World Cup 2018: 3 Things that went Wrong for Egypt against Russia
The Russian hosts continue to mesmerize their home fans, as a convincing 3-1 victory over Egypt has all but secured a spot in the knockout stage of the tournament. In a closely fought contest, it took an own goal from Egyptian captain Ahmed Fahti in the 47th minute to release the shackles from the relentless Russian attack.
Denis Cheryshev added to the Russian lead in the 59th minute, scoring his third goal of the competition, after a fantastic assist from right-back Mario Fernandes. The hosts went on to take an insurmountable 3-0 lead in the 62nd minute, courtesy of a clinical finish from their striker Artem Dzyuba.
Mohamed Salah then went on to convert a 73rd-minute penalty, merely a consolation goal for the ambitious North Africans, who will now be eliminated from Group A, should Uruguay avoid losing to the underdogs from Saudi-Arabia.
Their first tournament goal is presumably the only encouragement the Pharaohs can take from a rough night in Saint Petersburg, as we look at three things that went wrong for Egypt in last night's contest at FIFA World Cup 2018.
#3 Poor Possession Play
An aspect of the Egyptian game that was always going to be a wild-card in this game, was how they would deal with the longer possession phases.
While Uruguay were happy to take charge of the opening game, the Pharaohs were inclined to do so themselves, if they wanted to be successful against the hosts in Saint Petersburg.
Frankly, the North Africans were overwhelmed with the ball at their feet and struggled to spread the game into the areas where they had an advantage over the Russian team. Along with the technical errors in their build-up play, Egypt never appeared to have a plan on how to unhinge the Russian defence.
While Mohamed Salah was comfortable sitting out wide (more on that later), Mohamed Elneny couldn't provide the spark that the Pharaohs desperately needed to hit the ground running in the competition.
Egypt's heroic defensive effort against Uruguay was praised for all the right reasons, but their match against Russia showed, that the side significantly lacks quality in the middle of the park.
However, their lack of creativity in possession is just one of the reasons, why they are facing an early exit from the 2018 World Cup.