Rampant Russia pummel Saudi Arabia 5-0 in Fifa World Cup opener

Galtero Lara
Junio 14, 2018

After Cheryshev's first goal, Artyom Dzyuba made an instant impact off the bench to make it 3-0 in the 71st with a header from Golovin's cross.

Even Russian President Vladimir Putin, sitting next to Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud, found himself looking over like "hey, what can you do?"

The World Cup is due to feature 48 teams and will take place across three countries for the first time.

The 2018 World Cup kicked off on Thursday with Russian Federation beating Saudi Arabia, 5-0, in the opening match.

They'll certainly be hoping they can get a similar level of support during the tournament - all be it for their style of football than their fashion sense - as they open their World Cup campaign against Morocco on Friday.

Only South Africa, in 2010, have failed to qualify from the group as the host nation, and Russian Federation must still get a positive result against Egypt and Uruguay to emerge from Group A. Golovin added the fifth from a free kick.

After the show, the tournament's trophy will be revealed by Brazil's two-time World Cup champion Ronaldo just before the official kick off of the opening match.

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He then escorted Putin off the stage and the conference - which announced North America would host the 2026 World Cup - stopped for an unscheduled coffee break.

Russian Federation can now prepare to face Egypt next week full of confidence while Saudi Arabia need to find instant improvement if they are to avoid further embarrassment against Uruguay.

Aside from wing-back Yasser Al Shahrani, who impressed down the left flank, Saudi Arabia offered little and did not even threaten a shot on target.

The other Group A teams Uruguay and Egypt meet Friday in Yekaterinburg.

Russia's players were significantly taller and heavier than the Saudis, a help when challenging for the ball and when the penalty area was crowded.

Alan Dzagoev had been at the heart of things but had to go off after pulling a hamstring in the 23rd minute.

Saudi Arabia sent some players to the Spanish league for experience this season but they didn't get much playing time while there.

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