Saudi Arabia thrashed 5-0 by Russia in World Cup opener

Hosts deliver perfect start after President Vladimir Putin declared the tournament open at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium
By AFP
Thu 14 Jun 2018 08:42 PM

Host nation Russia made the perfect start to their World Cup campaign against Saudi Arabia in the opening match on Thursday after securing a 5-0 victory.

After President Vladimir Putin declared the tournament open at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, Iury Gazinsky scored the first goal of the tournament with a 12th minute header from Aleksandr Golovin's cross.

Russia suffered a blow when Alan Dzagoev had to leave the field with what appeared to be a pulled hamstring.

With the Saudi team increasingly stretched by Russia's attacking play, Dzagoev's replacement Denis Cheryshev smashed home a shot from short range two minutes before half-time.

Substitute Artem Dzyuba made it 3-0 in the 71st minute when he headed home with his first touch of the game and Cheryshev grabbed his second in injury time. Golovin completed the rout with a free-kick just seconds from the end.

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Last Updated: Thu 14 Jun 2018 08:55 PM GST

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