A three goal blitz in the space of 15 minutes early in the second half put the Russians firmly in command before Egypt’s Mohamed Salah, who had a subdued game on his return from injury, struck from a penalty, awarded after a video review.
England captain Harry Kane declared his arrival on football’s biggest stage when he scored twice, including a stoppage-time winner, in a dramatic 2-1 victory over Tunisia as his team launched their World Cup campaign on Monday.
The youngest player at the World Cup, Daniel Arzani, grew up playing street football in Iran but lined up in the gold shirt of Australia to belt out the national anthem before the Socceroos’ opener against France.
Japan’s soccer team, on the eve of their opening World Cup match in Russia, sent their condolences to those affected by Monday’s earthquake in Osaka, and coach Akira Nishino said some players were worried about family in the area.
Despite their elation at beating Egypt 1-0 with a late winner to break a 48-year curse of failing to win a World Cup finals opener, Uruguay have been straight back to training and detailed tactical work at their camp outside Nizhny Novgorod.
Russia launched the World Cup party in spectacular style when they thrashed a feeble Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the tournament’s opening match on Thursday to give the host nation the lift they desperately needed after a nine-month winless run.
Russia welcomed the world to the soccer World Cup on Thursday as fans streamed in, the hosts savoured a 5-0 victory on the pitch and President Vladimir Putin’s government derided Western efforts to isolate him.
The 15-minute show produced by Russia’s state Channel One broke from World Cup tradition, focusing on musical acts including a performance of Pyotr Tchaikovsky in front of full stands at the capital’s main Luzhniki stadium.
Despite failing to win in seven matches stretching back to October, 2017, the hosts still have realistic hopes of making it to the second round for the first time in more than 30 years after being drawn in a group also containing Egypt and Uruguay.