History of World Cup opening matches with Russia set to tackle Saudi Arabia

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By Godson Ubani Emmanuel.

Let’s go through the hosts and results of the first games played in the FIFA World Cup since the tournament started in 1930, as host Russia are set to tackle Saudi Arabia in the opening game of the 2018 tournament.

Ironically the host and winners of the first ever World Cup Uruguay are in Group A as well alongside present host Russia, Saudi Arabia  and Egypt.

       ** Uruguay 1930:

The first two World Cup matches took place simultaneously, France 4-1 Mexico and the USA 3-0 Belgium.

         ** Italy 1934 :

Austria 3-2 France
Hungary 4-2 Egypt

However it was until 1966 World Cup in England before a single opening match format was adopted.

        *** England 1966 :

England 0:0 Uruguay

         *** Mexico 1970 :

Mexico 0:0 Soviet Union

       ** Germany 1974 :

Brazil 0-0 Yugoslavia

         ** Argentina 1978 :

Germany FR 0:0 Poland

    *** Spain 1982 :

Argentina 0:1 Belgium:

After a 20-year wait, the World Cup finally had something to cheer about on day one. Erwin Vandenbergh’s second-half strike in Barcelona upset an Argentina side containing Diego Maradona.

     *** Mexico 1986 :

Bulgaria 1:1 Italy

Defending champions Italy dominated unheralded Bulgaria in the Azteca Stadium but a late Nasko Sirakov header cancelled out Alessandro Altobelli’s first-half volley.

        ** Italy 1990 :

Italy 1-0 Austria

      ** USA 1994 :

Spain 2-2 South Korea

        ** France 1990 :

Brazil 2-1 Scotland

      ** Korea /Japan 2002 :

France 0-1 Senegal

      ** Germany 2006 :

Germany 4-2 Costa Rica

     ** South Africa 2010 :

South Africa 1-1 Mexico

      ** Brazil 2014 :

Brazil 3-1 Croatia.

So what will be the score line between host Russia and Saudi Arabia?

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