Russia 5 Saudi Arabia 0
Host nation Russia overpowered Saudi Arabia as they stormed to a 5-0 win in the 2018 World Cup opening match in Moscow.
Day one of the World Cup kicked off with an opening ceremony featuring British singer Robbie Williams and Russia’s players were also keen to entertain their fans at the Luzhniki Stadium.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
Russia went into the break 2-0 up and strolling against a poor Saudi team thanks to goals from Iury Gazinsky and Denis Cheryshev. Then in the second half substitute Artem Dzyuba made an instant impact from the bench to head in a third. Cheryshev scored his second late before Aleksandr Golovin’s superb free-kick made it five.
Quoted by the BBC, two-goal hero Cheryshev was in dreamland after the match. He said: “There are no words to express what I’m feeling right now. I’m so happy for my family who have struggled with my injuries - they deserve this. I could never have dreamed of anything like this.”
Former England striker Alan Shearer told BBC Radio 5: “It has been a really positive night for Russia who have done what they had to do, but I don’t think the big boys will be too worried by that performance. Saudi Arabia were hopeless and they didn’t have one effort on target.”
Egypt play Uruguay in group A’s second match at the Ekaterinburg Arena on Friday (1pm UK time).
Group A results, fixtures and live TV channels
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.