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It only took 11 minutes for the first goal of the 2018 FIFA World Cup to be scored during Thursday's opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia. The host nation got on the score sheet on a Yury Gazinsky header. It was Gazinsky's first goal of his international career. Gazinsky put home a header, and the Saudi Arabian goalie simply couldn't get to it despite a good effort.
What a time to get your first international goal!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 14, 2018
Gazinsky scores the first goal of the FIFA #WorldCup to put Russia ahead 1-0. #RUSKSA pic.twitter.com/gKbBctrovp
The goal is exactly the start that Russia needed to get the crowd into it, and Luznhiki Stadium is rocking now. You can't ask for a better way to get the crowd excited in the inaugural match of the Cup.
Even Russian President Vladimir Putin, sitting next to FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud, found himself looking over like "hey, what can you do?"
As Russia looks to make its way out of group play, this is a fantastic start. It'll look to duplicate this success for the rest of the match, and maybe the Russian team can even draw a smile out of its president at some point.