Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. Photo: AP
Moscow, June 14 (AP/UNB) — The opening match of the World Cup has kicked off in Russia.
The host country was facing Saudi Arabia in the Group A match at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
The other two teams in Group A, Egypt and Uruguay, will play on Friday, along with the four teams in Group B — Portugal, Spain, Morocco and Iran.
As Russia and Saudi Arabia prepared to meet in the opening match of the World Cup, President Vladimir Putin has told Saudi Arabia's crown prince that he has to cheer for the home team.
"You know that we have very warm feelings for you, but I think you will understand that I cannot wish success to your team," Putin told Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud at a Thursday meeting.
The Saudi took the comment in stride, saying "No matter the outcome of today's match, we will still be satisfied because we achieve success in different spheres due to our joint work."
Saudi Arabia: Abdullah Al Muaiouf, Osama Hawsawi, Omar Hawsawi, Mohammed Alburayk, Salman Al Faraj, Yahia Al-Shehri, Mohammed Al-Sahlawi, Yasir Al-Shahrani, Abdullah Otayf, Taiseer Al-Jassim, Salem Al Dawsari.
Igor Akinfeev, Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kutepov, Sergei Ignashevich, Yuri Gazinsky, Alan Dzagoev, Fyodor Smolov, Roman Zobnin, Alexander Golovin, Yuri Zhirkov, Alexander Samedov.