MOSCOW — Host Russia secured the biggest World Cup opening match win since 1934, as it raced to a 5-0 victory over Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Thursday, with rising star Aleksandr Golovin at the heart of the home team’s best moves.
With the eyes of the world on the Luzhniki Stadium, the largest nation on Earth kicked off the biggest tournament with a faded British pop star giving way to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who plans to use the World Cup as a month-long pulpit to address outsiders’ perception of Russia.
Thousands of Russian and foreign fans had turned out to watch the World Cup opener in a Moscow fan zone. A crowd of some 10,000 people, including many families with young children, crowded onto the hill above the stadium with giant screens set up to watch the game.
Russia’s Iury Gazinsky scored after 12 minutes and Cheryshev, who himself suffered an injury-plagued season, added a second goal before the break after coming on as an injury replacement for Alan Dzagoev.
Flag-waving supporters from all over the world let out huge cheers and chanted ‘Russia!’ as the host team scored twice in the first half at the city’s Luzhniki Stadium.
Russia again in the second half looked the more penetrating team, with Golovin reprising his cross for another calm headed finish from substitute Artyom Dzyuba to safeguard the win, to the instant relief of embattled coach Stanislav Cherchesov.
As Saudi Arabia lost all semblance of organization, Cheryshev turned a win into a thrashing with a stunning outside-of-the-foot shot in the dying moments, and Golovin once again stole the headlines with a trademark free kick with the last touch of the game.
Martyrs Memorial ‘A’ Division League Football: Army beats Brigade Boys
KATHMANDU- The departmental team, Nepal Army, beat the Brigade Boys Club in the first match of the seventh round games played today under the Martyrs Memorial ‘A’ Division League Football Championship.
The match was held at the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) complex in Lalitpur.
Army edged Brigade Boys, one goal to nil. Tanka Basnet became the star player for the Army as the lone goal he converted Santosh Budhathoki’s pass ball into a goal through a header in the 67th minute which sealed the fate of the match.
Army’s Tek Bahadur Budhathoki was declared the Man of the Match. The Army is in the fourth position in the points table. It has 17 points from seven games. Brigade Boys is in the 11th place with four points from seven games.Follow @gorkhapost