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Russian sports minister praises national team’s victory in World Cup opener

June 15, 4:53 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia opened on Thursday night at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, where hosts Russia defeated 5-0 their Group A rivals Saudi Arabia

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MOSCOW, June 15. /TASS/. Russia’s sports minister, Pavel Kolobkov, has thanked the national football team for making Thursday’s 2018 FIFA World Cup opener a "holiday for everyone."

The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia opened on Thursday night at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, where hosts Russia defeated 5-0 their Group A rivals Saudi Arabia.

"Today. we saw the Team Russia that we have always wanted to see. My congratulations to players with their outstanding victory in the World Cup opener, I’m sure it will inspire them to new sporting achievements," the minister told TASS.

"We are looking forward to new brilliant victories," the minister said. "It was important for us to make the first game a holiday for everyone, and this is what the footballers did."

He also wished soonest recovery to Russian midfielder Alan Dzagoev, who suffered a hamstring injury in the game and is unlikely to continue his participation in the World Cup.

During its next group stage game, Russia will face Egypt on June 19 in St. Petersburg.

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