Published: Fri, June 15, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

World Cup opening ceremony & Russian Federation vs Sauda Arabia

World Cup opening ceremony & Russian Federation vs Sauda Arabia

Cheryshev hammered in a fourth with the outside of his left in stoppage time and Golovin capped a magnificent performance by bending in a last-gasp free-kick.

Russian Federation have provided injury updates to central-midfielder Alan Dzagoev who was forced off the pitch in their opening match of the World Cup against Saudi Arabia.

Russian Federation looked more purposeful 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 left unmarked to nod home Golovin's deep left-wing cross.

Twelve minutes into the match, the Saudi back line got caught out of place after a corner kick, leaving a wide-open opportunity for Russia's Yury Gazinsky to score the first goal of the tournament.

Cheryshev and Golovin hit a further two in injury time, the latter from a free kick, to complete the visitors' misery.

It was Russia's first World Cup win since 2002 and ended a seven-game winless run overall - the national team's longest winless streak in 20 years.

Vladimir Putin craves sporting glory, and he got another taste of it in the opening match of the World Cup.

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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, set free after a month behind bars for organizing opposition protests, reports that Moscow's prisons have been refurbished to accommodate rowdy foreign World Cup fans.

The home side continued to dominate the game but were dealt a cruel blow as striker Alan Dzagoev pulled up clutching his hamstring - and had to be replaced by Denis Cheryshev in the 24th minute.

Russian Federation were not done and two terrific injury-time strikes fired a message to Group A rivals Egypt and Uruguay, who meet on Friday.

Salman Al Faraj headed a decent chance over the crossbar as Saudi Arabia sought a reply after the interval.

"There are so many unpredictable things in the World Cup".

Saudi Arabia are led by coach Juan Antonio Pizzi, yet he faces an nearly impossible challenge of piecing together a team ready for World Cup action as most of his players are based in a domestic league that lacks quality.

The preparations of 2010 winners Spain are in tatters after coach Julen Lopetegui was sacked just two days before their opening game on Friday against Portugal.

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