Sergio Ramos. Time will tell if he is fit enough to play.
The Unanswered Questions
What sights will Egypt be setting themselves at the tournament?
Hector Cuper says a place in the last 16 is the ambition, but a lack of experience may count against them. Egypt, however, will point to the fact that they reached the Final of the Nations Cup after missing three successive African championships.
Will Essam El Hadary become the oldest player at the World Cup?
After keeping goal in five of the six group games he was left out of Cuper’s last squad and has now moved to Saudi Arabia, where he might not get as much competitive action as the coach desires to keep him in shape for Russia.
Will Mohamed Salah rise to the challenge on the world stage?
Since he joined Liverpool, Mohamed Salah has upped his reputation and became a major star, not only in Africa but worldwide. These days he is under immense pressure to deliver every time he plays for Egypt and he might find the pressure too much to deliver consistently in the finals.
At World Soccer we will update you with all the news related to the World Cup on our website. Make sure you know about the Qualified Teams, Groups, Friendlies, Dates, Fixtures, Stadiums and TV Schedule by clicking on the highlighted links.
Don’t forget to follow World Soccer on Facebook, and Twitter.