Russia impress as World Cup kicks off - 8 months ago, 14 June 19:18
Russia kicked off their World Cup in style on Thursday, scoring early against Saudi Arabia in front of an ecstatic crowd in Moscow after President Vladimir Putin officially declared the tournament open.
After a performance from British pop star Robbie Williams, Putin told the 80,000 crowd at the Luzhniki Stadium: “I congratulate all of you at the start of the most important championship in the world.”
“Love for football unites the entire world in one team, regardless of people’s language or ideology,” Putin said to thunderous cheers from the capacity crowd.
Then, to the delight of the home fans, Iury Gazinsky headed Russia in front in the 12th minute after a cross from Aleksandr Golovin. Substitute Denis Cheryshev rifled home a second goal shortly before half-time.
Russia, ranked a lowly 70th in the world – three places below Saudi Arabia – know victory in their first match is vital, with tougher games against Egypt and ...
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