FIFA World Cup 2018 begins from Thursday with the hosts Russia facing Saudi Arabia. Both the countries are the lowest ranked team in the World Cup as per the latest FIFA rankings with the hosts lying at the 70th position and Saudi Arabia sitting at the 67th position.
Ahead of the first match at the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, the fans will witness an extravagent opening ceremony, which is set to feature top music stars along with legendary footballing personalities.
The hosts will be hungry to kick off the World Cup in style, especially in front of their home supporters.
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# Denis Cherychev bags the MAN OF THE MATCH!
# FULL TIME: Russia 5-0 Saudi Arabia (Gazinskiy, Cherychev X2, Dzyuba, Golovin)
# 93" GOAL! Flood gates are open now! Golovin scores a beauty of a free kick! He is without a doubt the star of the match! Peach of a free kick! Russia 5-0 Saudia Arabia
# 92" GOAL! Cherychev with an absolute banger! What a goal! Hits it sweetly with his outside of the left foot in top corner! Russia 4-0 Saudi Arabia
# 90" 3 minutes of added time!
# 87" Russia is now happily sitting back, while Saudi Arabia is trying to get a consolation.
# CORNERS: Russia 5-2 Saudi Arabia.
# 84" Kuzyayev with a wayward shot! Few minutes left now..
# 80" Sloppy play by both the sides, Ignashevich manages a good block!
# Artem Dzyuba scored just 89 seconds after coming off the bench, the quickest sub goal at a World Cup tournament since Marcin Zewlakow for Poland vs USA in 2002 (64 seconds)
# 76" Free kick for Russia, Zhirkov over it, headed wide.
# Golovin assisted Dzyuba's goal, he bags his second assist of the night, having assisted Gazinskiy's opener!
# 72" GOAL! Artem Dzyuba scores with his first touch! What an impact, the veteran has scored for Russia once again in his career! Russia 3-0 Saudi Arabia.
# 69" Good passing and a bit of tricks by the Russians just outside the box!
# 63" Couple of substitution by both the sides! Russians look comfortable till now!
# 63" SUBSTITUTION: Samedov OUT, Kuzyayev IN (RUSSIA) | Otayf OUT, Muwallad IN (Saudi Arabia)
# 61" Saudi Arabian players again trying to knit some passes, but Golovin again manages to take the ball away! What a game he is having.
# 57" Free kick to Saudi Arabia, Good ball in by Taiseer but headed away wide!
# 56" What a cross by Al Burayk, a touch would have handed a goal to Saudi Arabia!
# 55" Saudi Arabia trying to knit some passes here!
# 52" Smolov and Golovin alongwith Cherychev and Zhirkov are running the show here for Russia!
# 51" Golovin with some delightful touches but Samedov shoots it high and wide!
# 50" Yuri Zhirkov swings the ball in but Omar heads it away!
# 49" Smolov's first touch was amazing but the Saudi Arabian defense dealt with it comfortably! Corner to Russia!
# 47" Cheeky foul on Otayf
# Fact: With that goal, Cheryshev becomes the first substitute to score in an Opening Match of the FIFA World Cup
# We are off again! Second half starts!
# Players are back on the pitch and both set of players are looking determined! Russia have a comfortable lead but can't afford to be complacent!
# HALF TIME! Russia 2-0 Saudi Arabia (Gazinskiy 11", Cherychev 44")
# 2 minutes of added time!
And @Cheryshev makes it 2-0!June 14, 2018
# 44" GOAL! Denis Cherychev scores! Great control by the former Real Madrid man to find the space! Russia 2-0 Saudi Arabia
# 41" Cherychev showing some silky feet there!
# 39" Brilliant turn by Golovin outside the box, but his pass was utterly disappointing!
# 35" A penalty call by Golovin, but referee denies it!
# 34" Al Sahlawi tries to find an Arabian player in the box but was cut away!
# 31" A decent ball in the box but Yasser heads it way wide.
# 30" Half an hour mark and its mainly been Russia's game till now.
# 28" Zhirkov is showing his experience there, slides past a pass but Smolov was just off!
# 27" Sloppy piece of play by Smolov, but gets a throw in.
# 26" Cherychev is straight into the action as he bombs down the left flank.
# 24" SUBSTITUTION: Dzagoev OUT, Cherychev IN!
# Denis Cherychev is spotted warming up.
# Dzagoev is down and is clutching his hamstring! This could be a big blow for Russia as he is one of the important player of the team!
