LIVESTREAMING: Russia 2-0 Saudi Arabia

LIVESTREAMING: Russia 2-0 Saudi Arabia

As hosts Russian Federation opened the tournament with a 5-0 thrashing of Saudi Arabia this morning, the performance of opening act Robbie Williams has dominated the headlines, with the former Take That star dishing out a rude hand gesture to the global audience.

Russian president Vladimir Putin wasted no time in sending his congratulations to the host team after their 5-0 rout of Saudi Arabia.

"Love for football unites the entire world in one team, regardless of people's language or ideology", Putin said to thunderous cheers.

Golovin: "For us, each game is like the last".

There was also criticism from another government figure in the form of Turki bin Abdulmohsen Al-Sheikh, Chairman of the General Sport Authority, who described the game as a "total fiasco" in a video posted on his Twitter page.

"The opposing team really didn't have to make a huge effort to win this game", he said after a one-sided showing that marked a dream start for the home team in front of a capacity crowd.


"I keep hearing so much bad stuff about our team but somehow I knew things would be ok, especially against the Saudis", said Igor Antonov, a 40-year-old school teacher.

"We are very disappointed by the defeat", Ezzat was quoted as saying.

The 2018 World Cup which is the 21st edition will be played in 12 stadiums, across 11 cities, spread over 1,800 miles.

While the mood is dark in the Saudi Arabia camp, it could not be brighter for the hosts. He later chipped the ball in for Russia's fourth goal in stoppage time.

Tom Briskie, a 26-year-old Australian from Brisbane, admitted: "We were a bit anxious before coming here because of all the media reports but it wasn't enough to put us off".

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