We knew how to deal with Salah, says Russia coach Cherchesov
The 54-year-old coach guided his side to a 3-1 victory over the Pharaohs at the St. Petersburg Stadium on Tuesday as the host country now top Group A with six points and a +7 goal difference. They had defeated Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the competition’s opener.
“We knew against whom to play. We scrutinized our opponent’s game, we learned when it is difficult for them to play. That’s why we had chosen Dzyuba – his candidacy was preferable from the tactical point of view,” Cherchesov told reporters after the game.
“Salah’s issue had to be solved,” he said. “We had a clear understanding of how to counter him. And we managed to put all our ideas into practice.”
The hosts were able to take over the game in the first 20 minutes of the second half, as Egypt captain Ahmed Fathi scored an own goal before Denis Cheryshev and Artem Dzyuba capitalised on defensive mistakes to make it 3-0. Mohamed Salah then reduced the deficit as he scored from the spot with 17 minutes to go.
A victory for Uruguay against Saudi Arabia in their second game on Wednesday would secure their qualification, along with Russia, to the round of 16 of the competition. The final round of the group stage will see Saudi Arabia face Egypt and Uruguay play against Russia on June 25.