The return of Mohammed Salah was not enough to inspire Egypt in their second match in Group A on Tuesday night as they lost 3-1 to World Cup hosts, Russia.
With Salah making a return to the starting XI after shaking off a shoulder injury, much was expected from "The Pharaohs" especially in the final third, however, that was not to be the case.
Ahmed Fathi's bizarre own goal seemed to have paved way for more goals as Russia went rampant thereafter, adding two goals in quick succession, courtesy of Denis Cheryshev and Artem Dzyuba to kill the game off. Though Salah did pull a goal back for the Egyptians 20 minutes from time with a coolly struck penalty, the damage was already done and Egypt found it hard to break a resolute Russian defense in search for a comeback.
This was a game in which much was expected from Egypt especially with the return of Salah who had been sorely missed in the team's first match against Uruguay. But even Salah's presence couldn't rally the team to victory as they failed to create clear-cut chances to trouble the Russian defense.
With two losses on the hump and one game left for them, it seems it might take all but a miracle for Egypt to salvage any chance of qualifying to the round of last 16. The Egyptians' chances are hanging by a thread as they are now dependent on the outcome of Wednesday's encounter between Uruguay and Saudi Arabia. Egypt currently sits at the bottom of Group A with zero points, with Russia leading the group with six points.
Is Egypt on the brink of exiting the World Cup, or can "The Pharaohs" still make a comeback and qualify for the round of 16?