Putin congratulates Russian Federation coach after emphatic win

Yolanda Curtis
June 15, 2018

Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium erupted as Russian Federation opened their scoreline after 12 minutes of the game with Yury Gazinsky scoring the first goal of the tournament.

Two-goal hero Denis Cheryshev celebrates victory with teammates after Russia's 5-0 rout of Saudi Arabia.

In addition to installing toilet bowls and painting the prison bars, Navalny said cell blocks have been fitted with LCD screens for prisoners to watch World Cup matches.

Russian President Vladimir Putin officially welcome the crowd inside the Luzhniki Stadium to the tournament.

Russian Federation has left no stone unturned preparing for its most important event since the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics, spending more than $13 billion (11 billion euros) on infrastructure in the 11 host cities.British pop star Robbie Williams performed at the opening ceremony at the Luzhniki.

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The hosts did better in the 43rd on another fast move, with the ball eventually falling to Cheryshev who rounded two defenders and smashed into the net at the near left post.

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.

After Cheryshev's first goal, Artyom Dzyuba made an instant impact off the bench to make it 3-0 in the 71st with a header from Golovin's cross.

But the confidence that this win will generate can ensure that Russian Federation will go into next Tuesday's clash with Egypt in Saint Petersburg believing they can secure the victory that will confirm a place in the second round.

Russia's Aleksandr Samedov and Saudi Arabia's Salem Al-Dawsari in action at the FIFA World Cup at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Thursday. Egypt and Uruguay play on Friday (Saturday NZT) in Yekaterinburg.

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Saudi Arabia's next Group A encounter is against Uruguay in Rostov on June 20.

But if you want to track the tournament through the groups all the way to the final on July 15 you can download Express Sport's World Cup wall chart.

Pizzi was appointed to the job after Saudi Arabia qualified past year for the finals.

Russian Federation coach Stanislav Cherchesov insisted that Thursday's opening festivities would wake the country up: "Half of Russian Federation will only realise that the World Cup is happening when the whistle blows for kick-off".

Saudi Arabia had 60 percent of possession and played almost twice as many passes as their hosts, but were still blown away on opening day.

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