Putin and Russia get their 1st win on the World Cup

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Putin and Russia get their 1st win on the World Cup

Information 14 Jun 2018, 23:53 IST





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MOSCOW (AP) — Vladimir Putin craves sporting glory, and he received one other style of it within the opening match of the World Cup.

Russia ended a 16-year look forward to victory within the event by routing Saudi Arabia 5-Zero Thursday in Group A, with the Russian president watching from the VIP field alongside FIFA president Gianni Infantino and the Saudi crown prince.

It was the host nation’s first World Cup win since 2002, and it raises the hope that Russia can get previous the group stage for the primary time because the Soviet period.

Yuri Gazinsky initially put Russia forward with a header from Alexander Golovin’s cross when the Saudis didn’t clear a nook within the 12th minute. Gazinsky charged ahead to fulfill the ball as Saudi participant Taisir Al-Jassam stumbled, leaving a easy end.

Putin and Infantino smiled and shrugged as they sat subsequent to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Putin then reached over to shake the prince’s hand.

Substitute Denis Cheryshev quickly scored the primary of his two targets. He chipped the ball over two Saudi defenders within the 43rd minute and shot over goalkeeper Abdullah Al Muaiouf’s proper aspect to make it 2-Zero. He later chipped the ball in for Russia’s fourth purpose in stoppage time.

“I’ve by no means performed something like this,” Cheryshev stated. “I already felt very comfortable after I knew I may come right here with my squad, however I by no means, ever dreamed of one thing like this.”

After Cheryshev’s first purpose, Artyom Dzyuba made an prompt impression off the bench to make it Three-Zero within the 71st with a header from Golovin’s cross. Golovin added the fifth from a free kick.

Following a lavish opening ceremony that includes British singer Robbie Williams, Putin welcomed visiting followers and promised Russia can be a “hospitable and pleasant” host.

Putin has made no secret about his want for achievement in worldwide sports activities, particularly on the Olympics. However excessive factors for Russian athletes have been uncommon because the nation’s picture was tarnished by doping, with quite a few Olympic medals stripped for drug use.

In a World Cup first, the video assistant referee system was obtainable for the match between the event’s lowest-ranked groups, although it wasn’t used for an official assessment.

The Saudis, who final received a match on the World Cup in 1994, didn’t get a single shot on the right track.

GROUP DYNAMICS

The win for Russia is a giant increase to its hopes of advancing, however it is going to nonetheless face a tricky take a look at towards Egypt on June 19 and Uruguay six days later.

With the 5 targets towards the Saudis, a draw could possibly be sufficient towards both of its two remaining opponents.

Saudi Arabia’s path to the knockout spherical is rather more tough. The Saudis will face Uruguay on June 20 after which Egypt on June 25. Egypt and Uruguay play Friday in Yekaterinburg.

KEY TO SUCCESS

Russia’s gamers have been considerably taller and heavier than the Saudis, a assist when difficult for the ball and when the penalty space was crowded.

That had an impact on Gazinsky’s purpose, which got here after the Saudis struggled to clear a Russian nook, and the header from the tall and stocky Dzyuba.

One concern for Russia is that artistic midfielder Alan Dzagoev picked up a suspected hamstring damage, however that was what allowed Cheryshev to come back off the bench and alter the sport.

FRINGE PLAYERS TRIUMPH

Russia’s bench gamers had their day of glory.

Dzyuba had performed solely as soon as for Russia since 2016, whereas Cheryshev and Gazinsky made two appearances in that point.

Raised in Spain, the place his father Dmitry taught at Actual Madrid’s youth academy, Cheryshev confirmed his technical expertise by beating the 2 Saudi defenders earlier than his first purpose.

Dzyuba spent half the season on mortgage after reported disputes with Zenit St. Petersburg administration, however compelled his manner again into the Russia staff with robust play.

QUOTABLE

Saudi coach Juan Antonio Pizzi: “We weren’t doing what we needed to do. The opposing staff didn’t need to make an enormous effort to win.”

Golovin: “For us, every recreation is just like the final.”

SERIOUS STATS

It was Russia’s third win from 10 World Cup matches because the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Cheryshev hadn’t scored for Russia in his 11 earlier appearances. Saudi Arabia has now misplaced a recreation by 4 or extra targets at every of its final 4 World Cup visits, together with an Eight-Zero rout by the hands of Germany in 2002.

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