It’s happening. The 2018 World Cup has kicked off with a respectably glamarous inaugural ceremony, which didn’t take too long anyway. The teams of Saudi Arabia and Russia are still facing off. It’s the 60th minute mark and things look fraught for Saudi Arabia who have already let the Russians score twice in the first half. We take a look at what is happening at the field and what has led to the present result.
Russia and Saudi Arabia – A Debacle
The game still beats on and I am secretely hoping that in light of how insistent Saudi Arabia have become in their second-half, to see them score. They have just missed twice. Although Russia is still spending a fair part of their time in the Saudi Arabia’s field, you can clearly see that they are also letting the Saudi reach their own goal.
The first half was quite dispiriting for the Saudis, too. Yuri Gazinskiy scored in the 12’ followed by Denis Cheryshev in the 43’ The goals were rather simple in both cases and stemmed from Suadi Arabia’s own unsuccessful efforts to defend.
Literally, at the time of the goal, there were three-odd Russians facing down the Saudi goal with the defenders feebly lingering in the bottom right corner of the goal. The glaring errors in defending have been punished.
Saudi Start Off Well
I still think that the Saudis didn’t start off badly. They did quite well in ricocheting the ball between each other and generally keeping Russian players scurrying to and fro. However, a moment’s faltering, lost them the ball and the momentum seemed to go back in Russia’s favour.
The goals actually sealed the deal. Now it’s the 64’ and we can see the first changes in the game. Russia agilely stopped an attacked on its own goal by notching up a penalty in the process. A commentator made a point that it’s a typical stalling stratagem, albeit given the track record of the team so far, I would say that it’s just as well.
And then, despite a decent start for the Saudis, they now appear to be completely disorganised and not quite sure what to pursue next on the field.
Russian – A Tamed Beast
As the game progresses towards its conclusion, the Russian team appears to be docile. They are not attacking as vehemently and seem to be sparing their efforts for the next challenges. Still, Russia seems to be rather more impertinent at the moment, with its players allowing themselves pardonable penalties every so often.
The ball is back at Saudi’s goal. A dangerous attack has the goalkeeper jump in the feet of a Russian athlete and push the ball violently. A close brush for the Saudis. We are edging towards the 70’ of the competition and the Saudis are in the grips of another attack. Gazinsky manages to intercept a ball and return it dangerously close to the Saudi’s goal. Russia continues to be rather more rough in their play.
Not very encouragingly, the ball continues to hover in the Saudi Arabia’s half and all gazes are intent. Another attack follows in the 70’ and for the third time, the ball enters the Saudi goal. It’s definitely a major success for the team. The game is far from over, which is not the best news Saudi Arabia wanted to hear.
The Remainder – Not Any Better
Only 6 minutes later, in the 76 and a free shot flies towards the field of the Saudis who manage to fend it off. The game continues to be Saudi’s attempts to manage the ball and rally themselves and Russia’s own intransigence. In the 81’, Suadi Arabia manages to attack and linger in the field, but Russians quickly send the ball back flying towards the middle of the field.
It’s evident that Saudis are on edge. Footballers are falling like domino throughout the field because all players in the vicinity of a landing ball suspect that it will fall within their grasp, occasioning some awkward moments altogether.
And so the time stands at 90’ and the score is 3:0 in favour of Russia. Symbolically, almost 3’ are added as an extra time. And a fourth score enters the goal of Saudi Arabia. A devasting start for the team and a great beginning for Russia.
With the game nearly done, nobody is really into the mood to play. Russia may be onto another attack. The ball is back in Saudi’s field. And a penalty right outside the Saudi goal. Taiseer just got a yellow card for tackling Cheryshev near the goal. We’re now about to witness the last bit of football action for tonight. Golovyn is behind the ball. He shoots and lands the balls into the goal. And this wraps up the game.
5-0 in the way of Russia. Overall, a satisfying inaugural game!
Correction: Originally the article said that Russia scored 4 goals. They managed to score a 5th one in mere seconds before the game’s final whistle blew. Apologies.