​Welcome to the 2018 World Cup, dear readers! It's here! I'm Chris Deeley - ​@ThatChris1209 if ya nasty - and you can join the conversation on the hashtag #90minLive


18:15 - SEE YOU TOMORROW

Right, that's that! The World Cup is open, Russia are on fire, and we're very very excited for the weekend ahead. Catch you all tomorrow. 


18:09 - HISTORY MAKERS

Said that this was a big opening win - it's the biggest opening win for hosts at the World Cup since Italy in 1934, when they beat the United States 7-1. Imagine if either of those countries were here this summer...


18:03 - MAN OF THE MATCH

Golovin has done some pretty magical things - couple of assists and that late goal - but in terms of impact...coming on as a sub and scoring twice, including a goal of the tournament contender? Denis Cheryshev had a pretty good afternoon. 


17:55 - FULL TIME

There it is! Russia win their first game of the tournament in spectacular style. Have there been many bigger thumpings to open a tournament than that?


17:54 - GOAL!!!!! RUSSIA 5-0 SAUDI ARABIA

Free kick from arguably the man of the match thus far, Aleksandr Golovin pings it in at the near post from about 20 yards out. Keeper should have done better, but at 4-0 down, why bother?


17:52 - GOAL!!!!!! RUSSIA 4-0 SAUDI ARABIA

Cheryshev again! WHAT. A. FINISH. Caressed with the outside of his left foot into the top right corner, the first half substitute has finished things off nicely here. 


That being said...there was an offside in the buildup. And it wasn't called back on VAR. So...


17:50 - SUPERSUB


17:46 - RUSSIAN STRUGGLES

Russia might be one of the few teams coming into this tournament with fewer international goals in their squad than England. 59 in the Three Lions' young squad, just the 56 for Russia coming into today's game. They're level now, of course - Dzyuba, rather impressively, on 12 from 24. 


17:42 - STATBOMB!

It could've been worse. This could definitely have been worse. And Akinfeev hasn't even had a meltdown yet!


17:37 - 22 GAMES, 0 LOSSES FOR HOSTS

This will be the 22nd time out of 22 that a host nation have avoided defeat in the first game of 'their' World Cup. 16 wins, six draws. 


17:31 - GOAL!!!!!!! RUSSIA 3-0 SAUDI ARABIA

Another goal from a substitute! Artem Dzyuba! A bullet header from the Arsenal Tula man left the goalkeeper with absolutely no chance. Goodnight and goodbye Saudi Arabia, you have been absolutely awful. 

FBL-WC-2018-RUS-KSA


17:30 - A CHANCE

Shambles at the back for Saudi Arabia, spilled shocker from the goalkeeper but a smart recovery. That was exciting for a second there.


17:26 - 25 MINUTES TO GO

My World Cup fever has cooled to World Cup hypothermia. 25 more interminable minutes of this absolute non-second half. Has anyone got some good flash games to play or something?


17:22 - SAUDI PLUGGING AWAY

The 'away' side are plugging away manfully here, but Russia are just shutting this one down - albeit with the help of Saudi Arabia's own inadequacies. 


17:18 - ENGLAND GROUP NEWS


17:15 - YAAAWN

Feeling a bit Robbie Williams about this game now. A classic second half, this is not. 


17:11 - SLOW START

Yeah, it's not been a cracking start to the second half. Minds are wandering. 


17:08 - WORST TAKE OF THE WORLD CUP

Just...really poor, there. 


17:05 - KICKOFF


17:03 - SECOND HALF COMING

The big moment of the first half? Might just have been Dzagoev's injury...


17:00 - CLATTS CLATTS CLATTS

He sounds really weird, doesn't he? Not like I expected at all. 

Chris Deeley


16:50 - GET INVOLVED!

Meanwhile... I'm off for a cup of tea. Fortunately, the office kettle is one of the #ThingsQuickerThanSaudiCounters


16:47 - HALF TIME

Well then, there's that. That's about as perfectly as things could have gone for 'the worst Russian national team in history', 2-0 up through Cheryshev and Gazinsky. Saudi Arabia have looked...very very bad. 


16:44 - GOAL!!!!!!!! RUSSIA 2-0 SAUDI ARABIA

THERE IT IS!! DENIS CHERYSHEV!!


The former Real Madrid man - formerly best known for being the ineligible Copa del Rey player who got Rafa Benitez sacked at the Bernabeu - rescues an absolutely horrible pass into the box to drop two Saudi players on their backsides and finish with power and more power at the near post. 


16:42 - VERY VERY RUSSIAN

This is very much a Russian Russian team (except for the Brazilian defender). 21 of their 23 squad members play their club football in Russia, including their whole starting XI - and Artem Dzyuba of Arsenal Tula, whose clubmate Anri Khagush was in Abkhazia's squad for last week's CONIFA World Football Cup in London. 


16:38 - DOZE

Yeah, after a quick start, this game has very quickly become...well, the game we expected it to be. It's not very good. 


16:36 - OLEG SALENKO REBORN


16:34 - GET INVOLVED

#ThingsQuickerThanSaudiCounters


16:32 - NOPE

The free kick drifted in and the header, somehow, also in orbit. 


16:31 - DANGEROUS FREE KICK

Saudi Arabia having a good five minutes here (relatively). Dangerous free kick coming from the right of the box...


16:29 - BAD FOOTBALL

Yeah, that's a shot in orbit from Salem Al-Dawsari. 


16:26 - HOWSTAT?


16:24 - DZAGOEV DOWN

And that's Alan Dzagoev done for the game. Russia three on three and breaking, and suddenly two on three as the Russian number 9 goes down like he's been shot, holding his hamstring. Looks like he's done, hopefully just for today - shame to end a man's tournament after 25 minutes. 


