Russian Federation under pressure in opener against Saudi Arabia

17 Junio, 2018, 00:52 | Author: Thomas Hicks
  • Russia will be one the least-fancied World Cup hosts in history
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Here are four talking points from the Luzhniki Stadium.

Fellow substitute Artem Dzyuba also got in on the act in the second half and Aleksandr Golovin sealed a record-breaking win on the opening day of the tournament with a stoppage-time free-kick.

The tempo slowed and the atmosphere flattened after the restart, giving the whole thing the feel of a friendly match.

It proved to be the last hurrah for the visiting nation as Dzyuba scored a header on the 71st minute to extend Russia's lead to 3-0 before Cheryshev scored another goal and Golovin stole the show with the last kick of the opening game.

The excitement level is already touching sky high as the local and worldwide fans, who have reached the city, are waiting for the much-awaited opening ceremony and will provide the fans with pure emotions, joy, heartbreaks, thrilling games and remarkable goals. Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldo and Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino were among the attending soccer dignitaries. Neither of them possesses the individual or collective quality of Uruguay or Egypt.

The impressive Golovin provided the crosses for the headed goals and Roman Zobnin went close with a low strike that Abdullah Al-Mayoof saved low down.

Russian Federation looked lively from the start as they poured into the vast spaces on both flanks and it was no surprise when they opened the scoring after 12 minutes as Gazinsky was totally unmarked to nod home Golovin's deep left-wing cross.

There was nobody of the calibre of Mohamed Salah and Luis Suarez on the pitch on Thursday, and the ageing Ignashevich can expect a much rougher ride in the next two games.

One of them in the middle of the first half hamstring pulled Dzagoev. Now Russia's competitors will need to step up to this mark to keep up with their goalscoring form. Mohammed Al-Sahlawi, who had a three-week spell training with Manchester United, bagged a staggering 16 goals in qualifying, but the 31-year-old arrives at the finals stuck in a nine-game scoring drought.

Two goals in added time and a grinning Putin shrugged.

Gazinsky was barely two-years-old when the disintegration of the USSR in 1991 changed the political landscape of his country, and on Thursday, the midfielder's first worldwide goal in his first appearance in over fifteen months paved the way for a 5-0 rout of Saudi Arabia to mark the commencement of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The Russian national team is off to a fantastic start after destroying Saudi Arabia, 5-0.

The Saudis were in a better place for 25 minutes of the second half, but the outcome wasn't in doubt and Russian Federation added valuable goals to its portfolio. In a game which lacked tempo and intensity in the early stages, the Sbornaya still managed to put five goals past a hapless Saudi Arabia side.

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"We have to do our best and progressing to the next stage is not impossible", Hawsawi said". Saudi Arabia were frankly, awful, having failed to register a single shot on goal, despite dominating possession.

In a World Cup first, the video assistant referee system was available for the match between the tournament's lowest-ranked teams, though it wasn't used for an official review.

Last Participation in World Cup: 2014, finishing 24th. They did miss Dzagoev's creativity initially, but the industry of Cheryshev brought more balance to the side once Golovin, who scored a stunning free kick at the end, moved in field from the left.

Saudi Arabia's run-up to the finals was an extremely hard attempt, having qualified for second place above Australia on only goal difference.

Artem Dzyuba scored for Russian Federation just 89 seconds after coming off the bench; the quickest goal by a substitute at a World Cup since Marcin Zewlakow for Poland v U.S. in 2002.

"We're a football country, not just an ice hockey or basketball or volleyball country, but a football one too".

"We're really very glad. It is just a different adversary".

"I could never have dreamed of anything like this".

"I'm happy we've won but we shouldn't stop there", he added. However victory over a very strong Greeks and Algerians, as well as the notorious draw with Ukraine, showed that Saudi Arabia is able to cling to the result with mediocre teams, which is exactly true, and Russian Federation.

"I think you will understand me, I can't wish your team success today".

"As for our strategy, we must change".

"We have now to forget this feeling of shame and start thinking about the next match".

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