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.

Rays hold on to end Astros' 12-game run

HOUSTON (AP) The Houston Astros relied on their powerful offense to win 12 straight games.

On Tuesday night that offense went cold, and their streak ended with a 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. (MORE)

5-time British champ Thomson dies at 88

Peter Thomson, a five-time winner of the British Open and only golfer in the 20th century to win the tournament for three straight years, died Wednesday. He was 88.

Thomson had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for more than four years and died at his Melbourne home surrounded by family members, Golf Australia said. (MORE)

Strickland breaks hand punching door

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Giants closer Hunter Strickland broke his pitching hand punching a door in frustration after blowing the save and taking the loss in a 5-4 defeat to the Miami Marlins on Monday night.

The right-hander had surgery Tuesday and expected to be out six to eight weeks, manager Bruce Bochy said. An X-ray after the game revealed the break of Strickland's pinkie, similar to what sidelined lefty ace Madison Bumgarner to begin the season after he was hurt in his final spring training start. (MORE)

Senegal tops Poland on contentious goal

MOSCOW (AP) Senegal midfielder Mbaye Niang saw the signal from the referee to re-enter following treatment for an injury and jogged along the center line. Then Niang noticed Poland's Grzegorz Krychowiak loft a backpass to Jan Bednarek, who hadn't realized Niang was back on the field.

Niang outsprinted goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny to reach the ball about 40 yards from the net, knocked the ball forward and tapped it in for Senegal's second fluky goal of the night. The Lions of Teranga held on for a 2-1 win over Poland and opened the World Cup with a surprising victory - just like in 2002. (MORE)

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