Russian Federation crush sorry Saudi Arabia 5-0 in World Cup opener

U.S. Canada & Mexico win vote to host 2026 World Cup

U.S. Canada & Mexico win vote to host 2026 World Cup

"Thank you for entrusting us with the privilege of hosting the World Cup in 2026".

Both Mexico and the United States have hosted the World Cup before in 1970.

Villarreal winger Cheryshev took the ball on inside the box, taking two sliding Saudi Arabia players out of the game with his first touch before getting the ball out of his feet and firing high into the net.

Putin was the surprise guest of honour at FIFA's annual gathering on the eve of the World Cup, and was welcomed on stage by Gianni Infantino, the governing body's president.

But don't forget you too can get involved in predicting the scorelines, along with a whole host of other things such as the Golden Boot victor and which nations will advance from each group.

Russian Federation lost Dzagoev to a hamstring injury midway through the first half, the CSKA Moscow midfielder clutching his hamstring as he crumpled to the turf.

Iury Gazinsky opened the scoring before Man of the Match Cheryshev and Dzyuba also found the net, and Cheryshev and Alexandr Golovin struck in stoppage-time to help Russian Federation end a winless run of seven games and make sure they have a chance to advance into the knock-out stages.

The games will be available for the first time this year in six local languages: English, Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu.


The competition starts June 14 with Russian Federation versus Saudi Arabia.

Perhaps the hosts aren't quite as bad as has been feared.

The crown prince will later attend the opening match, which kicks off at 6pm KSA time.

Although their World Cup record marks them out as one of the most consistent qualifiers from the Asian Football Confederation, the Saudis have not won a game at the finals since securing victories against Belgium and Morocco at United States of America '94 and had failed to score in five of their last six games at the tournament before this fixture in Moscow.

Aside from wing-back Yasser Al Shahrani, who impressed down the left flank, Saudi Arabia offered little and did not even threaten a shot on target.

Saudi Arabia sent some players to the Spanish league for experience this season but they didn't get much playing time while there.

Speaking in Russian, Putin thanked Federation Internationale de Football Association for being "one big team" that has helped Russia prepare for the "most significant event in global sport".

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