Monday, 22 April, 2019

Word Cup Report: Russia v Saudi Arabia 14 June 2018

Robbie Williams Robbie Williams will be on of a number of artists to perform at the opening ceremony Credit PA
Cassandra Castillo | 14 June, 2018, 21:58

Hosts Russia is set to take to the field with Saudi Arabia for the opening match at Luzhniki Stadium for the 21st edition of the FIFA World Cup.

Russian Federation scored just 12 minutes into the match thanks to a header from Lury Gazinsky, but they would need nothing more to take all three points and move atop Group A.

Alan Dzagoev left the game after just 23 minutes as he suffered a hamstring injury, but super sub Cheryshev ensured that the home side stretched their lead going into the interval.

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. With the goal at his mercy Cheryshev proceeded to blast the ball into the roof of the net from about 12 yards for his first goal for his country.

Sbornaya took the lead from the resulting corner, however, as Gazinskiy headed home Golovin's pin-point cross to the back post after the ball was recycled on the left. With Russia on the counterattack and a three-on-two advantage, he picked the ball up on the inside-left channel from Fedor Smolov.

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Saudi coach Juan Antonio Pizzi made a change after 63 minutes, bringing winger Fahad Al Muwallad on for midfielder Abdullah Otayf, and Russia's Stanislav Cherchesov replaced Aleksandr Samedov with Daler Kuzyaev soon afterwards. The match is the first game of the tournament.

Will Russia continue their dominance in second half or will Saudi make strong comeback.

The Saudis were presented with a decent chance from a deep cross on the right in the 56th minute, but the ball just eluded Al-Sahlawi and Taisir Al-Jassim in the middle.

On the break Zobnin drove forward and his shot was parried clumsily by Al-Mayoof as Saudi Arabia cleared the danger.

Saudi Arabia were left exposed at the back as defenders failed to deal with arial ball which led to the opening goal and then a quick counter attack by Russian Federation gave the Saudi defense no chance. Add to that two assists, involvement in a third goal and a fine one of his own, it is impossible to look elsewhere.

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