The best photos of the 2018 World Cup

Leroy Wright
June 15, 2018

Peter Tatchell was detained near Red Square on June 14 for holding a one-man protest to draw attention to what he said were human rights abuses committed against gay men in Russia's North Caucasus region of Chechnya.

Russian Federation kicked off their World Cup in style on Thursday, thumping Saudi Arabia 5-0 in front of an ecstatic crowd in Moscow after President Vladimir Putin officially opened the tournament.

Putin and Infantino smiled and shrugged as they sat next to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

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

The final two goals came from the two stars of the show for Russian Federation.

His potential move to Juventus stirred excitement at home this week after years in which Europe's best clubs have lost nearly all interest in Russian talent.

Yuri Gazinskiy and Cheryshev struck first-half goals to open their global 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.

With President Vladimir Putin watching, Cheryshev chipped the ball over two Saudi defenders in the 43rd minute and shot over goalkeeper Abdullah Al Muaiouf's right side. Saudi Arabia take on Uruguay on June 20 in Rostov-on-Don.

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The best player on the pitch, though, was central playmaker Aleksandr Golovin, who was rewarded for his offensive sparkle with a wonderful goal from a free kick just before the final whistle to cap off the scoring.

Pegged as +305 underdogs in Friday's contest, Portugal enters Russian Federation 2018 as the reigning European champions but have failed to post a win over Spain in a major worldwide tournament since Euro 2004.

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.

Russia's midfielder Denis Cheryshev celebrates after scoring their fourth goal during the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup Group A football match between Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on June 14, 2018.

"During the World Cup it is forbidden to hold any action like this against Putin, against all these things", the policeman told him. "I trust in my players and I fully trust that we will have a better performance in the next game".

Pizzi was appointed to the job after Saudi Arabia qualified a year ago for the finals.

He lasted just 24 minutes of the opening game, limping off with a hamstring injury which may have tragically ended his tournament.

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