2018 World Cup match report Russia v Saudi Arabia 14 June 2018
Posted: 14 June 2018 Time: 18:43
Russia got off to a winning start at the 2018 World Cup with a 5-0 bashing of Saudi Arabia on Thursday evening.
The day the world had been waiting for got finally got underway as the 2018 FIFA World Cup finally took place with Russia and Saudi Arabia opening proceedings in Moscow.
Following a slow start, Russia were the quickest to threaten as they looked to catch the opponents on the break on a few occasions.
The pressure finally tolled for the home nation, as they went ahead through a header from Jori Gazinskhi who out-jumped the entire defence to head into the bottom corner in the 12th minute.
The Saudis dusted off the earlier onslaught and launched their first offensive play which saw Al Salhawi at the end of a cross from the left, but he was unable to head in from a close angle.
An unfortunate scenario befell the Russians as they were forced into an early change when Alan Dzagoev made way through injury for Denis Cheryshev on 23 minutes.
It all went to plan for the hosts as the crowd went wild on 42 minutes after Cheryshev showed great composure to blast home the second from point-blank range.
Following a fast-paced first stanza, the second half started with a different tempo as the Middle East nation set their stall from the onset eager to punch holes in the opposing side from all angles.
It was substitution time for both sides after 64 minutes, with Saudi’s star man bringing on Fahad Almuwallad and Samedov coming off for Aleksandr Kuzaiv at the other end.
The contest was finally put to bed and it came from the hosts, as Anton Dzyuba showed great aerial prowess to beat Abdullah in the far corner with a pin-point header.
Russia firmly ensured they don’t become the first nation to lose the opening clash on the global spectacle when Cheryushev fired in a 20-yard screamer a minute in added time for a four-goal blitz.
It got even better for the Russians, as the fifth goal came when Aleksandr Golovin curled in a stunning free-kick for a fantastic triumph.