By Emmanuel Ebimoh
The first match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup between the host, Russia and Saudi Arabia ended with some great goals and a table-topping performance. The game, which started in a high mood for both sides, kicked off by 4pm at the magnificent Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. Being the host of the competition and starting the first game, Russia looked like they were more ready for business when Yuri Gazinsky nodded into the net in the 12th minute of the game to score the first goal of the world cup.
Despite being one-goal down, the Saudi Arabians struggled to find their rhythm and the Russians were more than grateful to capitalize on that weakness. In the 43rd minute, Denis Cheryshev, who came in for the injured Alan Dzagoev, made it 2-0 with a brilliant skill and a roof-top finish.
Afterwards, it was only going to be one team who will take the day. The Saudi Arabians for some reasons decided to be sloppy with their passes and indecisive in attack, giving Russian goalkeeper, Igor Akinfeev with little or nothing to do all day. So, the goals came pouring in as Artem Dzyuba made it 3-0 in the 75th minute, Denis Cheryshev made it 4 with another cool finish in the 90th minute, and Aleksandr Golovin completed the destruction of Saudi Arabia with a sublime last minute free-kick to make it 5-0.
Overall, the Saudi Arabians didn’t look like any threat to the Russians who seemed to have started in full force. The defense of the Saudi’s was poor and awful, and they were annoyingly toothless in attack, making no single shot on target.
The next game of the group will see Uruguay take on Egypt in what looks like a well poised game. Africa will indeed wait to see that one tomorrow by 1pm. We hope Egypt will make Africa proud.
Join us on this page tomorrow as we bring to you all the juicy post-match analysis from the game and all the games of the world cup.