Published: Fri, June 15, 2018
Sports | By Toni Houston

Russian Federation spank Saudi Arabia, Marcus Rashford update

Russian Federation spank Saudi Arabia, Marcus Rashford update

Group B is underway at 3am when Morocco, fresh from missing out on hosting rights to the 2026 tournament and appearing at a World Cup for the first time since 1998, meet Iran, who are looking to progress to the knockout rounds for the first time ever.

With a maximum capacity of 80,000 spectators, the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow was the site of the opening ceremony and will also be the grounds for the final game, scheduled for July 15.

Two men from Chechnya told Reuters in June past year they had been detained by police and subjected to torture and beatings because they were gay, which is considered a crime by some in their deeply conservative Muslim region of Russian Federation.

It was Gazinsky's first goal of his worldwide career.

The Russian leader, greeted by huge cheers ahead of the hosts' opening game against Saudi Arabia, spoke of showing the world a hospitable Russia and of sport overcoming differences.

On the break Zobnin drove forward and his shot was parried clumsily by Al-Mayoof as Saudi Arabia cleared the danger. 1-0 to Russian Federation just 12 minutes in. The CSKA Moscow playmaker was fantastic through, laying on two assists with pinpoint crosses either side of half time.

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After a fine team move, Roman Zobnin slipped the ball to former Real Madrid winger Cheryshev, who evaded a pair of poor challenges in the box before slamming an unstoppable finish into the roof of the net.

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.

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.

- Russia's victory means that the host nation has never lost their opening match in any of the 21 editions of the World Cup (W16 D6 L0).

People from all over the world have gathered around here so they can see Russia's largest stadium announcing the start of the month-long global football festival.

The Green Falcons earned their first World Cup berth since 2006 by going undefeated during AFC World Cup qualifying, but have stumbled through pre-tournament friendly action, going 3-1-5 including losses in their past three games to Italy, Peru, and Germany. Substitute Denis Cheryshev scored twice, followed by solitary efforts from Yury Gazinsky, Artem Dzyuba and finally Aleksandr Golovin. In recent memory, we have been pretty lucky with opening games of World Cups.

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