World Cup: Bright start as Russia pummel Saudi Arabia 5-0


The 2018 FIFA World Cup got off to a bright start on Thursday at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, with the hosts beating Saudi Arabia 5-0 after three goals from substitutes.
After a glamorous but simple and short opening ceremony, the day’s major actors quickly settled into the tournament and Group A opening match between the hosts and Saudi Arabia.
saudi arabia, russia
The match watched by a crowd of 78,011 in the stadium was quick to provide plenty of cheers, with substitutes Denis Cheryshev (who got a brace) and Artem Dzyuba getting on the scoresheet.
In the 12th minute, Iury Gazinsky scored the opening goal of the 2018 World Cup by heading home a cross as hosts Russia made a dream start to the tournament.
Cheryshev, who replaced Alan Dzagoev following the latter’s hamstring injury after 22 minutes, made a brave run into the goal area to add the second goal in the 43rd minute.
saudi arabia russia
They fittingly led Saudi Arabia 2-0 at halftime, even though they were behind on the statistics sheet which correctly had Saudi Arabia leading on all forms.
Saudi Arabia continued to look threatening going forward, but they were not with the needed firepower even with the 64th minute introduction of forward Fahad Almuwallad for attacking midfielder Abdullah Otayf.
saudi arabia russia
The hosts went on to extend their lead in the 71st minute through Dzyuba, who was scoring about two minutes after replacing Fedor Smolov.
Cheryshev and Aleksander Golovin scored in the first and fourth minutes of injury time respectively to make the scoreline massive, even as it belittled Saudi Arabia’s performance.
It helped Russia though to record the biggest victory by any host country in a World Cup opening match since 1934 when Italy crushed the United States (U.S.) 7-1.
saudi arabia, russia
Earlier, the opening ceremony had been led by British pop star Robbie Williams and Russian soprano Aida Garifullina in a 15-minute period wowed the Opening Ceremony/Match crowd.
Part of the ceremony was the entrance of former Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas and Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova with the World Cup trophy in a Louis Vuitton travel case.
Williams later performed two hits — “Let Me Entertain You” and “Rock DJ” — alongside some dancers and freestylers.
He was, thereafter, joined in a duet by Garifullina, a soloist from the Vienna State Opera, to sing one of his (Williams) hit songs “Angels”.
russia saudi arabia
The 2018 World Cup continues on Friday with three matches, one of them the other Group A match pitching Egypt against Uruguay in Yekaterinburg.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.