Denis Cheryshev stars as Russia rout Saudi Arabia in World Cup opener

President Kagame and his Russian counterpart held talks in Moscow

Alexander Agapov, the president of the Russian LGBT Sports Federation, held up the rainbow flag - a symbol of the gay rights movement - during Putin's speech at Luzhniki Stadium before Russia beat Saudi Arabia 5-0 on Thursday.

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.

Russian Federation can now prepare to face Egypt next week full of confidence while Saudi Arabia need to find instant improvement if they are to avoid further embarrassment against Uruguay.

A full slate of World Cup action gets underway on Friday, with Spain taking on Portugal as +105 chalk in a crucial Group B clash.

Gazinsky put home a header, and the Saudi Arabian goalie simply couldn't get to it despite a good effort.

Putin watched the game with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, stretching across FIFA President Gianni Infantino to offer a consoling handshake to his Saudi guest as Yury Gazinsky put Russian Federation a goal up after 12 minutes.

Putin said he hoped fans, players and officials enjoy their stay in Russian Federation during the World Cup, reports Xinhua news agency. "We saw that we are on the right track but we should forget this game and concentrate on the next one", Cherchesov said after ending a seven-game winless run in emphatic style.

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Both sides tried to assert their dominance in the opening exchanges by holding onto the ball and dictating the tempo of the game.

Artistic performances from United Kingdom singer Robbie Williams and Russian operatic soprano Aida Garifullina were the highlights of the opening ceremony.

Creative fulcrum Alan Dzagoev, who has often suffered misfortune around big tournaments, had to go off after just 20 minutes with a suspected hamstring injury, to be replaced by Villareal's Denis Cheryshev.

But if you want to track the tournament through the groups all the way to the final on July 15 you can download Express Sport's World Cup wall chart.

Saudi Arabia's route to the knockout round is much more hard.

The first round of Group A games concludes with a battle between Liverpool stars past and present, Luis Suarez and Mohamed Salah, the latter of whom looks set to take part in the Pharaohs' opener after his inopportune waltz with Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final three weeks ago.

Tatchell, famed for his pro-LGBT protests across the world, has been charged with breaking the law prohibiting protests during the World Cup.

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