Five star Russian Federation open World Cup with a bang

Russia at World Cup

12' - GOAL! Russia 1-0 Saudi Arabia (Gazinski) The corner is cleared, but Zobain and Golovin make an angle for another cross, close to the corner of the box.

Cherchesov's troops were good value for their 2-0 lead at the break and threatened a third goal on 52 minutes when the ball dropped for Aleksandr Samedov 22 yards out, but his rising strike sailed over the target.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia got off to the ideal start for the hosts as the Russian national team cruised to a 5-0 victory over Saudi Arabia, using three goals from substitutes, including two from Denis Cheryshev.

The most creative player on the park, Golovin rolled the ball to Zobnin but he dawdled and played a poor pass to Denis Cheryshev, who had been completely free on goal. Ah yes, and an aggressive first-half performance from Russian Federation set the tone for a thumping win over an unfathomably miserable Saudi Arabia, arranging them a win over a tentative Saudi Arabia, whose propensity for giving the ball away unnecessarily and total lack of intensity, defensive discipline and attacking edge ultimately proved to be their undoing. The hosts did lose Alan Dzagoev to a serious-looking injury, though.

Fellow substitute Artem Dzyuba also got in on the act in the second half and Aleksandr Golovin sealed a record-breaking win on the opening day of the tournament with a stoppage-time free-kick.

And then just as everyone was starting to make plans for the post-match party, Cheryshev popped up with his second moment of class - a handsome, dipping effort with the outside of his left foot from 20 yards out - and Golovin curled in a free-kick.

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Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia are the two lowest-ranked teams at the tournament by some distance. Saudi Arabia take on Uruguay on June 20 in Rostov-on-Don.

FIFA World Cup 2018 action will start on Thursday with the two weakest teams in the tournament.

71' - GOAL! Russia 3-0 Saudi Arabia (Dzuyba) Instant impact!

The FIFA World Cup will continue through July 15, with the matches set to take place at 12 stadiums across 11 cities.

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