Russia all but booked their place in the last 16 of their own World Cup after the hosts beat Egypt 3-1 in St. Petersburg.
After thrashing Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening game of the tournament, the Russians played with confidence against an Egyptian side that welcomed Mohamed Salah back into the starting XI.
However, Salah, back in action for the first time since injuring his shoulder in the Champions League final with Liverpool, was clearly not 100% fit.
The first half was a disappointing affair, but soon after the break, the hosts took the lead, via a fluke own-goal from Ahmed Fathi, with the unlucky full-back losing his balance and diverting Roman Zobnin’s shot into his own net.
Russia were the better side throughout, and just before the hour-mark, the went 2-0 up with Denis Cheryshev netting his third goal of the competition after a slick team move.
Towering striker Artem Dzyuba made it 3-0 soon after, courtesy of a superbly deft solo effort that draws him level with Cristiano Ronaldo (three goals) in the Golden Boot stakes.
Egypt did their best to get back into the game and, on 73 minutes, Salah scored from the penalty spot after a VAR review rightly judged that he had been fouled in the box by Zobnin.
Unfortunately for Salah and co, they couldn’t build on that goal, with the hosts securing a deserved 3-1 victory.
That win all but sees the Russians qualify for the last 16, with their haul of eight goals scored the joint-most by a host nation in the opening two games of a World Cup finals.
The lowest ranked side in the competition face Uruguay in their final Group A game on Monday.
As for Egypt, they will be knocked out if Saudi Arabia don’t win against Uruguay on Thursday.