FIFA World Cup 2018: Dream start for hosts Russia; Portugal-Spain high-voltage clash at Sochi tonight


The 2018 FIFA World Cup got off to a brilliant start with hosts Russia inflicting one of Saudi Arabia’s worst defeats, thrashing the Asian giants 5-0 at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow Thursday night in the inaugural Group A tie.

Iury Gazinsky scored the first goal of Russia 2018 to give the hosts the lead in the 12th minute. Substitute Denis Cheryshev, who replaced the injured Alan Dzagoev, doubled the lead before the half-time break.

Artem Dzyuba made it 3-0 for the hosts in the 71st minute, moments after coming in as a substitute while Cheryshev scored his second (91st minute) of the match in injury time. Aleksandr Golovin’s free kick in the dying minutes sealed victory for the hosts who dominated the match despite being ranked three notches below Saudi Arabia in the FIFA rankings.

Meanwhile, three matches will be played today: the first tie of the day will be played between Egypt and Uruguay at the Ekaterinburg Arena, Ekaterinburg. The match will begin at 5:30pm IST. Morocco will face Iran in the second clash at the Saint Petersburg Stadium, St. Petersburg (8:30pm IST).

On the other hand, European champions Portugal will take on 2010 World Cup winners Spain at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi. The match will begin at 11:30pm IST.