Russia overwhelm Saudis in FIFA World Cup opener

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In control games the team is also not impressed with the outstanding, losing four of the last seven matches with a total score of 11:2.

The result equalled the best-ever in a World Cup opening game - Brazil beat Mexico 5-0 in Geneva in 1954 - as Russian Federation took full advantage of a Saudi team who's defending fell painfully short of World Cup standard, while their attack was non-existent.

Best finish: Group stage in all three. Saudi Arabia should be able to grind out a respectable performance and while I can't see an outright win by the Green Falcons, I believe it has what it takes to secure a draw. The Saudis passed the ball from side to side but never looked like inconveniencing Igor Akinfeev, Russia's captain between the sticks. The host are the worst-ranked team set to feature in arguably the worst opener in World Cup history after the worst build-up. Saudi Arabia didn't even managed to fire a shot on frame.

Juan Antonio Pizzi and Russia's Stanislav Cherchesov bring different personalities and coaching tactics to the tournament.

Goals from Yuri Gazinskiy, Dennis Cherychez (double), Dzyuba and Alexander Golovin were enough to annihilate the Asian country in what was a one-sided encounter. They were the only nation, along with England, whose players all play for their respective domestic league - until May, when Al-Muwallad featured for Levante in May at the end of the La Liga season. Neither of them possesses the individual or collective quality of Uruguay or Egypt.

"The team have to come out and play", Akinfeev said after a 1-0 friendly loss to Austria last month in which Russian Federation managed no shots on target. The hosts are not the favourites in Group A by any means, but Cherchesov does have a few skilful players who can outsmart any opposition on their days.

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"We have made the first step, then there is a stronger opponent. And we'll put every effort into getting out of the group, to start with, and we'll only start fantasising after that", he added.

Juan Antonio Pizzi's side nearly equalised in the 21st minute following a blistering counter-attack from Yaseer Al-Shahrani that was launched from inside his own area. I hope, we will be able to beat Russian Federation.

Dzagoev's injury could deny Russian Federation their best player for the remainder of the tournament, but they certainly have alternatives who can be similarly important. The collective shambles of the Saudi Arabia backline, in turn, coerced their attackers to attempt ambitious moves without much success, resulting in a disjointed shape and a pitiful display.

71' - GOAL! Russia 3-0 Saudi Arabia (Dzuyba) Instant impact!

Denis Cheryshev scored the second goal for Russian Federation on 42 minutes. Krasnodar striker Smolov could be the man to ease those concerns. The Saudi team continued to concede possession to the hosts, unable to push their way up the pitch and create any meaningful opportunities.

The 34-year-old Al-Hilal defender is a leader at the back and will be counted on to help keep out more fancied forwards.

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