'No one expected this': Russian fans react to 5-0 thumping of Saudis in World Cup opener

 rt.com  6/14/2018 7:17:00 PM  2

Russian fans have reacted with shock after their team thrashed Saudi Arabia 5-0 to earn a comprehensive World Cup opening game win at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

With the eyes of the world watching - and in front of assembled dignitaries including President Vladimir Putin - Russia ran out 5-0 winners thanks to goals from Yury Gazinsky, Artem Dzyuba, Aleksandr Golovin and a double from Denis Cheryshev. 

READ MORE: Russia opens World Cup with historic 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia  

The result made a mockery of the FIFA listings going into the game, with Russia the lowest-ranked team in the tournament at 70, three places below the Saudis.

However, after fairly even opening exchanges Russia proceeded to blow the Saudis away.

READ MORE: Twitter reacts to Russia’s seismic World Cup victory against Saudi Arabia

After the game, Russians reacted with shock and delight at their team's spectacular start to the World Cup.

"I'm in shock, I still can't believe it," said Evgeny, who had traveled to the capital from Smolensk. "No one expected this," he added.

"It's a good start, but we need to deal with Egypt, that's the main game," he added - referring to Russia's next group stage opponents, whom they face in St. Petersburg on Tuesday.    

"Its amazing. I thought the score would be 2-0," said his friend, also Evgeny. "The Saudis aren't that strong, but still. We need to continue in the same spirit."

Nikita, from Moscow, said it was "a crazy game." 

"I don't believe that we won by that score," he added.  

Dmitry, who was with his wife and son, said it was "a wonderful celebration."

Despite doubts that had surrounded Stanislav Cherchesov's team before the game, after they went into the tournament without a win in seven matches, Dmitry said: "We didn't lose faith, it's not true that we didn't believe.

"The main thing is to support the team, and not to worry - and everything worked out."

Understandably there were contrasting emotions among the Saudi fans outside the stadium - although many remained upbeat despite the heavy loss.

Marwan, who had traveled to Moscow for the opening game, said: "It's the first game, Russia is playing at home, it's normal for us.. maybe the next match we will do it. I think we can recover."  

The Saudis' gracious response went down well with Russian supporters such as the two Evgenys from Smolensk.

"Look at the Saudis, they lost, but they are still celebrating here - it's a big sporting celebration."

While Russian fans went home happy, the loudest celebrations after the game arguably came from the large contingent of Mexicans who were in attendance.

They took over the iconic Lenin statue outside Luzhniki, singing and sharing photos with passersby.

That was much in keeping with the atmosphere that has swept Moscow over the past few days, with thousands of fans flooding into the city and a particularly vociferous North, Central and South American contingent.

However, today was the day that the Russians joined the party at their own World Cup. 

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