Russia Make a Big Statement in FIFA World Cup 2018 Opener

Russia 5-0 Saudi Arabia

Many Russian supporters were hoping for something fantastic from their national squad to start the FIFA World Cup 2018. The Sbornaya did deliver a win that will delight many Russian supporters until the next day. However, I don’t think they expected to receive such a boon from their national team.

The Russians obliterated the Saudi Arabia in front of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and a capacity Stadiun Luzhniki crowd in Moscow, Russia. The Green Falcons were rendered helpless as the tournament hosts outplayed them in every facet of the game.

There’s no better way to start the biggest competition in world football than this. With such a fantastic start to the competition, it shouldn’t be odd for everyone to expect more FIFA World Cup 2018 results in the coming days. They have increased their chances of making it out of the group stages.

Keep your eyes posted at us to get the latest takes on fantastic results such as these. After all, it’s not every day that you see a 5-0 result in a World Cup opener.

Highlights

There was a lot of fanfare to start the first game of the competition. Robin Williams landed a big gig by headlining the opening performance in front of the 78,011-strong crowd, singing hit after hit with the help of Aida Garifulina. Vladimir Putin gave a warm speech to the entire world, welcoming each and every country to Russia as the fight for the World Cup begins in earnest.

While the president’s speech was friendly and heart-warming, Stanislav Cherchesov’s men were anything but that. The Russians took control of the match from the first minute on and didn’t allow the Saudis much chance as to challenge keeper and captain Igor Akinfeev. The Green Falcons were rendered helpless as Roman Zobnin and Aleksandr Golovin kept on penetrating the Saudi defence like they owned every part of the pitch.

The first goal didn’t take long to materialise. Yury Gazinskiy headed home a brilliant far-post cross from Golovin. There was nothing Abdullah Al Muaiouf could do but watch as the ball went to the net. The second goal was a wonderful effort from Denis Cheryshev. The man who came in for the injured Alan Dzagoev calmly collected the ball when two green shirts dove for the tackle and powered it to the goal.

The second half saw a bit of improvement from the chasing Green Falcons, but the Russians still dominated possession. The third goal sent the crowd into a frenzy: Artem Dzyuba, who was just brought in for Fedor Smolov, towered over the Saudi defence and powered a short header into the goal to provide a commanding 3-0 lead in the 71st minute.

The end of the match was as fantastic as the opening ceremony. Cheryshev got his brace by powering a nice ball from a Dzyuba pass into the top of the net. Golovin finished the scoring with a picture-perfect free kick from the right side of the goal. The ball curled perfectly and slipped just past Al Muaiouf’s gloves into the net.

The final score was so ridiculous that Prince bin Salman was rendered quiet at the VIP box while Putin happily shrugged and the Stadion Luzhniki was chock-full of happy Russians.

Muhammad Bin Salman & Putin watching Russia vs Saudi Arabia FIFA World Cup 2018 match in Russia

Vladimir Putin and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman having a conversation after Russia scores 1st goal.

Key Statistics

There’s been a tradition in the history of the World Cup: the host nation hasn’t lost a single opening match ever since the World Cup was first played in 1930. Russia continues the trend with this win while setting a record of their own. They now have the biggest winning margin among host nations in the World Cup’s opening games while keeping a clean sheet. The record was previously held by Brazil’s 4-0 thumping of Mexico in the 1950 tournament.

The most interesting statistic that’s come out of this match is the amount of ball possession in the match. Saudi Arabia actually had the lion’s share of the ball with 60% ball possession. However, they weren’t able to capitalise on their possession as the Russian defence were there to stop them every step of the way.

This is a historic moment for Cheryshev and Dzyuba. Villareal’s Cheryshev scored his first international goals for Russia with this team. Dzyuba also scored his first goals for Russia in an international final with his header.

Russia have also finally gotten revenge for their previous defeat to Saudi. The score was also lopsided in favour of the Green Falcons, making this a great morale booster for the Russians.

What’s Next?

The FIFA World Cup 2018 betting tips also saw Russia winning this one thanks to the home-court advantage, but I don’t think our football experts even predicted such a result to happen. This win gives the Egypt and Uruguay ideas on what to do for their next games.

Russia will be facing Egypt in what could be the deciding match that would determine their World Cup hopes. Uruguay is still the heavy favourite to come out of this game on top, so Cherchesov needs to plan carefully against the Pharaohs and continue their good run of form.

Meanwhile, the nightmare might just continue for the Green Falcons. Luis Suarez and Uruguay are next, and they might not want to a have a bite at La Celeste‘s football chops.

Both Russia and Saudi supporters hope that Achilles the Cat will favour their squad for their next games as well.

Achilles the Cat ready to predict FIFA World Cup 2018 results

Achilles the cat correctly predicted Russia’s win over Saudi Arabia

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