Denis Cheryshev Seals Russian Victory With Stunning Effort, Aleksandr Golovin Smacks In Late Free Kick To Top It Off
Russian attacker Alan Dzagoev was despondent when hobbling off the field with an apparent hamstring injury in the first half of his nation’s opener against Saudi Arabia.
It’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow in someone’s favour, though, and Denis Cheryshev has benefited handsomely from his teammates misfortune.
The ex-Real Madrid hadn’t scored an international goal when he took to the field of Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium but he left it with two.
The first put his side 2-0 to the good, a calm effort during which he left two Saudi defenders sliding on the ground in the box before stroking home.
If that goal was good, his second one was better.
With his side 3-0 up and cruising towards victory, the Villareal forward seized upon a knock-down before lashing a 25-yard peach into the Saudi net. A sensational strike that was welcomed with wild celebrations among the home crowd.
It couldn’t get any better for those fans, you’d have thought.
With seconds left, their side won a free kick 25-odd yards out and at an awkward angle.
No matter - Aleksandr Golovin stepped up to curl a lovely effort around the Saudi wall and into the net.
It capped what was, in truth, an impressive victory for the home side and they’ll hope that the emphatic nature of the win can do something to get a somewhat belligerent local press on their side as their World Cup journey really kicks into gear.
Egypt and Uruguay are the two sides standing between them and a place in the knockouts.