Russian Federation vs. Saudi Arabia at 2018 World Cup

Rex Christensen
June 14, 2018

Hosts Russia got their World Cup off to a dream start with a thumping 5-0 victory over Saudi Arabia in Moscow.

However, Russia substitute Artem Dzyuba made it 3-0 to the hosts 20 minutes before time barely a minute after coming on with a fine header inside the box. Then, just as the game was phutting to a conclusion, Cheryshev waved the outside of his right boot to conjure a fourth goal, and just before full-time, Golovin's glorious free-kick gave him the goal his performance deserved. Dzyuba was also a sub in this one and scored, as the team got three goals off the bench.

GOAL 90+1: Cheryshev scores a stunner. Alsahlawi is there with Ignashevic, who's forced to head behind; the corner is rubbish, but Saudi pick up the pieces and Alsahlawi shoots hard as the ball drops and earns a further corner. AAARRRFGGGH! That'll be his match and tournament, I'm afraid. Germany enters the tournament as the defending champion after winning the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Gazinskiy scored the opening goal in the 12th minute, leaping high to guide a cross from the left past Abdullah al-Mayouf and inside the left upright.

The second half took a long time to come to life. Golovin floats the ball from the right flank as the midfielder rises above the Saudi defense to head the ball into bottom right corner.

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Ten minutes before the break, Salem Al-Dawsari embarked on a unsafe run for Saudi Arabia but was crowded out, and moments later Russian Federation appealed in vain for a penalty when Smolov went down under Osama Hawsawi's challenge.

Russian Federation play Egypt next Tuesday, while Saudi Arabia must gather themselves for Uruguay on Wednesday.

GOAL! 43rd minute: Substitute Denis Cheryshev gets his name on the scoring sheet doubling his teams lead. With Russia on the counterattack and a three-on-two advantage, he picked the ball up on the inside-left channel from Fedor Smolov.

Those two sides will still fancy their chances of progressing from Group A but the hosts have given themselves a chance of reaching their first World Cup knockout game since the demise of the Soviet Union.

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