Saudi Arabia coach Juan Antonio Pizzi wants to forget 'feeling of shame' after Russia defeat
Last Updated: 14/06/18 8:38pm
Saudi Arabia coach Juan Antonio Pizzi described a "feeling of shame" after his side suffered a 5-0 hammering at the hands of hosts Russia.
No host team has lost a World Cup opening match and Russia kept up that tradition with goals from Yury Gazinsky (12), Denis Cheryshev (43, 90+1), Artem Dzyuba (71) and Aleksandr Golovin (90+3).
"The opposing team really didn't have to make a huge effort to win this game," said Pizzi.
"We have now to forget this feeling of shame and start thinking about the next match."
Yet given Saudi Arabia's high turnover of coaches, including a previous mid-World Cup sacking, the Argentina-born Pizzi could well be on his way before he gets a chance to try and rectify the situation.
He conceded questions about his future following the heavy defeat were justified.
"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. I trust in our plans and I trust in my players and I trust we'll have a better performance in our next game," he said.
Pizzi was appointed to the job after Saudi Arabia qualified last year for the finals. They sacked Bert van Marwijk despite a successful campaign and then his successor Edgardo Bauza before the World Cup draw in November.
Pizzi has been in charge for the last seven months and insisted the Saudis had shown much improvement since.
World Cup hosts make light of pressure
Adam Bate reports as Russia made light of the pressure to see off Saudi Arabia.
"This game should not be a point of reference. We didn't play the way we planned to. It is left to us to be positive and start thinking about the next match," he said.
Saudi Arabia's next Group A encounter is against Uruguay in Rostov on June 20.
"I believe that we came into this tournament well prepared and the players were ready to show that they could play at the World Cup. We did not show today what we have done in our previous games," Pizzi said.