Russian Federation 2018: Putin says he can’t wish Saudi Arabia success today

Russia will be one the least-fancied World Cup hosts in history
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Russia's first-ever FIFA World Cup will get underway at 6:00 p.m. local time (15:00 GMT) later on Thursday with the match between the hosts and Saudi Arabia at Moscow's 81,000-seater Luzhniki Stadium. Artem Dzyuba heads in a goal to put the game out of reach. Hosts Russia will take on and Saudi Arabia as the world's biggest sporting festival explodes into life in Moscow.

But they threatened with 20 minutes gone when Yasser Al-Shahrani broke down the left and, from his cross, Mohammad Al-Sahlaawi's header was deflected wide.

Soon afterwards, Russian Federation were forced into a change when midfielder Alan Dzagoev pulled up with what seemed to be a hamstring injury and was replaced by Cheryshev.

Cheryshev was quickly into the action, racing from inside his own half before being dispossessed as he tried to shield the ball while support arrived.

Saudi Arabia were left exposed at the back as defenders failed to deal with arial ball which led to the opening goal and then a quick counter attack by Russian Federation gave the Saudi defense no chance.

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Cheryshev was in a risky position on the left of the area but ran out of space when it seemed the hosts could be about to double their lead. With the goal at his mercy Cheryshev proceeded to blast the ball into the roof of the net from about 12 yards for his first goal for his country.

Will Russia continue their dominance in second half or will Saudi make strong comeback.

But the Saudis were close to pulling a goal back soon afterwards as a unsafe cross zipped through the area with Taisar Al-Jassim unable to get a telling touch.

The win, Russia's first in 2018, gives the host nation a precious three points to temporarily top a group which is only going to get harder for Stanislav Cherchesov's men with fixtures against Egypt and Uruguay still to come. Golovin floats the ball from the right flank as the midfielder rises above the Saudi defense to head the ball into bottom right corner.

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