Russia Kicks Off World Cup with 5-0 Route of Saudi Arabia

Off top, this sounded like the least anticipated World Cup opening game of all time. In fact these two teams are the lowest ranked out of the entire tournament, so it’s not like things were supposed to be electrifying. But the host nation couldn’t stop finding the back of the net.

Thanks to goals from Iury Gazinsky, Denis Cheryshev, Artem Dzyuba and Aleksandr Golovin, the host country put on quite the show at Luzhniki Stadium in front of 78,000 fans. It couldn’t be a better start for the Russians, who hold a significant goal lead in Group A alongside Egypt and Uruguay. That second place finish in the group is up for grabs.

The first half of the match saw two goals from Russia, who attacked Saudi Arabia from the beginning, as energy was at an all-time high. Both sides actually came out attacking, but it was the Russians who got the ball in the back of the net twice. The Cheryshev goal that put them up 2-0 was a highlight indeed.

The second brought three more goals from the host country, including two in stoppage time right after the 90th minute. They were the dagger in the throat for the Saudi’s.

It’s crazy that the combo of Cheryshev and Dzyuba had three goals as substitutes.

As it stands, the host nation has never lost their opening match in a FIFA World Cup and that tradition will continue for another four years. The streak is still alive.

Checkout highlights from the game below.

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