Russia’s remarkable efforts in their opening two games at a home World Cup have seen them set a new tournament record for flying starts.
Having been given little chance heading into the tournament, as the lowest-ranked side in the competition, the hosts have made a mockery of that doom-mongering.
They were given a helping hand in their opening encounter, with Saudi Arabia folding badly under pressure as Russian president Vladimir Putin watched on from the stands.
Five goals without reply got the home side off to the perfect start, with the mood of a nation and the belief within an experienced squad lifted by a dominant display.
Already perched at the top of Group A on the back of that performance, the Russians produced more of the same when presented with the challenge of seeing off Egypt and Mohamed Salah.
It did take an own goal from Ahmed Fathy to break the deadlock in St Petersburg, but two more efforts had been added by the 62nd minute and the final result was beyond doubt.
Salah pulled one back from the spot for Egypt, but Russia held on for a 3-1 win which means that they have collected six points from their opening two games while finding the target eight times.
No side in World Cup history can claim to have bettered that record.
France, meanwhile, also boasted a goal difference of plus seven after two games in 1998, but that was the collective tally of their efforts – with two clean sheets secured.
Russia will be delighted to be following in the footsteps of former champions, with their recent World Cup history having offered little to suggest that such form was on the cards.
8 - Russia have scored two more goals in this #WorldCup (8) than they had in their previous two World Cup tournaments combined (6 across 2002 and 2014). Entertainers. #RUS #EGY #RUSEGY pic.twitter.com/Z9OTHv6fuC— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 19, 2018
Stanislav Cherchesov’s side now have one foot in the last-16 and will feel that anything can happen from there, with their goal tally already equal to that of a Spain side which went all the way in 2010.
8 - Russia's eight goal total in their two games at the 2018 World Cup is equal to the tally that Spain scored overall in their 2010 tournament victory (in seven games). Madness.#RUSEGY #RUS #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/IUDFRhgds2— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 19, 2018
Russia do still have one more Group A outing to take in before attention turns to knockout football, with Uruguay next up for them on Monday.