Cheryshev stars as Russian Federation rout Saudi Arabia in opener

Russia to win first World Cup match, says clairvoyant cat

Cheryshev scored a stunning goal with the outside of his left foot in time added on and Golovin sealed the rout with a goal direct from a free-kick.

The opening goal came soon after, as Saudi Arabia failed to clear a corner and a curling cross in from the left by Golovin picked out an unmarked Gazinsky to head low into the far corner. He walked free on Thursday, the day the Russian national football team kicks off the month-long tournament against Saudi Arabia in Moscow.

It was Russia's first World Cup win since 2002 and ended a seven-game winless run overall.

The other Group A teams Uruguay and Egypt meet Friday in Yekaterinburg.

A few hours ago, I went down to the stadium, which can hold over 80-thousand spectators, ... and ticket holders for the opening match were crowding in already for the World Cup's opening ceremony. The CSKA Moscow playmaker was fantastic through, laying on two assists with pinpoint crosses either side of half time.

Casualty ward Alan Dzagoev has been Russia's most exciting creative force of the past decade, having become its youngest ever outfield player in 2008.

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Half an hour in the closing half both teams made replacements with Saudi Arabia switching Abdullah Otayf for Fahad Almuwallad and Russian Federation replaced Alexander Samedov with Daler Kuziaev.

They inexplicably sacked Bert van Marwijk despite a successful campaign and then his successor Edgardo Bauza before the World Cup draw in November.

Russian Federation selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.

South Africa's opening ceremony focused on Africa's role as the cradle of humankind, but Russia's opening ceremony mostly contained references to soccer.

It's hard to imagine Russian Federation beating the vastly superior Uruguayans, but if they can get a draw with Egypt, whose best player, Mo Salah, is fresh off a serious shoulder injury suffered in the Champions League final, they could scramble through to the next round.

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

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