British LGBT rights campaigner released in Moscow following arrest after protest

Esequiel Farfan
Junio 15, 2018

Russian Federation opened their campaign in emphatic fashion, thrashing Saudi Arabia 5-0 in front of 78-thousand enraptured fans at Moscow's Luzhniki Arena.

Russian Federation started on top in Moscow, but the goal came from the first effort on target of the match.

Just 12 minutes into the match, the Saudi backline got caught out of place after a corner kick, leaving a wide open opportunity for Yury Gazinsky to score the opening goal of the tournament.

Juan Antonio Pizzi's men struggled to create a chance of note, failed to record a shot on target and gave away possession on countless occasions, enabling Russian Federation to record their first World Cup win since 2002.

Dzagoev's replacement, Cheryshev, certainly stepped into the breach by scoring two goals after replacing the CSKA Moscow midfielder, including a stunner to make it 4-0, but the hosts can not afford to have their resources depleted even further by the loss of one of their best players.

The Russians served up an adrenaline-fuelled performance for an 80,000-capacity Luzhniki crowd which included President Vladimir Putin and the Saudi crown prince.

The 27-year-old is among Russia's top players with nine goals in 58 appearances, but fans will be encouraged by the performance of his replacement, Denis Cheryshev, who scored twice against Saudi Arabia.

"There are no words to express what I'm feeling right now", said Cheryshev, who was recalled to the Russian Federation squad in March after an absence of more than two years.

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

It also helps if you are facing a team who have now lost eight and drawn two of their last 10 World Cup matches, whose defending fell painfully short of World Cup standard and whose attack was non-existent. The Saudis are not good either with their last victory in the tournament coming in the 1994 World Cup.

Veteran British LGBT rights campaigner Peter Tatchell is detained by police officers during a one-man protest to draw attention to what he said were appalling human rights abuses committed against gay men in Chechnya, in central Moscow, Russia June 14, 2018.

Russian Federation lost Dzagoev to a hamstring injury midway through the first half, the CSKA Moscow midfielder clutching his hamstring as he crumpled to the turf.

Saudi Arabia will take the field on Thursday as lengthy +800 underdogs.

Saudi Arabia's manager, Juan Antonio Pizzi will be leading the Saudi Arabia national team in Group A, the former Chile coach failed to make the Copa America champions progress to the world cup 2018 but was later offered the Saudi Arabia coach role.

Women in Saudi Arabia were allowed to attend soccer matches for the first time this year, as the deeply conservative Muslim country takes steps to ease some restrictions on them.

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