Host Russia have thrashed Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Thursday.
No host team has lost a World Cup opening match and Russia kept up that tradition with goals from Yury Gazinsky (12), Denis Cheryshev (43, 90+1), Artem Dzyuba (71) and Aleksandr Golovin (90+3).
Denis Cheryshev scored a brace and Aleksandr Golovin starred as Russia kicked off their first home World Cup with a rampant Group A win over a lacklustre Saudi Arabia side in Moscow.
Aleksandr Golovin vs Saudi Arabia:
5 chances created
4 tackles completed
1 goal pic.twitter.com/PDJDY13bDY
— FIFA World Cup (@WorIdCupUpdates) June 14, 2018
The result equalled the best-ever in a World Cup opening game – Brazil beat Mexico 5-0 in Geneva in 1954 – as Russia took full advantage of a Saudi team who’s defending fell painfully short of World Cup standard, while their attack was non-existent.
Russia’s fans will not care about that after enduring a wretched run of seven games without a win but they will be aware that the Asian qualifiers look desperately ill-equipped to trouble Egypt or group favourites Uruguay, who meet tomorrow, and that there is still much to be done for the hosts to secure progress to the knockout stage.
— OptaJavier (@OptaJavier) June 14, 2018
Egypt and Uruguay are due to play the second Group A match in Yekaterinburg on Friday.