Published: Sat, June 16, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Russia Opens the World Cup with a Scoring Clinic

Russia Opens the World Cup with a Scoring Clinic

From left, Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, FIFA President Gianni Infantino, and Russian President Vladimir Putin watch the match between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Russia's Denis Cheryshev scores their second goal against Saudi Arabia during the opening match of World Cup 2018 in Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, June 14, 2018. Following an fantastic opening ceremony, the host nation took on Saudi Arabia in Group A's opening game.

However a five-star performance by Russian Federation - who ran riot over the Saudis, scoring as early as the 12th minute - deflated any hopes by the Saudis of progressing into the round-of-16 stage of the tournament.

The reaction after the first goal.

Saudi Arabia fired Carlos Alberto Parreira after a 4-0 loss to hosts France in the group stages in 1998, even though four years earlier he had won the World Cup with his native Brazil.

In its next game, Saudi Arabia is facing Uruguay in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don on June 20.

Peru's Guerrero scores twice in 3-0 win over Saudi Arabia
The 67th-ranked Saudi Arabia are the lowest-rated team at the FIFA World Cup, and play Russian Federation in the opening game on June 14 in Group A.

Artem Dzuyba netted a third before terrific late efforts from Cheryshev and Aleksandr Golovin wrapped up Russia's first win since October to launch their Group A campaign in style.

Russian fans were less numerous than global ones, but they were rooting for their team to pull off a triumphant start to the championship. The crowd were then treated to a fabulous finale as Cheryshev cleverly steered home the fourth with the outside of his foot before Golovin capped a great personal performance by curling his free kick beyond the wall to get the party well and truly started.

Alan Dzagoev had been at the heart of things in their midfield promptings but had to go off after pulling a hamstring in the 23rd minute. "You don't apologize for victory in sport".

The Spanish team will be reeling from the firing of their coach Julen Lopetegui on the eve of World Cup after Real Madrid announce him as their replacement for departed Zinedine Zidane.

"I think we deserved to win", said Diego Costa, who had his best game in five years with Spain.

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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