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Russian striker Dzyuba: ‘We scored too much’ against Saudi Arabia at 2018 World Cup

June 15, 2018, 2:18 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia won the game 5:0

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Russia's Artyom Dzyuba (L) and Saudi Arabia's Yasser Al-Shahrani in action in the 2018 FIFA World Cup opening match at Luzhniki Stadium

Russia's Artyom Dzyuba (L) and Saudi Arabia's Yasser Al-Shahrani in action in the 2018 FIFA World Cup opening match at Luzhniki Stadium

© Sergei Bobylev/TASS

MOSCOW, June 15. /TASS/. Footballers of the Russian national team "scored too much" on Thursday night in the opening match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup against the team from Saudi Arabia, Russian forward Artyom Dzyuba said after the game.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia opened on Thursday night at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, where hosts Russia defeated 5-0 their Group A rivals Saudi Arabia. Russia’s 29-year-old forward scored a goal in the second half of the game.

"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. "We have managed it, they kept giving us huge gaps, their two central defenders went overloaded and we could clearly see it. We could have scored much earlier if we were fast enough."

"But on the whole, the final score is a bit over the edge," Dzyuba said. "We are definitely extremely happy that we have managed everything."

About half an hour in the closing half of the match Russia’s Head Coach Stanislav Cherchesov opted for a replacement in the playing team on the pitch and sent in Artyom Dzyba in place of forward Fedor Smolov.

The reshuffle brought an immediate result as less than a minute after hitting the pitch Dzyuba put a header into the right upper corner of the opponents’ net.

The match at the legendary Luzhniki Stadium in the Russian capital has a seating capacity of 80,000 and today’s attendance was reported at over 78,000 spectators.

The goals in the match were scored in the first half by Russia’s Yury Gazinsky and Denis Cheryshev. In the second half of the match the goals were scored by Artyom Dzyuba, Denis Cheryshev and Alexander Golovin.

Russia, placed in Group A, is playing its next Group stage match against Egypt on June 19 in St. Petersburg, while Saudi Arabia is facing Uruguay on June 20 in the city of Rostov-on-Don.

Russia selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.

The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.

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