World Cup

Russia wins to move to brink of last 16

(AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) Two wins, eight goals and almost certainly a place in the knockout stage for first time since the Soviet era.

Russia is enjoying quite the party at its own World Cup - and not even the highly anticipated return of Mohamed Salah could slow it down on Tuesday.

Confounding grim pre-tournament predictions, the host nation earned a second straight emphatic victory to start the group stage by beating Egypt 3-1. Having already routed Saudi Arabia 5-0, Russia is likely to be celebrating a spot in the round of 16 by Wednesday evening and few could have seen that happening so soon.

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