Cheryshev stars as Russian Federation rout Saudi Arabia in opener

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Russian Federation launched the World Cup in emphatic style on Thursday (June 14) when they outclassed a feeble Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the tournament's opening match to end a nine-month winless run and give the host nation's team and fans the lift they desperately needed.

Cheryshev hammered in a fourth with the outside of his left in stoppage time and Golovin capped a magnificent performance by bending in a last-gasp free-kick.

Cheryshev chipped the ball over two Saudi defenders in the 43rd minute and shot over goalkeeper Abdullah Al Muaiouf's right side.

This is Saudi Arabia's fifth appearance at the World Cup finals and their first since 2006.


Just 12 minutes into the match, the Saudi backline got caught out of place after a corner kick, leaving a wide open opportunity for Yury Gazinsky to score the opening goal of the tournament.

Dzagoev's replacement, Cheryshev, certainly stepped into the breach by scoring two goals after replacing the CSKA Moscow midfielder, including a stunner to make it 4-0, but the hosts can not afford to have their resources depleted even further by the loss of one of their best players.

During the opening ceremony, British music icon Robbie Williams will entertain the stadium crowd together with around 500 Russian dancers and gymnasts.

Canada will host men's World Cup matches for the first time, while Mexico gets its first taste of the event since 1986.


Colombia will log just 761 miles through their first three matches of the World Cup, one of just two teams that won't clear 1,000 miles in the group stage.

Russian Federation can now prepare to face Egypt next week full of confidence while Saudi Arabia need to find instant improvement if they are to avoid further embarrassment against Uruguay.

The hosts could hardly have dreamt of a better start to their home tournament, putting the Saudis to the sword with the last two goals coming in added time.

The other Group A teams Uruguay and Egypt meet Friday in Yekaterinburg.


Coach Juan Antonio Pizzi had earlier said that Saudi Arabia would play without fear on Thursday.

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