(L-R) Saudi Arabia’s forward Mohammed Al-Sahlawi, Russia’s midfielder Aleksandr Golovin and Saudi Arabia’s defender Yasser Al-Shahrani compete for the ball during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group A football match between Russia and Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on June 14, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / FranÁois-Xavier MARIT / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS
Hosts Russia got the World Cup off to a flying start by hammering Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening game in Moscow.
Fears that Russia may become just the second host nation to fail to qualify from the group stages have been quashed for now, but their next opponents Egypt were given a huge boost by the return to fitness of Mohamed Salah ahead of their clash with Uruguay on Friday.
Friday’s standout fixture, though, comes in Sochi where a shell-shocked Spain, still rocking from the sacking of Julen Lopetegui, take on Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal.
Here, AFP Sports looks at three things we learned from day one of the 2018 World Cup.