Russian Federation destroy Saudi Arabia in the opening game of the World Cup



The goals in the match were scored in the first half by Russia's Yury Gazinsky and Denis Cheryshev.

With a one-goal lead, Russian Federation drew back and left the ball possession to Saudi Arabia's players, waiting for the chance on counter-attacks, while the Green Falcons just couldn't find the rhythm in their play, making too many mistakes in the middle of the park.

Russian Federation didn't relent and got their fourth goal in the injury time as Cheryshev got his second of the day.

The result equalled the best in a World Cup opening game and President Vladimir Putin wasted no time in phoning coach Stanislav Cherchesov to congratulate him. Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldo and Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino were among the attending soccer dignitaries. Against more organised teams, such as Uruguay, Russia could really miss Dzagoev, though.

Warning: Golovin 88′ Al-Jassim, 93′.

The hosts did lose Alan Dzagoev to a serious-looking injury, though.

Stats: Dzyuba's goal (89 seconds), is the quickest goal by a substitute at a World Cup tournament since Marcin Zewlakow scored for Poland vs US in 2002.

In their first World Cup campaign since 2006, and searching for their first win at a World Cup since 1994, they will need to show a vast improvement if they are to take anything home from this competition.

Zobnin steered a header high and wide of the mark from a free-kick on the right in the closing stages, but Sbornaya sealed a comprehensive victory with two late goals.

Saudi Arabia, the second lowest ranked team in the tournament, looked hopelessly out of their depth as a superior Russian Federation side repeatedly overwhelmed their defence at the Luzhniki Stadium.

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As the game wore on Saudi Arabia settled down and Al Sahlawi almost got on the end of an inviting cross but Russian Federation cleared for a corner. Yuri Gazinsky scored the opening goal of the tournament, while Denis Cheryshev doubled the lead just before half time.

Saudi Arabia on the other hand, have also lost three straight friendlies to Italy, Peru and Germany as both sides will be looking to end their win-less streak.

So much talk in the lead up to the tournament had centered on whether Russian Federation would be able to match the settings of previous World Cups. Behind the 11 years of troubled construction of infrastructure, political scandals and sports transformations of all the participants of the world Cup.

His second was an exquisite half-volley from the edge of the area with the outside of his left foot, as he latched onto a knockdown by fellow goalscorer Artem Dzyuba. Its defender Sergey Ignashevich - in his 38 years is the oldest player the world Cup 2018. "We didn't expect this to be honest", said 34-year-old Veronika Kripolapova.

"We have made the first step, then there is a stronger opponent". The hosts are not the favourites in Group A by any means, but Cherchesov does have a few skilful players who can outsmart any opposition on their days. "It is just a different adversary".

"I have grown up loving football, my brothers and father love it too", she said.

Before the game, both teams had struggled to win games.

Salman Al Faraj headed a decent chance over the crossbar as Saudi Arabia sought a reply after the interval.

"I think you will understand me, I can't wish your team success today. As for our strategy, we must change", Pizzi closed.

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