Russian Federation rips Saudi Arabia 5-0 in World Cup opener

Lewis Collier
June 15, 2018

It was Russia's first World Cup win since 2002 and ended a seven-game winless run overall - the national team's longest winless streak in 20 years.

The fact that two of the world's best players, Portuguese centre-forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Argentine playmaker Lionel Messi have not yet won the cup for their respective countries - despite the duo dominating the handsome game virtually unopposed - has captured the minds of spectators from around the world.

Egypt and Uruguay are due to play the second Group A match in Yekaterinburg on Friday.

The tournament's 64 games will be played at 12 stadiums throughout Russian Federation, with the opening match and the final held at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.

Putin watched the game with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, stretching across FIFA President Gianni Infantino to offer a consoling handshake to his Saudi guest as Yury Gazinsky put Russian Federation a goal up after 12 minutes.

Cherchesov's team still has issues to address, with a distinct lack of pace likely to prove a problem against stronger opponents. They inexplicably sacked Bert van Marwijk despite a successful campaign and then his successor Edgardo Bauza before the World Cup draw in November. Cheryshev doubled the lead right before the half-time after coming as a replacement for Alan Dzagoev, who limped off the field due to a hamstring injury.

With that in mind, we're bringing you every goal from this year's World Cup below, starting with Russian Federation vs. Saudi Arabia and ending on July 15 when a champion is presented the World Cup Trophy.

Russian Federation head into the game without their lead marksman Aleksander Kokorin but Saudi have injury worries with all their key players fit for the game.

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Earlier in the series, Adam had also stolen Kendall off her partner Niall Aslam, before ditching her when Rosie arrived . Although Niall didn't last long in the villa, he's sure to be happy to have avoided his worst fear: Being the first out.

Still, there were some genuine positives for Russian Federation.

Perhaps the hosts aren't quite as bad as has been feared.

The fans perfectly represent the mood of millions of Moroccans taken aback by Saudi Arabia's decision to vote for the trio bid of the United States, Canada, and Mexico, to organize the 2026 World Cup.

Saudi Arabia had 60 percent of possession and played almost twice as many passes as their hosts, but were still blown away on opening day.

Saudi Arabia's route to the knockout round is much more hard.

Russian fans were less numerous than global ones, but they were rooting for their team to pull off a triumphant start to the championship.

With their squad all based in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia's lack of exposure to games against the elite is another problem they have to overcome to have any hope of competing at this level in the future.

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