# 20" CLOSE! Al Sahlawi just manages to find a touch, but the ball is whisker away from the goal post!
# 19" Osama and Omar are playing short passes trying to find a midfielder!
# 17'' Brilliant pressing by the Russians in the middle of the pitch to get back the ball! Saudi Arabian players are gasping for breath!
The first pass of the 2018 FIFA #WorldCupJune 14, 2018
# 14" Russians are looking dangerous and are trying to create small triangles outside the box! Samedov has been sensational so far!
# 11'' GOAL!! Gazinskiy scores the first goal of the FIFA WORLD CUP 2018 for Russia! RUSSIA 1-0 Saudi Arabia
# 9" Golovin is looking extremely dangerous for Russia, his tricky feet giving problems to Al Burayk!
# 7" Samedov was free inside the Saudi Arabia box but his poor first touch lead to a bad cross in the end.
# 6" Saudi Arabia slowly getting into the game
# 3" Russian midfield is trying to find Dzagoev and Samedov, both of them have looked lively in the opening minutes.
# 2" First corner of FIFA World Cup 2018!
# 1'' Dangerous attack by Russia, but the Saudi Arabia defense deals with the pressure!
# KICK OFF!
# National Anthems of Saudi Arabia and Russia are played, with the players and the crowd honouring it!
# FIFA President Gianni Infantino welcomes the crowd for the FIFA World Cup 2018. "Welcome to Russia"
# Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the crowd at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow and the whole world watching on their TV sets!
# Moscow has a great footballing manager in the crowd! Carlo Ancelotti is in the house.
It’s all about to start! Ready for the inaugural ceremony for this great fútbol event.June 14, 2018
# Players are walking in for the opening match! We are about to witness history.
# Robbie Williams is stealing the ceremony light here with his chartbuster 'Angels'.
# Robbie Williams with his famous song "Let me entertain you", stuns the crowd as Brazilian legend Ronaldo walks out with the mascot. The atmosphere is stunning!
# The Opening Ceremony of the FIFA World Cup 2018 is underway!
Not long to go, now!June 14, 2018
#RUS are ready to go, now it is your turn!June 14, 2018
# Russia starting XI vs. Saudi Arabia: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Gazinskiy, Zobnin, Samedov, Golovin, Dzagoev, Smolov
# Saudi Arabia starting XI vs. Russia: Al-Maiouf; Alburayk, Os.Hawsawi, Om.Hawsawi, Al-Shahrani; Otayf, Al-Dawsari, Al-Faraj, Al-Jassam; Al-Shehri, Al-Sahlawi.
# The Adidas Telstar 18 is the official match ball for Russia 2018!
# The opening ceremony will be kicked off in Russia by 500 dancers, gymnasts and trampolinists!
# The opening ceremony is about to start and the kick off is scheduled at 8:30 pm. The crowd is slowly making their way into the stadium, but for now they are mostly volunteers and security officials. Excitement level is high!
# Potential Russia XI: Akinfeev(GK), Zhirkov, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Fernandes; Golovin, Anton Miranchuk, Zobnin, Samedov; Dzagoev, Smolov
# Potential Saudi Arabia XI: Al-Muaiouf (GK), Al-Burayk, Al-Boleahi, Hawsawi, Al-Harbi, Al-Faraj, Ali-Khaibari, Kanno, Al-Jassim, Al-Shehri, Al-Sahlawi
Welcome to News Nation live coverage of the FIFA World Cup 2018! In the opening fixture, hosts Russia will lock horns with Saudi Arabia.