World Cup: Russia thrashed Saudi Arabia 5:0 in the opening match

World Cup: Russia thrashed Saudi Arabia 5:0 in the opening match 1

The 2018 World Cup opened in an entertaining style as Russia defied their recent poor form to thrash Saudi Arabia 5:0.

Russia score five past Saudi Arabia and record the biggest win by the host nation in the opening game of a World Cup since 1934.

Stanislav Cherchesov’s team had not won in their past seven matches and had been criticised from all sides, including a series of barbed comments from Russian president Vladimir Putin.

But in front of a largely partisan crowd of 78,011 at the Luzhniki Stadium they never looked in danger against a naïve Green Falcons’ side that seemed only too willing to gift possession to their opponents.

Singer Robbie Williams performed during a colourful opening ceremony before the match, marking the start of a feast of football that will see 64 games played at 12 venues over the next month.

Williams went through several of his biggest hits in front of a largely appreciative crowd that featured football fans from all over the world as well as a large Russian contingent.

A lengthy address from Putin was followed by a short speech from Fifa president Gianni Infantino – but eventually the words ended and the football finally began.

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