Russia Opens the World Cup with a Scoring Clinic

FIFA president Gianni Infantino greeted Vladimir Putin on stage

Russian Federation kicked off their World Cup in style on Thursday, thumping Saudi Arabia 5-0 in front of an ecstatic crowd in Moscow after President Vladimir Putin officially opened the tournament.

Putin was the surprise guest of honour at FIFA's annual gathering on the eve of the World Cup, and was welcomed on stage by Gianni Infantino, the governing body's president.

Russians celebrated their team's unexpected 5-0 triumph over Saudi Arabia in the World Cup opener into the early hours of yesterday while coach Stanislav Cherchesov and his team are firmly keeping their feet on the ground.

Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation are in Group A, which also includes the national teams of Egypt and Uruguay. For the next month, die-hard and casual fans will want to get as much information about their favorite teams and players, whether or not their country is actually playing (for the record, the United States did not qualify in this edition). He chipped the ball over two Saudi defenders in the 43rd minute and shot over goalkeeper Abdullah Al Muaiouf's right side to make it 2-0.

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. Golovin added the fifth from a superb 94th-minute free kick he curled around the wall and inside the near post.

The pair sang the pop star's worldwide hit "Angels". "Our opponents will be getting stronger by the match".

Japan eyeing Abe-Kim summit with possible Pyongyang visit - paper
Pompeo said he appreciated everything done by China , North Korea's sole major ally, to prepare the ground for Tuesday's summit. Pompeo insisted North Korea was committed to giving up its nuclear arsenal but said it would "be a process, not an easy one".

With some 200,000 visiting fans on hand to follow the 32 teams, Putin has urged Russians to put on a show and get behind the home team - whose poor recent form had made them the tournament's weakest side by Federation Internationale de Football Association world ranking.

Saudi Arabia's next Group A encounter is against Uruguay in Rostov on June 20. Egypt and Uruguay played overnight in Yekaterinburg.

Russian Federation had a penalty appeal turned down in the 35th minute, but Saudi captain Osama Hawsawi got enough on the ball when he challenged Golovin to avoid censure from VAR.

Alan Dzagoev had been at the heart of things but had to go off after pulling a hamstring in the 23rd minute. Spain has the most Real Madrid players on their roster (5).

Saudi coach Juan Antonio Pizzi: "We were not doing what we wanted to do". "The main victory is already won", it said, praising an organizational effort in which a dozen stadiums have been built or rebuilt and a huge security operation rolled out.

Cherchesov didn't object but politely pointed out that "he probably overlooked how much more disciplined, compact and mature we played" compared to previous games.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Implementing agreements by US, North Korean leaders requires patience — UN Sec Gen
Jun 16, 2018 - 14:42
Russian Federation is welcoming the outcome of the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Kim, Moon's spokesman, says Seoul is still trying to figure out the exact meaning and intent of Trump's comments.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Brexit secretary warns rebellious MPs as key vote looms
Jun 15, 2018 - 01:34
As my colleague Simon Usherwood has pointed out , in the low trust environment of Brexit politics, no one trusts anyone anymore. Last night Mrs May delivered a direct warning to backbench Tory MPs that any defeats would encourage Brussels to turn the screw.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top High-Rise Scaling Raccoon Makes It To Roof Of St. Paul Office Tower
Jun 15, 2018 - 01:30
Paul Department of Safety and Inspection spokesperson confirmed traps are on the roof, ready for the raccoon. Minnesota Public Radio, from a building less than a block away, branded the raccoon #mprraccoon .