World Cup 2018: Russia Throttles Saudi Arabia in Opener

World Cup 2018: Russia Throttles Saudi Arabia in Opener

Even at halftime, the Saudis seemed damaged, and it didn’t get higher. Dzyuba scored on one other header, likewise simply after coming into the sport, then Cheryshev added his second in the 90th minute.

If that late objective appeared unfair to the Saudis, it obtained worse a second later when Goliovin added No. 5 on a free kick in harm time.

It was the right begin for the host nation, though its remaining group video games, towards Egypt and Uruguay, shall be a lot sterner challenges.

As for Saudi Arabia, if it manages even a 2-Zero loss, say, in its remaining video games, it is going to appear to be a formidable accomplishment.

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Russian gamers have a good time after Aleksandr Golovin’s objective in further time.

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Patrik Stollarz/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

95’: One More, Just for Fun

This is simply unhappy now. Russia will get a free kick and Aleksandr Golovin sails it into the online. 5-Zero.

Andrew Das: That was simply piling on on the finish by Russia, nevertheless it’s arduous accountable them: the Saudis have been simply woefully overmatched. Russia will certain have its chest out tonight, and that’s a very good factor for a match that may have suffered a bit bit by a awful effort from the house staff. Egypt and Uruguay must be stiffer checks, and the Russians must face each with out Alan Dzagoev. But there are worse issues. They might be the Saudis proper now, dealing with those self same two opponents in the times to come back.

91’: Goal. Denis Cheryshev Scores Again

Denis Cheryshev obtained his second objective, turning and firing into the highest of the online. Sometimes a Four-Zero rating flatters the winners. Not this time. Saudi Arabia was horrible.

71’: Goal. Russia Makes it Three-Zero

Told you. So straightforward, really easy. With the ball pinging round dangerously, Aleksandr Golovin had loads of time to ship in an ideal cross to the pinnacle of Artem Dzyuba. He was marked by only one man and muscled his approach clear for the straightforward header. Like Cheryshev with the second objective, Dzyuba was a substitute.

Andrew Das: Rory Smith and I have been simply chatting about how large Dzyuba seems to be among the many Saudis — like a dad who stepped right into a U16 sport as a result of they have been brief a striker. And then he simply overwhelmed his marker there and identical to that Russia’s up Three-Zero.

70’: Russia Will Probably Score Again Soon

A shot by Zobin is spilled badly by Saudi keeper Al-Mayouf. That offers Smolov a very good probability, which Al Mayouf has to dive on. Russia isn’t urgent with urgency, however Saudi Arabia could also be giving them a 3rd objective quickly anyway.

56’: Al Sahlawi Scares Russia

Surprise, an opportunity for Saudi Arabia. Mohammad Al Sahlawi sprung free and obtained a shot off, nevertheless it went vast. Al Sahlawi is Saudi Arabia’s nominal striker, however till this second we’ve seen little of him.

The followers of each groups look subdued in a curiously comparable method. For the Saudis, it’s the lengthy stare of the defeated. For the Russians, a glance of some satisfaction but in addition the information that far sterner challenges lie forward.

52’: Another Close Call for Russia

After a sequence of touches in which Russia repeatedly out-skills the Saudis, Aleksandr Samedov skied a shot over the online.

45’: Hosts Not Good at Sharing

As the second half begins, think about this: Host nations have by no means misplaced a gap sport on the World Cup. All time, they’re 15-Zero-6. Russia is wanting good to maintain that streak going.

Halftime: Russia Leads Comfortably

A dominating efficiency by Russia, which comfortably leads by 2-Zero at halftime. Remember when Saudi Arabia was 40-to-1 to win the sport? Now they’re 250-1. Even a draw is an actual long-shot right here.

The subsequent time somebody tries to show a soccer level to you by citing possession stats, hit them up with this. It’s Saudi Arabia that has dominated possession in this sport, 61 p.c to 39 p.c. That’s as a result of Russia, with a lead, simply sat again and calmly watched the Saudis cross it round, principally ineffectively and principally in their very own half

Andrew Das: In many ways in which half couldn’t have gone higher for Russia: two early targets, little fightback from the Saudis, and Golovin seemed terrific. But the lack of Dzagoev to what was clearly a hamstring harm severe sufficient to drop him to the turf in mid-stride, is a severe blow. “A hamstring’s three weeks,” Rory Smith simply stated to me. And Russia doesn’t have three weeks left right here. We’ve most likely seen the final of Dzagoev, which is just too dangerous for him, and his nation.

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Denis Cheryshev places Russia forward, 2-Zero, in the primary half.

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Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

43’: GOAL. Russia leads 2-Zero.

It was certain to occur. Russia superior into Saudi house with numbers, Denis Cheryshev obtained by the protection and had the keeper at his mercy. What a half-hour for Cheryshev. Sitting on the bench, abruptly thrust into the sport by an harm, and now on the World Cup scoreboard.

Andrew Das: Two minutes earlier, Cheryshev tried that very same cutback transfer he used to attain the objective, however he appeared stunned that it had labored and flubbed the prospect. This time he let two Saudis slide by and buried his shot in the highest left nook from a slender angle.