16:22 - CHANCE

Saudi Arabia just went on the slowest break ever - think Clint Hill, think coastal erosion - and Mohamed Al-Sahlawi went up for a header and won a corner. Nothing from it, but a second coming up...


16:19 - CATCH YOUR BREATH

Okay, let's chill it for a second. Get that social in. Tweet us!



16:16 - CHANCE!

Russia in full flow now! A lightning attack down the right, a monumental offside not spotted (or, at least, not flagged for - remember that assistants have been told not to flag close calls), a goalmouth scramble and, now, a goal kick. 


16:13 - GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1-0 RUSSIA

Yury Gazinsky heads in from a Golovin cross after Saudi Arabia don't clear a corner, and WE ARE ON OUR WAY!


16:13 - AH.

Over everyone's head, Saudi Arabia break and...give away a throw-in by the Russian corner flag. Oh well. 


16:12 - CORNER

Yuri Zhirkov (yep, that one!) wins Russia a corner on the left...


16:10 - CHANCE

SHOT! Russia work some space on the right and ease it into the box, but the shot from [a Russian player whose name I didn't catch] is blocked well. 


16:09 - GET INVOLVED

Remember that hashtag, #90minlive


16:07 - TWITTER

The England lads are good, aren't they?


16:05 - FIRST CHANCE

Russia have an early corner after a nice ball down the left, but it comes to nothing. But who cares! We're underway at a World Cup!

FBL-WC-2018-RUS-KSA


16:02 - NEW CLICHE

This tournament has been called 'the greatest show on Planet Football' by Clive Tyldesley, which is so much not a thing it's unreal.


16:01 - KICKOFF

The 2018 World Cup in Russia is ON. 


15:53 - PUTIN ON A SHOW

Yeah, that lad's talking. While we ignore that, here are some national anthems. The next thing you hear out of me will be the word 'kickoff'. 



15:50 - PLAYERS WALKING

They're coming out of the tunnels now. Saudi Arabia's jackets look like the exact shade of green as a classic Nigeria shirt, so there's that. 


15:46 - SWEEPSTAKE TIME

90min Towers is properly feeling this, as ITV go to the studio and we have to watch Lee Dixon's face. 


I just drew Australia. Back to Lee Dixon. 


15:43 - 90MIN IN RUSSIA

Editor Andy Headspeath is out in Russia with the crew at the moment, and he's made a friend. Well, part of one. 

Andy Headspeath


15:40 - DONE

That was quick, eh?


15:38 - I THINK I LOVE ROBBIE WILLIAMS

This is all for 90min's former German editor Florian Schimak, who absolutely and unironically loved Robbie OH THE ORIGINAL RONALDO IS THERE AND JUST DUMMIED A SHOT AT THE MASCOT


15:35 - OPENING CEREMONY

ROBBIE IS DOING LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU AND FEEL, PEOPLE JUST SPELLED OUT 'FEEL' IN HUMAN BEINGS, THERE'S A WOMAN IN A BIG WHITE DRESS COMING OUT TO DO ANGELS WITH HIM, CANCEL THE BAD FOOTBALL GAME AND GIVE ME 90 MINUTES OF THIS.


15:33 - OPENING CEREMONY

PEOPLE ARE DRESSED AS FOOTBALLS. SOME OF THEM ARE WEARING NAPPIES. ROBBIE WILLIAMS LOOKS SURPRISINGLY PENG. 


15:30 - T-MINUS 30 MINUTES

Have you got any favourite World Cup opener memories from years past? For me, 'A GOAL FOR ALL OF AFRICA' and the Lahm/Frings thunderbolt duo in 2006. But then, I am young. 


Get involved, send in your favourites on #90minLive or to @ThatChris1209!


15:25 - GROUP OF DEATH

Look, we're getting this one out of the way early, okay? This won't happen again. Spain play Portugal tomorrow. Prepare to bask in that. 


15:20 - PREVIEW

What do you need to know about these two football teams? Here it is:


- Russia aren't very good. 

- Saudi Arabia aren't very good.


15:16 - RUSSIA LINEUP

Russia's lineup, in English: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Gazinskiy, Zobnin, Samedov, Golovin, Dzagoev, Smolov.


15:12 - MOOD

BIG BOLSHY MOOD


15:07 - ROBBIE WILLIAMS

Yeah, the opening ceremony's going to be a bit...weird, like. Because it's Robbie Williams - apparently doing two songs with a Russian soprano.

FBL-ENG-CHARITY-UNICEF

 


15:02 - SAUDI LINEUP

That lineup in names: Al-Maiouf; Alburayk, Os.Hawsawi, Om.Hawsawi, Al-Shahrani; Otayf, Al-Dawsari, Al-Faraj, Al-Jassam; Al-Shehri, Al-Sahlawi.


14:58 - RAHEEM STERLING

ITV are running a feature on England's number 10, and...yes, it's five seconds into the intro before the phrase 'angry young man' is used. 


14:55 - TEAM NEWS

I also do not speak Arabic. But this is the Saudi team. 


14:45 - TEAM NEWS

Russia's lineup is out! I have...no idea how that translates into English, but Igor Akinfeev and Aleksandr Golovin are both in there.


14:45 - WELCOME!

Hello everyone, and welcome to the 90min World Cup live blog. I'm Chris Deeley, I'll be taking you through the next few hours of WILD FOOTBALL ACTION as Saudi Arabia take on Russia, shortly after Robbie Williams...tears all of his skin off and sings Rock DJ? Not sure.