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Flag-waving fans party as Russia wins World Cup opener in Moscow

AFP  |  Moscow 

The mood was buoyant and politics was left on the touchline as thousands of Russian and foreign fans crammed into a fan zone to watch today's opener, erupting in cheers as crushed 5-0.

Flag-waving supporters from all over the world chanted "Russia!" as the host team opened their campaign in style in the city's

A crowd of some 10,000 people, including many families with young children, gathered in a fanzone on a hill above the stadium with giant screens set up to watch the game.

Russian fans were less numerous than international ones, but were ecstatic as their team pulled off a triumphant start to the championship.

"We have the best country in the world, I knew we would win. I can't describe how happy and positive I feel right now," said Yelena Krasnykh, a 21-year-old student.

"We're really very glad. We didn't expect this to be honest," said 34-year-old

"Victory is a great feeling," said Pavel, a 42-year-old factory worker.

"Our team is not that bad, it's just things in are unpredictable," he said.

There was a distinct South American flavour to the fan zone and exuberant supporters from Peru, and held competitive chant-offs, whilst cheering for during the game.

As Russia scored the final goal, hundreds of Russian and Peruvian fans danced together and chanted "Go Russia!" "We were a bit worried that Russians would be cold because we South American people are very warm. But everyone has been so friendly," said Gabriela Chang, a 29-year-old Peruvian fan.

"This is the first time we're part of in 36 years and we are so happy," she said with facing on Saturday.

Many supporters were visiting Russia for the first time.

One of the few Saudi nationals there was Mona Mohammad, a 35-year-old who works for an company and was pushing her baby in a pram decorated with Saudi flags.

"I have grown up loving football, my brothers and father love it too," she said. Tom Briskie, a 26-year-old Australian from Brisbane, admitted: "We were a bit worried before coming here because of all the but it wasn't enough to put us off.

"I totally didn't expect to be so nice," he added.

Michael Loffler, a 36-year-old German IT specialist who lives in Ukraine, was draped in both Russian and German flags.

"I came here to show that we (and Russia) can be friends," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, June 15 2018. 01:15 IST