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As it happened – FIFA World Cup 2018: Russia rout Saudi Arabia 5-0

Russia made an excellent start to the tournament by hammering  Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Hosts Russia dominated the visitors throughout the match with their rational play. Yuri Gazinskiy got Russia off the mark with a fine header from the close range and Denis Cheryshev scored the first of his two goals, displaying great composure. Artem Dzyuba was the second player to come off the bench and within minutes found the net with a header. In the stoppage time, Cheryshev scored a beauty with his left foot and Aleksandr Golovin finished the game by curling in a free-kick to score Russia’s fifth goal. 

Follow the live updates below:

The month-long festival has begun and Russia takes three points from the opening game and leads the group A. Thank you for joining the FIFA World cup updates, tune in tomorrow for the second day of the FIFA World cup. 

The 2018 FIFA #WorldCup is currently averaging five goals per game!

The perfect start for @TeamRussia!#RUSKSA #RUS #KSA

— FIFA World Cup  (@FIFAWorldCup) June 14, 2018

FULL TIME: Russia 5-0 Saudi Arabia 

90 + 4 minute: GOAL!! Aleksandr Golovin nets another goal for Russia from a free-kick. Russia have got off to a great start. 5-0 

90 + 1 minute: GOAL!! Denis Cheryshev scores his second goal with a stunner on the top corner, takes Russia to 4-0.

89 minute: Corner for Russia. Saudi Arabia defender heads it out. It is safe to say that it is a lost cause for Saudi Arabia.

88 minute: YELLOW CARD! Aleksandr Golovin gets the first yellow card of the match. 

84 minute: Substitution! Muhannad Asiri in, Mohammad Al Sahlawi out. 

Stanislav Cherchesov, the Russian coach, is a happy man after both his substitutes scored. Interestingly, till this match, a substitute had never scored in an opening match of FIFA World cup. 

71 minute: GOAL!  Substitute Artyom Dzyuba scores a header into the bottom right corner to bring up the third goal for Russia. Aleksandr Golovin, the youngest player in the squad, taking advantage of the open Saudi Arabia defence, floated a cross in for Dzyuba to score. 

With that goal @Cheryshev becomes the first substitute to score in an Opening Match of the FIFA #WorldCup#WorldCup #RUS#RUSKSA

— FIFA World Cup  (@FIFAWorldCup) June 14, 2018

68 minute: Saudi Arabia survive a scare as the goalkeeper fumbles in the penalty area but the defenders clear the ball in time. 

64 minute: SUBSTITUTION! Both teams go for substitution. Aleksandr Samedov out, Daler Kuzyaev in for Russia. Abdullah Ibrahim Otayf out, Fahad Al Muwallad in 

57 minute:  Salman Al Faraj heads the ball wide off the Russian goal off a freekick from Taiseer Al Jassam from the left flank. 

56 minute:  A cross flies across the Russian goal mouth as two Saudi Arabia fail to connect. Russia breathes a sigh of relief 

49 minute: Corner for Russia after Aleksandr Golovin tries to curl in a pass but Saudi Arabia defender Mohammad Al-Breik muscles it off

Second Half:  Russia enjoy a two-goal lead over Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia face an uphill task to stage a comeback. 

Aside from an injury to Alan Dzagoev, the perfect half from #RUS#RUSKSA#[email protected]

— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 14, 2018

Half Time: Russia 2-0 Saudi Arabia, 

Yuri Gazinskiy (12)  Denis Cheryshev (43)

43 minute: GOAL!! Substitute Denis Cheryshev scores the second goal for Russia. He controlled the ball just outside the penalty box and blasted a shot from his left foot into the top of the Saudi Arabia net. 

36 minute:   Smolov leads the counter-attack but the defence  being taken out. PENALTY SHOUT! 

32 minute: Saudi Arabia have most of the possession but fail to move past the tight Russian midfield. 

28 minute: Saudi Arabia are trying to find their rhythm.  Dzagoev’s injury has brought down the tempo of the game. Can the Asian team equalise? 

23 minute:  Alan Dzagoev substituted after a hamstring injury. Denis Cheryshev comes on as his replacement. 

21 minute: Saudi Arabia launch a counter-attack from the left, their best attack so far. Two back-to-back corners for Saudi Arabia but they fail to capitalise. 

Swiftly followed by the first goal of the FIFA #WorldCup!#RUS have the lead, through Iury Gavinsky! #RUSKSA

— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 14, 2018

14 minute:  Russia launch another brilliant attack, Abdullah Al-Maiouf claws the ball away after a deflected shot on target by Fyodor Smolov. The hosts are dominating the midfield brilliantly. 

12 minute:  GOAL!! Russia takes the lead Yuri Gazinskiy heads in the opening goal of the tournament. The goal came off the third corner. 

10 minute: 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.

05 minute: 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.

The Lineup

 Russia XI:

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.

Full squad:

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