Rampant Russia pummel Saudi Arabia 5-0 in Fifa World Cup opener

15 June, 2018, 00:32 | Author: Eleanor Thompson
  • Achilles the cat picks Russia to win FIFA World Cup 2018 opener

Canada's sole World Cup appearance was in 1986 in Mexico, where they did not score a goal, losing to France, Hungry and the Soviet Union in the group stage.

The result equalled the best in a World Cup opening game - Brazil beat Mexico 5-0 in Geneva in 1954 - and watching Russian President Vladimir Putin wasted no time in phoning coach Stanislav Cherchesov to congratulate him. After controversy surrounded the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russian Federation and the 2022 finals in Qatar, the vote was the first to be decided by the FIFA congress.

But his replacement, former Real Madrid winger Cheryshev, celebrated his recent recall to the national side with Russia's second goal two minutes before half-time.

Every World Cup needs the host nation to energise the population, and Russian Federation have ticked that box with this result.

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Both Mexico and the United States have hosted the World Cup before in 1970.

Possession football is well established as the game's purest form - the right way to win and perhaps even the right way to lose.

Perhaps the hosts aren't quite as bad as has been feared.

Tune in to Jason Pine weekday mornings from 9 on Radio Sport, for all the latest from the FIFA World Cup.

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Although their World Cup record marks them out as one of the most consistent qualifiers from the Asian Football Confederation, the Saudis have not won a game at the finals since securing victories against Belgium and Morocco at US '94 and had failed to score in five of their last six games at the tournament before this fixture in Moscow.

Saudi Arabia's route to the knockout round is much more hard.

Saudi Arabia will take the field on Thursday as lengthy +800 underdogs.

Saudi Arabia are led by coach Juan Antonio Pizzi, yet he faces an nearly impossible challenge of piecing together a team ready for World Cup action as most of his players are based in a domestic league that lacks quality.

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England, drawn in Group G, will play their first game of the tournament against Tunisia in Volgograd on Monday.

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