Published: Sun, June 17, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Drew Collins

Every goal scored from every game in Russian Federation

Every goal scored from every game in Russian Federation

"We did everything we could for the team's players: we have covered their expenses for three years, we hired the best coaching team and a world-class coach..."

From left, Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, FIFA President Gianni Infantino, and Russian President Vladimir Putin watch the match between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

"We are very disappointed by the defeat", said Ezzat.

Saudi Arabia continued to pass the ball around - they had enjoyed 61% of possession up to half-time - but without any real goal or conviction.

Cheryshev held the ball as two covering Saudi defenders slid by in the 43rd minute and shot past goalkeeper Abdullah Al Muaiouf's right side.

Commenting on the team's crushing defeat, Turki al-Sheikh said he accepts full responsibility for the footballers' less-than-stellar performance.

But he also lashed out at the players.

"These players have made my face go black with embarrassment and fury", al-Sheikh fumed. But these are our players. "They have achieved just five per cent of what is expected and required of them".

Qatar-owned BeIN Sports, which owns the Federation Internationale de Football Association broadcast rights in the Middle East, has been blocked from broadcasting in Saudi Arabia.

In a World Cup first, the video assistant referee system was available for the match between the tournament's lowest-ranked teams, though it wasn't used.

The mere fact of any home-grown player getting attention from overseas after years in which Russians have failed to tempt Europe's best clubs has sparked a local media frenzy as their World Cup gets under way and fans start to hope the national team may avoid the embarrassment many have long feared.

Head coach Pizzi took over the Saudi team in November a year ago after the football federation sacked Edgardo Bauza, a fellow Argentinian who had only been in charge for two months.

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