World Cup: Russia wins first match

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Al Jazeera : The 2018 FIFA World Cup officially kicked off on Thursday with host nation Russia beating Saudi Arabia five goals to none.

The first World Cup on Russian soil will be played in 12 stadiums located across 11 cities.

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.

Hosts Russia roared their World Cup intent to the rafters with a 5-0 tournament-opening win over Saudi Arabia to end a nine-month winless run.

Substitute Denis Cheryshev scored twice – the first after a piece of skill that would have graced a Lionel Messi highlights reel – and the second a superb shot in stoppage time on Thursday.

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 a free kick with the last action of the game.

Photos FIFA