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World Cup: Host Country, Russia Stuns Saudi Arabia in 2018 FIFA World Cup Opener

Russia kicked off its campaign at the 2018 World Cup in spectacular fashion by smashing Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening game of the tournament.

The team defied their recent poor form to record the biggest win by the host nation in the opening game of a World Cup since 1934.

The team had not won in their past seven matches and had been criticised from all sides, including sharp comments from the Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Stanislav Cherchesov’s team however turned up in front of a largely partisan crowd of 78,011 at the Luzhniki Stadium never looking in danger against a naïve Saudi Arabia side who were gifting them possession.

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The first goal came through a header by Yuri Gazinsky before substitute Denis Cheryshev evaded several weak challenges and smashed home at the near post close to half-time.

Substitute Artem Dzyuba brightened a rather slow match with his precise header to extent the home team’s lead just minutes after replacing Fedor Smolov.

As the match approached injury time, the impressive Cheryshev smashed home with a crisp strike into the top corner before the superb Aleksandr Golovin curled a free-kick around the wall giving Russia a real chance of qualifying from the group stage.

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Written by How Africa

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