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GROUP A REPORT Russia 5-0 Saudi Arabia

Hosts secure stunning victory in 2018 World Cup Group A opener

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Russia thrashed Saudi Arabia to kick off the 2018 World Cup in fine style.

The hosts entered the tournament as the lowest ranked-team of all the 32 nations, having failed to win any of their six build-up games.

But they certainly didn’t appear like a team short on quality or confidence as they started their Group A campaign in blistering fashion.

Denis Cheryshev was the pick of Russia’s performers, with the Villarreal left-midfielder – once on Real Madrid’s books – scoring two sublime goals.

His display was all the more impressive considering he started the game on the bench.

It is the biggest win by a host nation since Italy beat USA since 7-1 in 1934.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

Having already netted Russia’s second goal in impressive style, Cheryshev was full of confidence and his second strike to make it 4-0 was the pick of all the goals. Collecting the ball outside the Saudi Arabia box, he took one touch and curled the ball with the outside of his left foot over the Saudi goalkeeper’s head and into the top corner.

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