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Russia’s winger Zhirkov: ‘We must preserve gained momentum’ at 2018 FIFA World Cup

June 15, 2:15 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia defeated Saudi Arabia 5:0 in the opening match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup

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Russia's Yuri Zhirkov in the 2018 FIFA World Cup opening match against Saudi Arabia at Luzhniki Stadium

Russia's Yuri Zhirkov in the 2018 FIFA World Cup opening match against Saudi Arabia at Luzhniki Stadium

© Sergei Bobylev/TASS

MOSCOW, June 15. /TASS/. Footballers of the Russian national team should maintain the winning spirit following their 5-0 confident win over the team from Saudi Arabia in the opening match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Moscow, Russia’s scoring defender Yury Zhirkov said.

The match at the legendary Luzhniki Stadium in the Russian capital has a seating capacity of 80,000 and the attendance at the opening world football championship’s match on June 14 was reported at over 78,000 spectators.

"We showed a good game, scored many goals and we need to keep up our play in the same spirit," Zhirkov told journalists after the match. "They (the Saudi Arabian team) also played well, had a good possession of the ball and created several dangerous moments at our goal line."

"We will be studying all mistakes we made during the match," he said. "After the match, (Head Coach Stanislav) Cherchesov praised our play and told us to carry on."

The goals in the match were scored in the first half by Yury Gazinsky and Denis Cheryshev. In the second half of the match the goals were scored by Artyom Dzyuba, Denis Cheryshev and Alexander Golovin.

Russia, placed in Group A, is playing its next Group stage match against Egypt on June 19 in St. Petersburg, while Saudi Arabia is facing Uruguay on June 20 in the city of Rostov-on-Don.

Russia selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.

The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.

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