A dominating performance by Russia, which comfortably leads by 2-0 at halftime. Remember when Saudi Arabia was 40-to-1 to win the game? Now they are 250-1. Even a draw is a real longshot here.
Vladimir Putin Opens the World Cup
Vladimir Putin gave a speech in Russian welcoming the crowd and opening up the World Cup. There is always a surge of excitement around the world for the first game of the Cup, although that is tempered a bit this year because the match happens to be between the 67th and 70th ranked teams. As usual, the new World Cup brings a new FIFA ball: This year’s is white with gray pixilated hexagons.
Russia went ahead in the 12th Minute as Saudi players scampered back in some disarray (again). The ball pinged around the box, Roman Zobnin crossed right into the danger zone and Yury Gazinsky hammered it home with his head. So easy for Russia.
The Saudi players who have been making countless mistakes losing the ball easy were more disappointed just before the half as Russia scored again!
It was bound to happen… Russia advanced into Saudi space with numbers, Denis Cheryshev got by the defense and had the keeper at his mercy. What a half hour for Cheryshev. Sitting on the bench, suddenly thrust into the game by an injury, and now on the World Cup scoreboard.
The match continues as home nation leads!