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World Cup 2018 Matchday 1 recap: Russia 5-0 Saudi Arabia

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Not much of a challenge for the hosts to start the tournament.

Russia v Saudi Arabia: Group A - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Here at DSS, we’re going to give you World Cup recaps of every game at the end of every match day. While today‘s opener lacked some (or a lot) of the appeal that past openers have had, at least we can finally say that the biggest sporting event in the world is finally up and running.

On top of that, Sam and Josh’s World Cup podcast is back (and now under the MotS banner), so give that a listen as well. Here’s the first episode if you missed it.


Russia 5-0 Saudi Arabia

Neither Russia or Saudi Arabia are expected to do much in this tournament, especially with a Mo Salah-led Egypt side and Uruguay in the group. But the hosts got off to a flying start with a comprehensive 5-0 win at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow in front of a partisan crowd of nearly 70,000.

It was an impressive scoreline for a Russian side who hadn’t won an international match in 8 months. Yury Gaszinsky opened things up in the 12th minute, followed by a Denis Cheryshev marker to double the margin in the 43rd. From there, it was all Russia as it added three more in the second half (in the 71st and two more in stoppage time) to flex its muscle even more.

While Russia had an easy time of it on Thursday, that probably won’t be the case as it faces Egypt on Tuesday in Saint Petersburg. Saudi Arabia’s tournament may basically be over as it goes up against Uruguay on Wednesday in Rostov.

Group A Standings

Teams W D L GF GA GD PTS
Teams W D L GF GA GD PTS
RUS 2 0 0 8 1 7 6
URU 1 0 0 1 0 1 3
EGY 0 0 2 1 4 -3 0
KSA 0 0 1 0 5 -5 0