Russian Federation vs Saudi Arabia: All you need to know Match Preview

Russian Federation vs Saudi Arabia: All you need to know Match Preview

Russian Federation vs Saudi Arabia: All you need to know Match Preview

Juan Antonio Pizzi's men struggled to create a chance of note, failed to record a shot on target and gave away possession on countless occasions, enabling Russian Federation to record their first World Cup win since 2002. On the other hand, Cheryshev also became the first player to come off the bench and convert two goals in an opening World Cup match.

The opening goal came soon after, as Saudi Arabia failed to clear a corner and a curling cross in from the left by Golovin picked out an unmarked Gazinsky to head low into the far corner. From Red Square to Arbat Street, in front of the Karl Marx statue facing the Bolshoi Theater and in the jammed trains ferrying fans on Metro's 1 line, the spirit of the World Cup overshadowed the actual match.

"There are no words to express what I'm feeling right now", said Cheryshev, who was recalled to the Russian Federation squad in March after an absence of more than two years. But it's us who need to create this positivity. The host are the worst-ranked team set to feature in arguably the worst opener in World Cup history after the worst build-up.

Russian fans were less numerous than global ones, but were ecstatic as their team pulled off a triumphant start to the championship.

And the Saudi goalkeeper was beaten again in the fourth minute of stoppage-time, Golovin adding to his two assists with a curling free-kick that left brought the home fans to their feet once again.

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It was a goal that prompted Russian President Vladimir Putin to turn to the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, seated alongside Federation Internationale de Football Association chief Gianni Infantino, and shake his hand.

"We have the best country in the world, I knew we would win".

"I trust my efforts, I trust my players and I fully trust that we'll have a better performance in the next game", added the Saudi Arabia manager.

Substitute Denis Cheryshev, who replaced Alan Dzagoev, doubled the lead for Russian Federation two minutes before the break with a cracking strike at the near post, 2-0.

But there was a major blow for the hosts mid-way through the half as star playmaker Dzagoev limped off with a hamstring injury, to be replaced by Cheryshev. On account midfielder a goal and two assists, in addition interceptions and passes in the free zone, which broke the players of the national team of Russian Federation and did not have time Saudi defense.

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Austria were too good for the World Cup hosts as they beat them 1-0. The Russians will battle Egypt and Uruguay in their last two matches in the group stage.

"I think you will understand me, I can't wish your team success today".

Saudi Arabia have not won any of their past 11 games at the World Cup (drew two, lost nine).

Alan Dzagoev should anchor the midfield with Golovin and Roman Zobnin, as versatile 22-year-old twins Aleksei and Anton Miranchuk are the wildcards in midfield or attack.

Of his performance and the team's, he said, "I could never have dreamed anything like this". "As for our strategy, we must change", Pizzi closed.

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