2018 Word Cup
Report: Russia 5-0 Saudi Arabia
Date: 14 June 2018
Venue: Stadion Luzhniki
2018 World Cup hosts Russia got their campaign off to a flying start with a 5-0 victory over Saudi Arabia in the tournament's opening game.
The Russians opened the scoring in the 12th minute through Yury Gazinskiy, who powered home a header at the far post.
The host nation had the momentum towards the 20th minute and were unlucky not to have found the second goal through their high press.
The Green Falcons were struggling to create chances in the last third and after half-an-hour were yet to test Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.
Substitute Denis Cheryshev, who replaced Alan Dzagoev, doubled the lead for Russia two minutes before the break with a cracking strike at the near post, 2-0.
The host nation took a commanding 2-0 lead into the break with Saudi Arabia yet to have a shot on target.
Russia were still in control of the match ten minutes into the second stanza and were very organised defensively and threatening on transitions.
The Green Falcons upped their tempo after 65 minutes but could not find spaces or create chances in the final third.
However, Russia substitute Artem Dzyuba made it 3-0 to the hosts 20 minutes before time barely a minute after coming on with a fine header inside the box.
The host nation were oozing confidence with ten minutes to go and were threatening to run riot with their attacks.
Cheryshev completed his brace for Russia in stoppage time with a superb volley with the outside of his left foot to make it 4-0.
Aleksandr Golovin rounded off the scoring in second-half stoppage time with a superb free-kick from the edge of the box.
The Russians now top Group A with three points, while Saudi Arabia are rooted to the bottom, with Egypt and Uruguay to play tomorrow.