Russia’s Artyom Dzyuba, left, celebrates with Russia’s Mario Fernandes , right, after scoring his side’s third goal during the group A match between Russia and Egypt at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the St. Petersburg stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Russia moved within touching distance of the last 16 of the World Cup after an impressive 3-1 win over Egypt in St Petersburg.  

The hosts will qualify for the last 16 and the Pharaohs will be eliminated if Uruguay beat Saudi Arabia in Rostov-on-Don this afternoon.

Russia broke the deadlock thanks to an extraordinary own goal from Ahmed Fathy with Denis Cheryshev and Artem Dzyuba also on the scoresheet.

Egypt got one back from the penalty spot with Mohamed Salah’s first goal in the competition, though it couldn’t prevent a second straight defeat.

After a lacklustre first half in which both sides managed only one shot on target, the second half started much brighter.

Russia went ahead on the 47th minute, albeit in unusual circumstances as Roman Zobnin’s shot was heading wide until Fathy who tried to make a clearance, lost his balance and deflected the ball across Mohamed El Shenawy and into his own net.

Twelve minutes later, the hosts doubled their lead when Alexandr Samedov picked out full-back Mario Fernandes, who squared the ball to Cheryshev to score his third goal of the tournament.

And just three minutes later, Dzyuba made it 3-0. The striker bulldozed his way past Ali Gabr after initially chesting the ball down on the edge of the area and stroked the ball home with ease to guarantee a deserved victory.

Salah struck a consolation for Egypt in the 73rd minute when he was fouled in the box by Zobnin.

Referee Enrique Caceres had initially wrongly awarded a free-kick but VAR confirmed the incident took place inside the 18-yard box and the Liverpool forward stepped up to smash the spot kick high into the net, becoming only the third Egyptian player to score at a World Cup.

However, they still await their first victory with their final Group A game against Saudi Arabia in Volgograd meanwhile Russia take on Uruguay in Samara next Monday, both kicking off at 3pm, UK time.

Man of the match – Denis Cheryshev

Russia XI – Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Gazinskiy, Zobnin, Samedov, Golovin,  Cheryshev, Dzyuba

Subs – Kuzyaev, Smolov, Kudryashov

Egypt XI – El Shenawy, Fathy, Gabr, Hegazi, Shafy, Elneny, Hamed, Salah, El Said, Trezeguet, Mohsen

Subs – Warda, Sobhi, Kahraba

Referee – Enrique Cáceres