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Football | 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™

Fulltime: Russia 5, Saudi Arabia 0

Russia scored two injury-time goals as they romped to a 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia in Fifa World Cup 2018's opening match against Saudi Arabia at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on Thursday.

WATCH LIVE . . . SuperSport 3 on DStv Now - build-up starts at 3pm. Opening ceremony from 4:30pm, kick off at 5pm.

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Hosts Russia picked stylish striker Fyodor Smolov to lead their attack as they seek to get the World Cup off to a celebratory start with victory in Thursday's opening game against Saudi Arabia at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.

The 28-year-old is considered key to Russia's chances of advancing past the group stage, but he has not scored for his country since the 3-1 loss to France in March.

Sergei Ignashevich, Russia's 38-year-old defender who recently came out of retirement, also starts as the hosts look to snap a run of seven matches without success, stretching back to last October.

Saudi Arabia kept faith with the majority of the team that lost by a single goal to Germany in their final warmup in Leverkusen, making three changes to last Friday's starting line-up.

Playmaker Yahya Al-Shehri is expected to be key to Saudi Arabia's hopes of being able to dictate the pace of the game.



Igor Akinfeev (capt), Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kupetov, Sergey Ignashevich, Iury Gazinsky, Alan Dzagoev, Roman Zobnin, Aleksandr Golovin, Yury Zhirkov, Alexander Samedov, Fedor Smolov

Coach: Stanislav Cherchesov (RUS)

Saudi Arabia

Abdullah Al-Muaiouf, Osama Hawsawi (capt), Omar Hawsawi, Mohammed Al-Burayk, Yasser Al-Shahrani, Salman Al-Faraj, Yahia Al-Shehri, Abdullah Otayf, Taiseer Al-Jassam, Salem Al-Dawsari, Mohammed Al-Sahlawi

Coach: Juan Antonio Pizzi (ESP)

Referee: Nestor Pitana (ARG)


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