A subdued Mohamed Salah got on the scoresheet for Egypt but could not avoid a third-successive World Cup 2018 loss as Salem Al Dawsari earned a deserved 2-1 win for Saudi Arabia in the final throes at Volgograd Arena.
Salah, 26, belied nagging doubts about a shoulder injury and off-field reports of imminent retirement to lob the Pharaohs into the lead on 22 minutes.
The ascendant Green Falcons had two first-half penalties that needed review by VAR. Fahad Al Muwallad’s first was saved by 45-year-old record-breaking goalkeeper Essam El Hadary, before Salman Al Faraj did the business deep into first-half injury time.
A draw then seemed apparent before a delightful move was finished off by Villarreal loanee Al Dawsari’s lashed effort into the bottom corner.
Keisuke Honda ended his lengthy international goal drought for Japan to earn a 2-2 draw with Senegal and keep the race for progression at World Cup 2018 wide open in Group H.
Liverpool forward Sadio Mane took advantage of an awful mistake from goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima to deflect in an 11th-minute opener for the Lions of Teranga. New Real Betis winger Takashi Inui levelled things up in style on 34 minutes when he curled a shot into the bottom corner.
Japan dominated chances after the interval, but fell behind when 19-year-old full-back Moussa Wague lashed in on 71 minutes. Samurai Blue were then able to fight back for a second time when Pachuca forward Honda tapped in at the back post after a scramble, ending a drought that stretches back to September 2016.
The result at Ekaterinburg Arena left both teams on four points at the midway point in the fight to make the round of 16.
Kroos hit a stunning free-kick deep into stoppage time to seal Germany’s 2-1 win against Sweden on Saturday to keep their knockout hopes alive. The defending champions were beaten 1-0 by Mexic in their opener.
Speaking to ARD broadcaster, Kroos said: “Many people would have been happy if we had gone out.
“Anyone who speaks up, those experts, and anyone who writes about it can feel they have addressed things, but it gives me the feeling that it’s more fun to analyse or talk or write badly of us.
“I’m not talking about the fans who go to the fan miles (fan zones in Germany).”
If Germany are to reach the last-16 stage, they must win by a margin of two goals against South Korea on Wednesday. Anything less, and they will be relying on the outcome between Mexico and Sweden.