Football: Russia beats Saudi Arabia 5-0 in FIFA World Cup opener

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Today in the opener of 2018 FIFA Football World Cup game host nation Russia defeated Saudi Arabia 5–0 at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. Iury Gazinsky opened the scoring, his first international goal; and substitute Denis Cheryshev scored two goals in the match.

Saudi Arabia dominated in ball possession. Both the teams started with attacking strategy. Saudi Arabia conceded two corner kicks in the first ten minutes of the game. In the 12th minute, Russia got the breakthrough, when Iury Gazinsky scored a header assisted by Aleksandr Golovin. Russia made their first substitution in the 24th minute. Cheryshev came on for Alan Dzagoev who injured his hamstring. Just a few minutes before the half-time whistle, substitute Cheryshev scored the second goal for the hosts from Roman Zobnin's assist. The first half ended with 2–0 on the scoreboard.

In the 64th minute of the game, both the sides made substitutions. Saudi Arabia's Fahad Al Muwallad came on for Abdullah Otayf; while Aleksandr Samedov was replaced by Daler Kuzyaev for Russia. Russia made their third and final substitution of the night in the 70th minute when Fedor Smolov was substituted off for Artem Dzyuba. Soon after Dzyuba came on, he scored the third of the night, a header from Golovin's assist. Two minutes later, Salem Al Dawsari missed a chance to open the scoring for the visiting side. Golovin was shown a yellow card in the 88th minute for a foul, which earned Saudi Arabia a free kick in their own defensive half. Just a minute into injury time, Cheryshev netted his second goal of the night, putting the hosts 4–0 up front. Saudi Arabia's Taiseer Al Jassam was the second person to be booked in the match for a bad foul as Russia won a free kick. Golovin, who had already provided two assists in the game, took the free kick and scored in the bottom right corner. Argentine referee Néstor Pitana brought the match to an end, with the hosts winning the opener 5–0 despite having about 40% of the ball possession.

The Russians had seven shots on target, while the visitors had none. The Saudis conceded six corners in the entire match and committed ten fouls in total. Group A's Egypt and Uruguay are scheduled to face each other tomorrow.

After the match, Cheryshev said, "I could never have dreamt of anything like this. I already felt very happy just to be [on] the squad. My second goal, we spent some time working on that during training sessions. I was trying to be up there with Dzyuba, he won it with a header and I just kicked the ball — I didn't have time to think!"

Group A standings as of June 14

Country Played Won Draw Loss Goals
🇷🇺 Russia 1 1 0 0 5 0  5 3
🇪🇬 Egypt 0 0 0 0 0 0  0 0
🇺🇾 Uruguay 0 0 0 0 0 0  0 0
🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia 1 0 0 1 0 5 -5 0

June 14, 2018
1800 MSK (UTC+0300)
Russia 🇷🇺 5–0 🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia
Attendance: 78,011
Referee: Néstor Pitana (Argentina)
Iury Gazinsky Scored after 12 minutes 12'
Denis Cheryshev Scored after 43 minutes 43'
Artem Dzyuba Scored after 71 minutes 71'
Denis Cheryshev Scored after 90+1 minutes 90+1'
Aleksandr Golovin Scored after 90+4 minutes 90+4'
Aleksandr Golovin Booked after 88 minutes 88'
Alan Dzagoev Substituted off after 24 minutes 24'
Denis Cheryshev Substituted on after 24 minutes 24'
Aleksandr Samedov Substituted off after 64 minutes 64'
Daler Kuzyayev Substituted on after 64 minutes 64'
Fedor Smolov Substituted off after 70 minutes 70'
Artyom Dzyuba Substituted on after 70 minutes 70'
(2–0) HT Taiseer Al Jassam Booked after 90+3 minutes 90+3'
Abdullah Otaayf Substituted off after 64 minutes 64'
Fahad Al Muwallad Substituted on after 64 minutes 64'
Yahia Al Shehri Substituted off after 72 minutes 72'
Hatan Bahbir Substituted on after 72 minutes 72'
Mohammed Al Sahlawi Substituted off after 85 minutes 85'
Muhannad Asiri Substituted on after 85 minutes 85'