AFTER months of anticipation, World Cup 2018 finally gets underway on Thursday as hosts Russia thrashed Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening match of the World Cup to start their tournament in style in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on Thursday.
Little is expected of Russia at the tournament, but their best chance of qualifying for the knockout stage involves beating a nation making their first World Cup appearance since 2006.
Yury Gazinsky recorded the opening goal, heading home Aleksandr Golovin’s set-piece delivery after just 12 minutes in the first half, while Denis Cheryshev then put the icing on a commanding win with a stunning volley in injury time for this second at 43 minutes of the first half, and Russia’s fourth at 94 minutes, while there was still time for Golovin to cap a fine display by netting a free kick from the edge of the area. While there was still time for Golovin to cap a fine display by netting a free kick from the edge of the area.
Russia’s victory means that the host nation has never lost their opening match in any of the 21 editions of the FIFA World Cup (W16 D6 L0)
Russia 5-0 recorded the second biggest victory ever by a host nation in their opening match at a World Cup tornament, after Italy vs US in 1934 (7-1)
Russia scored more than twice the amount of goals in this game (5) than they did in the entire 2014 WOrld Cup finals over three games (2).