36’: Saudi Arabia Exposed on the Back

Saudi Arabia, like most underdogs, most likely anticipated to counterattack in this sport. But the early Russia objective took away that chance. Saudi Arabia has been compelled to be aggressive, and it has been Russia that has counterattacked. As a outcome, Saudi Arabia has seemed very uncovered on the again.

30’: Saudi Arabia Finally Gets a Shot — and Misses

After a theatrical fall, Saudi Arabia was awarded a free kick from simply exterior the field. For the primary time, Russia followers should sit up a bit straighter. Salman Al Faraj did handle to get it on a teammate’s head, however the ensuing shot is nowhere close to objective.

24’: Russia Loses Alan Dzagoev

Alan Dzagoev, who was part of plenty of Russia’s strikes, pulls up with an obvious hamstring harm. Russia was compelled into an early substitution: Denis Cheryshev checked in.

Rory Smith: That’s a major second for Russia: not in this sport, essentially, however for the nation’s hopes of qualifying from the group stage and persevering with its World Cup into the latter phases (a bizarre factor to say 20 minutes into the primary sport, however hear me out). Alan Dzagoev is — together with Aleksandr Golovin — one in every of presumably solely two genuinely artistic gamers Russia has. He’s at all times struggled with harm, however that is horrible timing for him, in fact, and for his nation. Losing him to what seemed an terrible lot like a popped hamstring could not have an effect on the outcome at the moment all that a lot, however he would have been necessary for Russia towards Egypt and Uruguay, too. There’s now a threat he received’t be out there for both.

20’: Saudis Struggling for Control

The Saudis lastly obtained a run of possession collectively, nevertheless it was by their defenders deep in their very own territory, whereas Russia sat again, understandably, with a 1-Zero lead. Think a comeback is in the offing? Saudi Arabia is 40-1 to win this match proper now.

15’: Russia Keeps Pressing

Almost two for Russia. Saudi keeper Al-Mayouf made a determined lunge and fisted a ball away. 2-Zero seems to be much more seemingly than 1-1 proper now.

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Yuri Kazinsky celebrates after scoring Russia’s first objective.

Credit
Victor Caivano/Associated Press

12’: GOAL! Russia Scores First World Cup Goal

Russia is forward! Saudi gamers scampered again in some disarray (once more). The ball pinged across the field, Roman Zobnin crossed proper into the hazard zone and Yury Gazinsky hammered it residence along with his head. So straightforward for Russia.

Andrew Das: In the uncommon moments when the Saudis have had the ball, they’ve proven they’re fairly sharp with that one-touch passing in small areas that comes from years of rondos, that soccer coaching sport the place a circle of gamers attempt to play keepaway from a few opponents in the center.

But rondos are an effort to maintain the ball contained in the circle. They by no means actually go wherever. And neither are the Saudis.

7’: Russia Plays Aggressor

Dzagoev and Zobnin have been getting a number of house down the wings for Russia. So far they haven’t been capable of get it into the field successfully, however Russia is certainly on the entrance foot to date.

Rory Smith: Hopefully, that objective settles Russia down – and the early indicators are that there’s now a little bit of confidence in regards to the host – however the tempo of the beginning stays excessive.

Three’: Saudi Arabia in Trouble Early

The first nook of the sport went to Russia, and Saudi Arabia’s defensive anchor Osama Hawsawi was compelled to clear it off the road. A harmful scenario for Saudi Arabia immediately.

Zero’: Saudi Arabia in Green, Russia in Red

We’re below approach in Moscow! Saudi Arabia kicks off sporting inexperienced, whereas Russia is in purple.

Vladimir Putin Opens the World Cup

Vladimir Putin gave a speech in Russian welcoming the group and opening up the World Cup. There is at all times a surge of pleasure all over the world for the primary sport of the Cup, though that’s tempered a bit this yr as a result of the match occurs to be between the 67th and 70th ranked groups. As standard, the brand new World Cup brings a brand new FIFA ball: This yr’s is white with grey pixilated hexagons.

Opening Ceremony: Robbie Williams Takes the Stage

The crowd in Moscow was handled to a gap ceremony that includes English popstar Robbie Williams, Russian soprano Aida Garifullina and the same old array of gaudily-dressed extras forming letters and patterns on the sector. They cruised by a few of Williams’s biggest hits, together with “Let Me Entertain You” and “Angels.” Ronaldo, the previous Brazilian star was additionally available, however didn’t get a possibility to sing.

Here Is the Russia Lineup

1 Akinfeev

2 Fernandes

Three Kutepov

Four Ignashevich

eight Gazinskii

9 Dzagoev

10 Smolov

11 Zobnin

17 Golovin

18 Zhirkov

19 Samedov

• Lots of people have been anticipating Russia’s midfield twins, Aleksei and Anton Miranchuk, to be a key a part of the staff. But they aren’t in the introduced beginning lineup. Russia has the posh of a reasonably deep midfield, by far its greatest space. As for the Saudi staff power … it’s not clear there may be one.

Here Is the Saudi Arabia Lineup

1 Abdullah

Three Osama

5 Omar

6 Alburayk

7 Salman

eight Yahia

10 Alsahlawi

13 Yasser

14 Otayf

17 Taiseer

18 Salem

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