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Local coaches: 5-0 win a big boost for Russia

Published:Friday | June 15, 2018 | 12:00 AMMarc Stamp/Gleaner Writer

Tivoli Gardens Red Stripe Premier League coach, Omar Edwards, says yesterday's 5-0 win by Russia in the opening match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, is a big boost for the host country.

"This is the ideal start for Russia. To score five goals and not conceding is a major plus. Saudi Arabia, I believe, were technically good in some instances with the ball, but not penetrative," Edwards pointed out.

"Saudi Arabia had more possession, but failed to show anything in their opponents' final third. It is a big result for the host country and this will help to motivate their supporters," he added.

Edwards expects the tournament to get even better when more quality players hit the field.

When you look around at the quality players in the World Cup, countries such as Brazil, Spain, Germany, Portugal, and Argentina, to some extent, will be in contention. I don't believe any 'underdog' team will win the World Cup," he reasoned.


Surprised by Russia's massive win


Former Reggae Boy and coach of the national Under-15 team, Aaron Lawrence, revealed that he was surprised by Russia's massive win but he expected more from the game in terms of quality play.

"I think it was not a bad or good game. Russia scored five goals but for me, I don't think they did enough in the game. Saudi Arabia had more possession but moved the ball from side to side without penetration," Lawrence who is also head coach of Sandals South Coast told The Gleaner yesterday.

Vassel Reynolds, who guided Rusea's to the daCosta Cup title last year described the opening game as 'decent'.

"For me, it was a decent opening game taking into consideration the two teams that played. I was a little bit surprised that Russia won by such a margin. I was also surprised that Saudi Arabia did not perform at a higher level," Reynolds said.

"I am a firm believer that home support is important for a host team. This win will boost the support for the team going forward and they have a good chance of advancing to the knockout round," he reasoned.

Looking ahead, the Reno RSPL team coach says that Brazil are his favourites to win a sixth title.

"I honestly think that the perennial top teams will battle for the World Cup title. I think Brazil and Germany are the top contenders. Just over a month ago, I considered Argentina in the mix, but injuries may have ruined their chances," he shared.