Cheryshev stars as Russian Federation rout Saudi Arabia

Russia & Saudi Arabia to talk oil on World Cup sidelines as teams meet on pitch

Former Super Eagles captain, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, who played at 1994, 1998 and 2002 World Cup, did not hold back in his criticism of the Saudi Arabia team in the wake of their 5-0 loss to hosts Russian Federation in the opening game of the 2018 World Cup.

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

Jose Mourinho has prompted speculation of a summer move for Russia star Aleksandr Golovin after praising the Russian global following his dazzling display in the World Cup opener on Thursday. Saudi Arabia have historically fired coaches on a regular basis and have had five different people at the helm since 2013. "Today showed we are on the right track but we need to forget about this game ... and concentrate on the next step", he told reporters, thinking ahead to Tuesday against Egypt before a showdown with Group A favourites Uruguay in 10 days time.

He conceded questions about his future after the heavy defeat were justified. "You know our warm feelings for you, but I hope you understand that I can not hope for success for your team today and may the best team win", Putin told Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"The way I feel right now makes that a valid point but whatever happens I've got my philosophy and I'll try to do as best I can".

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a boycott on Qatar in June 2017, severing diplomatic and transport ties with Doha. They inexplicably sacked Bert van Marwijk despite a successful campaign and then his successor Edgardo Bauza before the World Cup draw in November. We didn't play as we planned.

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"We haven't been kidding anybody", he said.

'But now we see they have limited capabilities.

Just a week ago, Saudi Arabia lost by a respectable 2-1 scoreline to Germany in their final warm-up game in Leverkusen.

Details of the punishment are yet to be revealed by the Saudi football authorities.

Saudi Arabia, ranked World No 67, will have two more group games to redeem their battered pride.

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