Canada to officially host the 2026 FIFA World Cup

Russia's national football team

Russian Federation looked lively from the start as they poured into the vast spaces on both flanks and it was no surprise when they opened the scoring after 12 minutes as Gazinsky was totally unmarked to nod home Golovin's deep left-wing cross.

It was a goal that prompted Russian President Vladimir Putin to turn to the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, seated alongside Federation Internationale de Football Association chief Gianni Infantino, and shake his hand.

Russian Federation made it 3-0 in the 71st minute when Golovin chipped in a cross for giant striker Dzyuba to rise and head in from close range.

Villarreal winger Cheryshev took the ball on inside the box, taking two sliding Saudi Arabia players out of the game with his first touch before getting the ball out of his feet and firing high into the net.

The fact that two of the world's best players, Portuguese centre-forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Argentine playmaker Lionel Messi have not yet won the cup for their respective countries - despite the duo dominating the handsome game virtually unopposed - has captured the minds of spectators from around the world.




It was Russia's first World Cup win since 2002 and ended a seven-game winless run overall - the national team's longest winless streak in 20 years.

Russian Federation even overcame the setback of losing midfielder Alan Dzagoev to a 22nd-minute injury by scoring again through Denis Cheryshev (twice) and Artem Dzyuba to record a convincing victory. Golovin added the fifth from a free kick. After the show, the tournament's trophy will be revealed by Brazil's two-time World Cup champion Ronaldo just before the official kick off of the opening match.

In a World Cup first, the video assistant referee system was available for the match between the tournament's lowest-ranked teams, though it wasn't used.

Hawsawi said a good start to the tournament was vital if the Saudis were to match the feat of the 1994 Falcons, who reached the round of 16 in the United States.

The other Group A teams Uruguay and Egypt meet Friday in Yekaterinburg.

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