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FIFA World Cup starts with colourful ceremony

15 June 2018
FIFA World Cup starts with colourful ceremony

With President Vladimir Putin watching, Cheryshev chipped the ball over two Saudi defenders in the 43rd minute and shot over goalkeeper Abdullah Al Muaiouf's right side.

Russia's national team defeated Saudi Arabia 5-0 during the World Cup opener in Moscow.

Russian Federation looked lively from the start as they poured into the vast spaces on both flanks and it was no surprise when they opened the scoring after 12 minutes as Gazinsky was totally unmarked to nod home Golovin's deep left-wing cross.

Denis Cheryshev, who came on as a substitute in the 24th minute, scored two great goals, including an absolutely handsome curling effort in stoppage time at the end of the second that is likely to be one of the goals of the tournament.

The best player on the pitch, though, was central playmaker Aleksandr Golovin, who was rewarded for his offensive sparkle with a wonderful goal from a free kick just before the final whistle to cap off the scoring.

Thirty-two national teams are participating in the World Cup football championships in Russian Federation.

The teams continued testing each other in the second half, although Russian Federation was still dominant in ball possession, just like in the previous 45-minuter.

The Green Falcons mustered a rally in the second half, but Russian Federation again looked the more penetrating team, with Golovin reprising his cross for another calm headed finish from substitute Artyom Dzyuba to safeguard the win, to the instant relief of embattled coach Stanislav Cherchesov.

But there was a major blow for the hosts mid-way through the half as star playmaker Dzagoev limped off with a hamstring injury, to be replaced by Cheryshev.

Still, Russia easily won the match 5-0.

However, far from his usual role as aggressor on the field, Ramos had to act as peacemaker on Thursday as Spain tried to move on from a dramatic few days that have rocked their World Cup preparations.

After Russia scored the first goal of the tournament, cameras captured President Vladimir Putin shrugging and shaking hands with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Russia, placed in Group A, is playing its next Group stage match against Egypt on June 19 in St. Petersburg, while Saudi Arabia is facing Uruguay on June 20 in the city of Rostov-on-Don.

It also helps if you are facing a team who have now lost eight and drawn two of their last 10 World Cup matches, whose defending fell painfully short of World Cup standard and whose attack was non-existent.