ITV's fancy World Cup studio is going down a storm with viewers

ITV's fancy World Cup studio is going down a storm with viewers

The 2018 FIFA World Cup officially kicked off on Thursday with host nation Russian Federation beating Saudi Arabia five goals to none.

After a lavish opening ceremony and with President Vladimir Putin watching on, Yuri Gazinsky put Russian Federation ahead with a header off Alexander Golovin's cross in the 12th minute.

Substitute Denis Cheryshev scored two brilliant goals after Yury Gazinsky had headed the World Cup's first after 12 minutes.

This time, the ceremony will focus on musical acts and will take place much closer to kick-off, ... just half an hour before the start of the opening match between Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia.

The 2018 World Cup isn't the first go-around for Achilles, who correctly predicted the outcomes of three out of four Confederations Cup matches played in St. Petersburg previous year, including the opening and final matches, Tass reports.

Their striker Mohammed Alsahlawi has 28 goals in 40 caps - albeit eight in two matches against East Timor - and trained with Manchester United this season. 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 departure from what has become the norm for opening ceremonies, this year's inauguration was shorter and less flamboyant than what many would have expected, lasting some 30 minutes and featuring British pop star Robbie Williams as the celebration's highlight. The United States will play the biggest role in the bid, with 10 of the 16 host cities being in America.

Aside from wing-back Yasser Al Shahrani, who impressed down the left flank, Saudi Arabia offered little and did not even threaten a shot on target.

Russia's players were significantly taller and heavier than the Saudis, a help when challenging for the ball and when the penalty area was crowded.

Coach Juan Antonio Pizzi does not speak any Arabic but it will not take long for them to become aware of his Spanish description of their performance as shameful.

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