Putin and Russia get their first win at the World Cup 2018

Russia will be one the least-fancied World Cup hosts in history
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Russia's midfielder Denis Cheryshev quickly celebrates his recent recall to the national team with a dazzling performance against Saudi Arabia.

"We had a certain (game) plan seeing them (the Saudi Arabian team) keeping the ball, while we are pressing and catching them on counter-offensives", Dzyuba told journalists after the match.

Saudi Arabia were left exposed at the back as defenders failed to deal with arial ball which led to the opening goal and then a quick counter attack by Russian Federation gave the Saudi defense no chance. Ever since Russia were awarded the rights to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup, there have been consternation about potential discrimination to players and visiting fans, the country's human rights situation and Vladimir Putin's worsening diplomatic relations with much of the western world, especially because of the Russian President's approach of soft power grab in Europe through the FIFA World Cup.

After receiving his Man of the Match award, he said: "There are no words to express what I'm feeling. We didn't expect this to be honest", said 34-year-old Veronika Kripolapova.

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Stats: Dzyuba's goal (89 seconds), is the quickest goal by a substitute at a World Cup tournament since Marcin Zewlakow scored for Poland vs US in 2002. It was Russia's first World Cup win since 2002.

In Group B action, African hopefuls Morocco will take on a talented Iran team in the second match of the day. It scored early, and then in the second half it scored often, grabbing two goals in the final minutes.

"The strongest team will win; we stand for honest, open and lovely sport". The collective shambles of the Saudi Arabia backline, in turn, coerced their attackers to attempt ambitious moves without much success, resulting in a disjointed shape and a pitiful display. Cherchesov abandoned his usual three-man backline with wing-backs in favor of a four-man defense against Austria last month, but Russian Federation lost 1-0 and failed to register a shot on target.

Sadly, the rankings also suggested it would not be high on quality, as Russian Federation came into the tournament as the lowest-ranked hosts in history, at 70th.

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When Dzagoev limped out midway through the first half with what appeared to be a hamstring injury, Russia's hopes of achieving anything significant looked to be leaving the pitch with him.

"I could never have dreamed of anything like this". This was supposed to be Saudi Arabia's easiest match, and if they keep up this awful performance, Egypt and Uruguay have a chance of scoring even more goals against them than Russian Federation did.

Saudi Arabia have not won any of their past 11 games at the World Cup (drew two, lost nine).

Defeats against France, Brazil and Portugal may have affected Russia's momentum, however, they will look to use their home advantage and come up with the goods when it matters.

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"I think you will understand me, I can't wish your team success today. As for our strategy, we must change", Pizzi closed.



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