World Cup 2018: Russia Throttles Saudi Arabia in Opener

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

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

It was the proper begin for the host nation, though its remaining group video games, in opposition to Egypt and Uruguay, will likely be a lot sterner challenges.

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

Refresh here for stay updates and evaluation from the 2018 World Cup opener in Russia.

How to observe: In the United States, Fox and Telemundo have the printed, however you’ll be able to stream it here.

Need some assist? Here’s a breakdown of all 32 teams

95’: One More, Just for Fun

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

Andrew Das: That was simply piling on on the finish by Russia, nevertheless it’s arduous in charge them: the Saudis had been simply woefully overmatched. Russia will certain have its chest out tonight, and that’s factor for a event that may have suffered somewhat bit by a awful effort from the house workforce. Egypt and Uruguay must be stiffer assessments, and the Russians must face each with out Alan Dzagoev. But there are worse issues. They could possibly be the Saudis proper now, going through those self same two opponents within the days to come back.

91’: Goal. Denis Cheryshev Scores Again

Denis Cheryshev bought his second objective, turning and firing into the highest of the web. 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 move to the pinnacle of Artem Dzyuba. He was marked by only one man and muscled his means clear for the simple header. Like Cheryshev with the second objective, Dzyuba was a substitute.

Andrew Das: Rory Smith and I had been simply chatting about how large Dzyuba seems among the many Saudis — like a dad who stepped right into a U16 recreation as a result of they had been brief a striker. And then he simply overwhelmed his marker there and similar 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 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 bought a shot off, nevertheless it went extensive. 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 additionally the information that far sterner challenges lie forward.

52’: Another Close Call for Russia

After a sequence of touches wherein Russia repeatedly out-skills the Saudis, Aleksandr Samedov skied a shot over the web.

45’: Hosts Not Good at Sharing

As the second half begins, take into account this: Host international locations have by no means misplaced a gap recreation 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 on this recreation, 61 % to 39 %. That’s as a result of Russia, with a lead, simply sat again and calmly watched the Saudis move it round, largely ineffectively and largely in their very own half

Andrew Das: In many ways in which half couldn’t have gone higher for Russia: two early objectives, little fightback from the Saudis, and Golovin seemed terrific. But the lack of Dzagoev to what was clearly a hamstring damage 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 simply too unhealthy for him, and his nation.


Denis Cheryshev places Russia forward, 2-Zero, within the first half.

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

43’: GOAL. Russia leads 2-Zero.

It was certain to occur. Russia superior into Saudi area with numbers, Denis Cheryshev bought 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 damage, 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 possibility. This time he let two Saudis slide by and buried his shot within the high left nook from a slim angle.

36’: Saudi Arabia Exposed on the Back

Saudi Arabia, like most underdogs, most likely anticipated to counterattack on this recreation. 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 somewhat 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 quite a few Russia’s strikes, pulls up with an obvious hamstring damage. Russia was compelled into an early substitution: Denis Cheryshev checked in.

Rory Smith: That’s a big second for Russia: not on this recreation, 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 recreation, however hear me out). Alan Dzagoev is — together with Aleksandr Golovin — one among probably solely two genuinely inventive gamers Russia has. He’s at all times struggled with damage, 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 as we speak all that a lot, however he would have been necessary for Russia in opposition to Egypt and Uruguay, too. There’s now a threat he gained’t be obtainable for both.

20’: Saudis Struggling for Control

The Saudis lastly bought 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 within 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 much more probably than 1-1 proper now.


Yuri Kazinsky celebrates after scoring Russia’s first objective.

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 house together 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 recreation the place a circle of gamers attempt to play keepaway from a few opponents within the center.

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

7’: Russia Plays Aggressor

Dzagoev and Zobnin have been getting loads of area 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 up to now.

Rory Smith: Hopefully, that objective settles Russia down – and the early indicators are that there’s now a little bit of confidence concerning 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 state of affairs for Saudi Arabia instantly.

Zero’: Saudi Arabia in Green, Russia in Red

We’re below means in Moscow! Saudi Arabia kicks off carrying inexperienced, whereas Russia is in pink.

Vladimir Putin Opens the World Cup

Vladimir Putin gave a speech in Russian welcoming the gang and opening up the World Cup. There is at all times a surge of pleasure around the globe for the primary recreation 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 common, 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 chance 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 had been anticipating Russia’s midfield twins, Aleksei and Anton Miranchuk, to be a key a part of the workforce. But they aren’t within the introduced beginning lineup. Russia has the posh of a reasonably deep midfield, by far its finest space. As for the Saudi workforce energy … it’s not clear there’s 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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