Russia World Cup ready to kick off with grand opening ceremony

Lewis Collier
June 15, 2018

Iury Gazinsky opened the scoring before Man of the Match Cheryshev and Dzyuba also found the net, and Cheryshev and Alexandr Golovin struck in stoppage-time to help Russian Federation end a winless run of seven games and make sure they have a chance to advance into the knock-out stages.

Gazinsky headed into the net in the 12th minute at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, sparking scenes of delight from the home crowd.

In the dying minutes of the match, Cheryshev struck his second before a stunner of a freekick from Aleksandr Golovin 25 yards away from the post to make it 5-0 for Russian Federation. "Our opponents will be getting stronger by the match".

What's next? The other two sides in Group A - Egypt and Uruguay - open their campaigns when they meet at midnight tonight (NZT).

Russian Federation will be motivated by the fact that no host nation has lost an opening game. By halftime, a 2-0 lead raised hopes the hosts may progress beyond the group stage.

Alan Dzagoev had been at the heart of things in their midfield promptings but had to go off after pulling a hamstring in the 23rd minute.

A lack of an attacking threat in recent outings was a primary concern for Russian Federation going into a group campaign in which they will also face Egypt and Uruguay.

Russian Federation rips Saudi Arabia 5-0 in World Cup opener
Cherchesov's team still has issues to address, with a distinct lack of pace likely to prove a problem against stronger opponents. With that in mind, we're bringing you every goal from this year's World Cup below, starting with Russian Federation vs.

"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".

The positives for Russian Federation, however, were the performances of Golovin and the defensive displays of Ilya Kutepov and the veteran centre-half Sergei Ignashevich.

Perhaps the hosts aren't quite as bad as has been feared.

Yet given Saudi Arabia's high turnover of coaches, including a previous mid-World Cup sacking, the Argentine-born Pizzi could well be on his way before he gets a chance to try and rectify the situation. He walked free on Thursday, the day the Russian national football team kicks off the month-long tournament against Saudi Arabia in Moscow.

Saudi Arabia sent some players to the Spanish league for experience this season but they didn't get much playing time while there.

Saudi Arabia recently lifted a ban on women driving, although that has been accompanied by a crackdown on dissent.

Then at Euro 2012, Dzagoev scored three times in as many games, which was good enough to secure him joint-top scorer in the competition, alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Fernando Torres, Mario Balotelli, Mario Gomez and Mario Mandzukic.

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