Finally, the World Cup 2018 in Russia has begun! Traditionally it’s the home nation that kick-offs in the first match of the tournament. Russia versus Saudi Arabia is the first match of this tournament. I have really mixed feeling about this match. Russia won the first match of this tournament with 5-0, which is a record for an openings match of the World Cup. But it wasn’t really a good match.
Russia versus Saudi Arabia
I’m not the one to start sugarcoating things because of the result. Co Adriaanse, a former Dutch football manager, once introduced the term scoreboard-journalism. Which he used to say the result of a match isn’t always in line with the match. This is a term that fits this match for me. 5-0 normally says the match is good to watch, but this match was extremely poor. Russia was the better side, so they deserved this victory, but that’s mainly because Saudi Arabia was extremely poor.
I can’t remember seeing a team making as much errors as Saudi Arabia did. I’ve seen matches in the Dutch second division where teams played better than Saudi Arabia did today. We can’t say anything based on this match. I can’t see Saudi Arabia collecting a single point in this tournament and don’t even see them score a goal.
There are two highlights in this match for me that made it worth my time watching this match. The first one is the 4th Russian goal by Villarreal player Cheryshev, who scored it with the outside of his left foot. The second highlight for Russia player Golovin. He is wanted by teams like Juventus and Arsenal and showed this match why teams hope to sign him.
Tomorrow will be a lot more fun to watch. The first match between Egypt and Uruguay is straight away an interesting one. The last one between Spain and Portugal is probably one of the best matches in the group stage. Which match are you looking forward to the most?