US, Mexico and Canada to host 2026 World Cup finals

Achilles the cat lies on a table after attempting to predict the result of the opening match of the FIFA World Cup 2018

Russian Federation coach Stansilav Cherchesov was spot-on with his substitutions in the opening match of their home World Cup on Thursday as Denis Cheryshev scored a brace and Artem Dzyuba also found the net off the bench in a stunning 5-0 triumph over Saudi Arabia. He later chipped the ball in for Russia's fourth goal in stoppage time.

Yury Gazinsky had headed the World Cup's first goal after 12 minutes, Artem Dzyuba got the third a minute after coming on as a 70th-minute substitute and Aleksandr Golovin completed a memorable day by smashing in free kick with the last action of the game.

Cherchesov's team still has issues to address, with a distinct lack of pace likely to prove a problem against stronger opponents.

"They are caught between a rock and hard place in that case".

"Hosting a FIFA World Cup is an extraordinary honor and privilege", said Steven Reed, President of Canada Soccer and Co-Chair of the United Bid, in a statement.

Russian Federation coach Stanislav Cherchesov insisted that Thursday's opening festivities would wake the country up: "Half of Russian Federation will only realise that the World Cup is happening when the whistle blows for kick-off".

But his replacement, former Real Madrid winger Cheryshev, celebrated his recent recall to the national side with Russia's second goal two minutes before half-time.

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A lack of an attacking threat in recent outings was a primary concern for Russian Federation going into a group campaign in which they will also face Egypt and Uruguay.

Perhaps the hosts aren't quite as bad as has been feared.

2018 러시아 월드컵 드디어 막을 올린다 The wait is finally over for Football fans around the world.

The crown prince will later attend the opening match, which kicks off at 6pm KSA time.

Saudi Arabia sent some players to the Spanish league for experience this season but they didn't get much playing time while there.

Saudi Arabia were continuing to give possession away easily and, from another concession dangerously close to their own area, Golovin fired over.

With their squad all based in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia's lack of exposure to games against the elite is another problem they have to overcome to have any hope of competing at this level in the future.

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