Today, 14 June 2018, in the opener of 2018 FIFA Football World Cup game host nation Russia defeated Saudi Arabia 5–0 at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. Iury Gazinsky opened the scoring, his first international goal; and substitute Denis Cheryshev scored two goals in the match.
Saudi Arabia dominated in ball possession. Both the teams started with attacking strategy. Saudi Arabia conceded two corner kicks in the first ten minutes of the game. In the 12th minute, Russia got the breakthrough, when Iury Gazinsky scored a header assisted by Aleksandr Golovin. Russia made their first substitution in the 24th minute. Cheryshev came on for Alan Dzagoev who injured his hamstring. Just a few minutes before the half-time whistle, substitute Cheryshev scored the second goal for the hosts from Roman Zobnin's assist. The first half ended with 2–0 on the scoreboard.
In the 64th minute of the game, both the sides made substitutions. Saudi Arabia's Fahad Al Muwallad came on for Abdullah Otayf; while Aleksandr Samedov was replaced by Daler Kuzyaev for Russia. Russia made their third and final substitution of the night in the 70th minute when Fedor Smolov was substituted off for Artem Dzyuba. Soon after Dzyuba came on, he scored the third of the night, a header from Golovin's assist. Two minutes later, Salem Al Dawsari missed a chance to open the scoring for the visiting side. Golovin was shown a yellow card in the 88th minute for a foul, which earned Saudi Arabia a free kick in their own defensive half. Just a minute into injury time, Cheryshev netted his second goal of the night, putting the hosts 4–0 up front. Saudi Arabia's Taiseer Al Jassam was the second person to be booked in the match for a bad foul as Russia won a free kick. Golovin, who had already provided two assists in the game, took the free kick and scored in the bottom right corner. Argentine referee Néstor Pitana brought the match to an end, with the hosts winning the opener 5–0 despite having about 40% of the ball possession.
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