ST. PETERSBURG, June 20 (Sputnik) - Russia have been handed a blow with midfielder Alan Dzagoev being ruled out of the rest of tournament, while it is unknown whether Yuri Zhirkov will play any further part in the competition, Russia head coach Stanislav Cherchesov said Tuesday night following his side’s 3-1 win against Egypt.
Dzagoev sustained a hamstring injury during Russia's 5-0 win against Saudi Arabia in the opening game of the World Cup on Thursday. Meanwhile Zhirkov was replaced in the second half in the match with Egypt after suffering an ankle problem.
“We’ve already lost Dzagoev, while there is also a question mark over Zhirkov. Thank god Aleksandr Golovin was not booked today as that would have been a huge loss. We need our injured players to get better and prepare for the next game,” Cherchesov said at the post-match press conference.
Russia’s victory against Egypt means that after two matches, the World Cup hosts are now on six points and have an excellent chance of reaching the knockout stage, where they could face Portugal, Spain, Iran or Morocco.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off on June 14 and will continue until July 15, with the matches being played in 11 cities across Russia.