World Cup 2018: Russia thrash Saudi Arabia 5-0 in tournament opener

Latest news

    World Cup 2018: Russia’s Yuri Gazinskiy scores first goal of the tournament

    The 2018 World Cup opened in spectacular fashion as Russia defied their recent poor form to smash five past Saudi Arabia and record the biggest win by the host nation in the opening game of a World Cup since 1934.

    Stanislav Cherchesov’s team had not won in their past seven matches and had been criticised from all sides, including a series of barbed comments from Russian president Vladimir Putin.

    But in front of a largely partisan crowd of 78,011 at the Luzhniki Stadium they never looked in danger against a naïve Green Falcons’ side that seemed only too willing to gift possession to their opponents.

    A completely unmarked Yuri Gazinsky headed his first goal for Russia before substitute Denis Cheryshev evaded several weak challenges and smashed home at the near post close to half-time.

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

    But substitute Artem Dzyuba illuminated a match of often dubious quality with a precise header to extend his team’s lead just minutes after replacing Fedor Smolov.

    And as the match moved into injury time the impressive Cheryshev smashed home with a crisp strike into the top corner before the superb Aleksandr Golovin curled a free-kick around the wall.

    It put the seal on a sensational and unexpected start to the World Cup for the hosts – and gives them a real chance of qualifying from the group stage.

    Let me entertain you

    Robbie Williams performed alongside Russian opera singer Aida Garifullina

    Singer Robbie Williams performed during a colourful opening ceremony before the match, marking the start of a feast of football that will see 64 games played at 12 venues over the next month.

    Williams went through several of his biggest hits in front of a largely appreciative crowd that featured football fans from all over the world as well as a large Russian contingent.

    A lengthy address from Putin was followed by a short speech from Fifa president Gianni Infantino – but eventually the words ended and the football finally began.

    More to follow.

    View the original article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/44392911

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/44392911

    In the same category are

    Brexit: ‘Expectations low’ as PM heads to Brussels Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionBBC Europe editor Katya Adler looks at how united the EU really is over BrexitTheresa May ...
    US moves to negotiate trade deals with Japan, UK, EU Image copyright Getty Images The US has said it intends to negotiate three separate trade agreements with Japan, the UK and the EU.It could take se...
    Gender Recognition Act: ‘Why we want identity rules changed’ Image copyright Rory Darling If you want to legally change your gender in the UK, first you have to be diagnosed with a mental illness.A transgender...
    ‘I’ve never had this much attention’ Image copyright Getty Images Interviewing Jamie Lee Curtis is almost as terrifying as her new film.The 60-year-old is someone who will give you a to...
    The bang on the head that knocked English out of me Hannah Jenkins speaks English in the morning and German in the afternoon. It's not a routine she chose to adopt - but something her brain requires h...
    Syrian refugee who lives in a historic manor Tamer fled Syria seven years ago because teenage boys in his region were being forced to join the government army. His parents were worried about him ...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.