Russia vs Saudi Arabia (LIVE UPDATES): Lowly ranked host kick-start World Cup

Russia National team 2018
Russia National team 2018

The stage is set for the opening match of the 2018 World Cup as hosts Russia take on Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Russia come into their own tournament as the lowest-ranked team and without a win in seven matches and are looking to reach the knockout rounds for the first time since the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, are just three places above Russia in the FIFA rankings and have lost their last three matches in the buildup to the biggest stage in football.

No hosts have ever lost the opening game of the tournament but the Saudis beat Russia 4-2 in their last meeting

Stay with PREMIUM TIMES for Live Updates

Kick off is 4 p.m.

SAUDI ARABIA STARTING XI: Al-Maiouf; Alburayk, Os.Hawsawi, Om. Hawsawi, Al-Shahrani; Otayf, Al-Dawsari, Al-Faraj, Al-Jassam; Al-Shehri, Al-Sahlawi

RUSSIA STARTING XI: Akinfeev; Mario Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov; Gazinskiy, Zobnin, Dzagoev, Samedov, Golovin; Smolov

Scorers of FIFA World Cup opening goals from 1990-2014

1990 – Biyik – Cameroon

1994 – Klinsmann – Germany

1998 – Sampaio – Brazil

2002 – Diop – Senegal

2006 – Lahm – Germany

2010 – Tshabalala – South Africa

2014 – Marcelo (own goal) – Brazil


British Singer; Robbie Willams gets the opening ceremony on with an electric performance #RUSKSA


Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the fans at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.


The Russian President gets a thunderous from the capacity crowd as he ends his short address


The FIFA President takes to the podium to also make is opening remarks


Now time for action after the speeches… the Saudi Arabia national anthem rendered and then that of Russia


Kick off


The first throwing of the World Cup goes to Saudi Arabia


Russia gets the first corner kick but dealt with nicely by the Saudi defense


Fedor Smolov is penalised for pushing Mohammed Al Buray


Saudi Arabia probing the Russian defense, they make an appeal for a foul.. but waved away by the referee


Russia get a throw-in near the Saudi box


So far, Saudi Arabia have enjoyed better possession 64% compared to Russia’s 36%


GOALLLL: Russia in front


Yuri Gazinski with the opening goal of the World Cup and for Russia


CHANCE!!! Russia almost get a second but the Saudi keeper makes a crucial save


Free kick to Saudi Arabia as Mohammed Al Burayk is down injured and receives medical treatment on the field.


The game is restarted


Russia launching more of the attack from the right side of the Saudi defense


Corner kick for Saudi after they are denied by the Russian defence


Injury blow for Russia


Fear hamstring injury for Alan Dzagoev


Russia makes a forced substitution as Alan Dzagoev is pulled off for Denis Cheryshev.


The host still have a lone goal advantage


Ball possession: Russia: 53%, Saudi Arabia: 47%.


Russia’ Aleksandr Golovin goes down in the box but referee says no penalty


GOALLLL.. Russia double their advantage


Denis Cheryshev with the goal!


Roman Zobnin provided the assist for the goal.


Two minutes added time


HALFTIME: Russia 2-0 Saudi Arabia

Maiden goals by Yuri Gazinskiy and Denis Cheryshev give the hosts a dream start


second half back underway


No side has ever come back from two goals down to win an opening match of the World Cup so the Saudis have a mountain to climb here in Moscow


CLOSE!! Saudi Arabia with their best chance so far but could not bury the ball in the net


SUB by Russia: Aleksandr Samedov leaves the field, replaced by Daler Kuzyaev


SUB by Saudi Arabia: Abdullah Otayf is off and replaced by Fahad Al-Muwallad


It’s been Russia all the way and they almost get a third but brave goalkeeping by the Saudi goalkeeper denies the hosts a third goal


GOALLLL: Russia makes it three


Artem Dzyuba makes an instant impact or the host after coming in barely two minutes ago


Dzyuba has set the record of being the first player ever to come off the bench and score in the opening match of the World Cup


It has been a ‘clean’ game so far… No bookings so far for both teams


Daler Kuzyaev goes for goal, but his effort was never close to hitting the targett


Quite surprising Ball possession: Russia: 39%, Saudi Arabia: 61%


Finally, the first booking goes to Russia’s Aleksandr Golovin… The last time an opening day World Cup match failed to record any booking was almost 40 years ago!


GOALLL: Russia get one more in !!!


Denis Cheryshev with the goal!


ANOTHER GOAL: Russia make it five with a sumptuous free kick


Final Score Russia 5-0 Saudi Arabia





Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility

 

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.

Donate


NEVER MISS A THING AGAIN! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

DOWNLOAD THE PREMIUM TIMES MOBILE APP

Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: New Discovery! Click Here To See A Miracle Device That Can Cure DIABETES, BLOOD PRESSURE, STROKE, ARTHRITIS, PAINS, OBESITY And 50 Other CHRONIC DISEASES Without Drugs Or Herbs.. Click Here Now To See It


All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.