Unbelievable!!! Russia Spanks Saudi Arabia 5-0 In World Cup Opening Match

Carrie Guzman
June 20, 2018

In such company the Russians, despite widespread criticism over poor results in the friendlies seriously counting on the playoffs - and therein lies another contradiction of the hosts of the world Cup. Now, it's up to the members of the national team that make up the host nation to deliver two more times.

Russia's victory means that the host nation has never lost their opening match in any of the 21 editions of the World Cup (won 16, drew six - there were two hosts in 2002).

Midfielder Gazinsky gave his country the flawless start, arrowing a header into the bottom corner in the 12th minute with his first effort on target, and substitute Cherushev doubled the hosts' advantage just before the break.

If they are going to do it against anyone then it should be against a Saudi team coming off the back of successive friendly losses to Italy, Peru and Germany, though they showed patches of encouraging form and did beat Algeria and Greece in May.

Russia - Saudi Arabia 5:0Голы: Gazinskaya, 12, Cheryshev, 43, 90+1, Dzyuba, 71, Golovin, 90+3.

Denis Cheryshev got his second goal, turning and firing into the top of the net.

Thursday's match was crucial for each side's aspirations of qualifying from the group and the result leaves Juan Antonio Pizzi's Saudi Arabia with a huge task in front of them. On the other hand, Cheryshev also became the first player to come off the bench and convert two goals in an opening World Cup match. Egypt and Uruguay play Friday in Yekaterinburg.

"There are no words to describe how I'm feeling", said Cheryshev, before settling on "happy". Artem Dzyuba, another substitute, also scored, and the young Aleksander Golovin showed the world his true potential.

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However, in order to dampen the fans' excitement, the Russian veteran Alan Dzagoev, who was a part of a number of Russia's moves, pulled up with an apparent hamstring injury. Enthusiasm was at a premium, but there are some players with star quality and an ability to win them the game.

The impressive Golovin provided the crosses for the headed goals and Roman Zobnin went close with a low strike that Abdullah Al-Mayoof saved low down.

Russia's 5-0 win may have been aided by the sloppiness of the Saudi Arabia team but the fact is that the hosts did what needed to be done and were more clinical than their opponents.

Saudi Arabia were continuing to give possession away easily and, from another concession dangerously close to their own area, Golovin fired over.

Soon after Russian Federation took the lead as a superb cross from the left from Aleksandar Golovin found Gazinskiy at the back post who headed home his first worldwide goal.

The result equalled the best-ever in a World Cup opening game - Brazil beat Mexico 5-0 in Geneva in 1954 - as Russian Federation took full advantage of a Saudi team who's defending fell painfully short of World Cup standard, while their attack was non-existent.

"We are not getting ahead of ourselves". Despite this, the Saudis did not have a single shot on goal, with no pressure facing Russian goalkeeper - and captain - Igor Akinfeev.

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