Russian Federation vs. Saudi Arabia

Marco Green
June 14, 2018

The announcement was made on Wednesday morning at the 68th FIFA Congress, just one day before the opening of the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation.

Hosts Russia got their World Cup off to a dream start with a thumping 5-0 victory over Saudi Arabia in Moscow.

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.

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.

Putin and Infantino smiled and shrugged as they sat next to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the VIP box.

And after the smug seal of approval, Putin then reaches over as the pair embrace in a handshake.

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

Artem Dzyuba was also on target a minute after coming on as a 70th-minute substitute and Aleksandr Golovin completed a memorable day by smashing in a free kick with the last action of the game.

The 2018 World Cup kicked off on Thursday with Russian Federation beating Saudi Arabia, 5-0, in the opening match.

"Hosting a FIFA World Cup is an extraordinary honor and privilege", said Steven Reed, President of Canada Soccer and Co-Chair of the United Bid, in a statement.

The winning bid, which should feature 60 out of 80 Games in the U.S., will mark the return of football's showpiece event to North American soil for the first time since 1994.

But with the five goals against the Saudis, a draw could be enough against either of its two remaining opponents.

Saudi Arabia were continuing to give possession away easily and, from another concession dangerously close to their own area, Golovin fired over.

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

Alan Dzagoev had been at the heart of things in their midfield promptings but had to go off after pulling a hamstring in the 23rd minute.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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