World Cup opening ceremony & Russian Federation vs Sauda Arabia

Cheryl Sanders
June 15, 2018

Russian Federation has struggled in friendly competition ahead of the tournament, and is the lowest ranked squad participating in the 2018 World Cup, pegged at No. 70 going into Thursday's matchup at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Hosts Russia kicked off the FIFA World Cup 2018 at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow in fashion, taming their Group-A mate and visitors Saudi Arabia 5-0.

Putin and Infantino smiled and shrugged as they sat next to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the VIP box.

Russian Federation dominated in front of a sell-out crowd of 78,011 - and millions more on TV - at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium and also overcame a major blow when forward Alan Dzagoev had to limp off midway through the first half with what appeared to be left hamstring injury.

His potential move to Juventus stirred excitement at home this week after years in which Europe's best clubs have lost nearly all interest in Russian talent.

Substitute Denis Cheryshev scored two brilliant goals after Yury Gazinsky had headed the World Cup's first after 12 minutes.

Cheryshev showed he could be the man to fill Dzagoev's shoes with a fantastic injury-time goal, finding the top corner with a sublime shot with the outside of his left boot, before Golovin bent in a brilliant free-kick to finish the match in style. Egypt and Uruguay play on Friday (Saturday NZT) in Yekaterinburg.

Just a few moments later, Golovin curved a free kick over the Saudi wall and past goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf.

It is only the first game of the tournament, we will have 63 more games to get our teeth into over the course of the next month so it may not be memorable, but it is starting off the World Cup and that is only a good thing.

Using expected goals (xG) data, Infogol's analyst picks out the best goalscorer bet in tonight's World Cup opener between Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia.

Following a lavish opening ceremony featuring British singer Robbie Williams, Putin welcomed visiting fans and promised Russian Federation would be a "hospitable and friendly" host. "I guess the Russians also did not want to be seen as being heavy-handed during the World Cup", he added.

Following his release a short time after his arrest, Mr Tatchell tweeted he had been, "charged with violating Federal Law 54 & Presidential Decree 202, which prohibit all protests near the Kremlin & during World Cup".

Saudi Arabia will take the field on Thursday as lengthy +800 underdogs.

Preceding the opening game is the opening ceremony which will give us insight to Russia's entertainment and culture heritage.

Other reports by iNewsToday