Saudi Arabia were left exposed at the back as defenders failed to deal with arial ball which led to the opening goal and then a quick counter attack by Russian Federation gave the Saudi defense no chance. Yury Gazinsky was given a free header he accepted it with pleasure.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia got off to the flawless start for the hosts as the Russian national team cruised to a 5-0 victory over Saudi Arabia, using three goals from substitutes, including two from Denis Cheryshev.
Alan Dzagoev had the first sniff at goal on 12 minutes after Roman Zobnin surged forward from midfield and found him inside the box with a threaded pass, but the striker's shot deflected wide of the left post off Omar Hawsawi.
"Anyway, we will enjoy the skills and the performance of our athletes together, " Putin told Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud during their meeting in Moscow. The defender picked out Mohammed Al-Sahlawi, but Sergey Ignashevich intervened to clear the danger. Osama Hawsawi makes inch ideal tackle.
Luckily, Cheryshev did his team-mate a favour by lifting the ball over one challenge, stepping inside another and drilling the ball past Abdullah. Dyzuba scores within seconds after coming onto the pitch as a substitute. The Saudis passed the ball from side to side but never looked like inconveniencing Igor Akinfeev, Russia's captain between the sticks. Artem Dzyuba jumped off the bench to nod home to make it 3-0, then two fine strikes late on from Cheryshev and then Aleksandar Golovin, who also grabbed two assists, completed the rout. It was his first touch, having come on for the ineffective Smolov a minute before. He is replaced by Denis Cheryshev for rest of the match.
Zobnin steered a header high and wide of the mark from a free-kick on the right in the closing stages, but Sbornaya sealed a comprehensive victory with two late goals. His day could not have gone better.
As the game wore on Saudi Arabia settled down and Al Sahlawi almost got on the end of an inviting cross but Russian Federation cleared for a corner.
What: Russia will play Saudi Arabia in a Group A game at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.