Saudi Arabia display was ‘shameful’

Juan Antonio Pizzi labelled Saudi Arabia’s performance in the World Cup opener as “shameful” after they were thrashed 5-0 by hosts Russia.

The Green Falcons’ hopes of reaching the knockout stages already appear to be hanging by a thread after a dreadful performance in the first game of the tournament saw Russia record a first win since October.

Saudi have group games to come against Egypt and Uruguay and boss Pizzi stressed the need to put the Russia defeat behind them.

“Results like this don’t happen very often in World Cups and we need to recover from this shameful situation,” he said.

“I trust my efforts, I trust my players and I fully trust that we’ll have a better performance in the next game. I don’t think they did anything to surprise us. They won without doing much – a poor performance explains this result.

“As for our strategy, we must change. We have to forget about it now and think of the next match. I have confidence in these players.”