3 red cards as St Petersburg's World Cup stadium holds 1st game

ST PETERSBURG: St Petersburg's stadium for the 2018 World Cup has held its first game with much fanfare, a ragged pitch and three red cards.

The 69,000-seat arena, named simply the St. Petersburg Stadium, started construction in 2007 but was repeatedly delayed and experienced several scandals, including corruption cases and workers' deaths.

Troubles continued at Saturday's opening game, with the field appearing to be in poor condition. There were large brown patches and chunks of the pitch frequently came loose.

Visiting team Ural Yekaterinburg finished with just eight men in a 2-0 loss to Zenit St. Petersburg.

The stadium was only partly full because organizers decided not to open the top tier.