Russia face Saudia Arabia in the opening match of the FIFA World Cup 2018 at Moscow’s historic Luzhniki Stadium on Thursday. Hosts Russia are placed in Group A, alongside Uruguay, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Russia, being the host, had automatically qualified for the world cup. Russia have not been in top form recently and have failed to win their last seven matches. Their last win was against South Korea in October 2017.
Neither Russia nor Saudi Arabia are fancied to lift the FIFA World Cup trophy but they will certainly try their best to win the match and take a step forward towards registering their names for the second round.
Follow the live updates below:
12 minutes: GOAL!! Russia takes the lead Yuri Gazinskiy heads in the opening goal of the tournament. The goal came off the third corner.
10 minutes: Russia win another corner, Zhirkov at it again. He tries to pick out Alan Dzagoev, but overcooked his delivery. Yasser Al-Shahrani heads clear for Saudi Arabia.
5 minutes: Saudi Arabia look more composed but Russia won the first corner of the match in the third minute
Saudi Arabia kicked off the tournament after referee Nestur Pitana blew the whistle at the packed Luzhniki Stadium.
Igor Akinfeev; Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kutepov, Sergey Ignashevich, Yury Zhirkov; Yuri Gazinskiy, Roman Zobnin; Aleksandr Samedov, Alan Dzagoev, Aleksandr Golovin; Fedor Smolov.
Subs: Gabulov, Lunev, Granat, Kudryashov, Semenov, Smolnikov, Erokhin, Kuzyaev, Samedov, Miranchuk, Cheryshev, Miranchuk, Smolov
Saudi Arabia XI:
Abdullah Al-Maiouf; Mohammed Alburayk, Osama Hawsawi, Omar Hawsawi, Yasser Al-Shahrani; Abdullah Otayf; Salem Al-Dawsari, Salman Al-Faraj, Taiseer Al-Jassam, Yahia Al-Shehri; Mohammed Al-Sahlawi.
Subs: Al-Owais, Al-Mosailem, Al Harbi, Hawsawi, Al-Bulaihi, Al-Burayk; Al Khaibari, Al Khaibri, Al Jassim, Al Mogahwi, Al Faraj, Kanno, Bahebri, Al Muwallad; Assiri
Even Saudi Arabia have come second best in their last three friendly matches which they have played against Italy, Peru and defending World Cup champions Germany.
Russia: Goalkeepers – Igor Akinfeev, Vladimir Gabulov, Andrey Lunev. Defenders – Mario Fernandes, Vladimir Granat, Sergey Ignashevich, Fedor Kudryashov, Ilya Kutepov, Andrey Semenov, Igor Smolnikov. Midfielders – Denis Cheryshev, Alan Dzagoev, Aleksandr Erokhin, Yuri Gazinskiy, Aleksandr Golovin, Daler Kuzyaev, Anton Miranchuk, Aleksandr Samedov, Yuri Zhirkov, Roman Zobnin. Forwards – Artem Dzyuba, Alexsey Miranchuk, Fedor Smolov. Coach – Stanislav Cherchesov
Saudi Arabia: Goalkeepers – Yasser Almosailem, Abdullah Almuaiouf, Mohammed Alowais. Defenders – Ali Albulayhi, Mohammed Alburayk, Mansour Alharbi, Yasir Alshahrani, Motaz Hawsawi, Osama Hawsawi, Omar Othman,. Midfielders – Salem Aldawsari, Salman Alfaraj, Taiseer Aljassam, Abdullah Alkhaibari, Abdulmalek Alkhaibri, Hussain Almoqahwi, Yahia Alsherhri, Hatan Bahbir, Mohamed Kanno, Abdullah Otayf. Forwards – Fahad Almuwallad, Mohamed Alsahlawi, Muhannad Asiri. Coach – Juan Antonio Pizzi
Source: Zee News