Russia World Cup ready to kick off with grand opening ceremony

Achilles the cat lies on a table after attempting to predict the result of the opening match of the FIFA World Cup 2018

The FIFA 2018 World Cup has kicked off in Moscow, after an opening ceremony which saw Russian President Vladimir Putin and FIFA chief Gianni Infantino welcome fans to Russia and promise "football will conquer the world." .

But don't forget you too can get involved in predicting the scorelines, along with a whole host of other things such as the Golden Boot victor and which nations will advance from each group. He later chipped the ball in for Russia's fourth goal in stoppage time.

The World Cup is due to feature 48 teams and will take place across three countries for the first time.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off Thursday in Russian Federation, with a field of 32 teams from around the globe competing in a monthlong tournament that concludes July 15.

But his replacement, former Real Madrid winger Cheryshev, celebrated his recent recall to the national side with Russia's second goal two minutes before half-time.

Yuri Gazinskiy and Cheryshev struck first-half goals to open their worldwide accounts at Luzhniki Stadium, Artem Dzyuba adding a third 89 seconds after his introduction as a second-half replacement, but an injury to star man Alan Dzagoev will cause concern for Russian Federation.

The winning bid, which should feature 60 out of 80 Games in the U.S., will mark the return of football's showpiece event to North American soil for the first time since 1994.

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.

Saudi Arabia were under increasing pressure and Smolov's deflected strike was clawed away by keeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf when play continued after an offside had been missed.

But with the five goals against the Saudis, a draw could be enough against either of its two remaining opponents. The Saudis will face Uruguay on June 20 and then Egypt on June 25.

Alan Dzagoev had been at the heart of things in their midfield promptings but had to go off after pulling a hamstring in the 23rd minute.

Saudi Arabia sent some players to the Spanish league for experience this season but they didn't get much playing time while there.

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