The 2018 FIFA World Cup opened in spectacular fashion as Russia defied their recent poor form to score five past Saudi Arabia in front of a largely partisan crowd of 78,011 at the Luzhniki Stadium that was watch by FIFA dignitaries including president Putin and the Saudi Arabia crowned prince. The Russian’s never looked in danger against a naïve Green Falcons’ side through the match
A completely unmarked Yuri Gazinsky headed his first goal for Russia before substitute Denis Cheryshev scored the second goal after evaded several weak challenges and smashed home at the near post close to half-time.
The tempo slowed and the atmosphere flattened after the restart, giving the whole thing the feel of a friendly match.
The header from substitute, Artem Dzyuba illuminated a match extend his team’s lead to three goals just minutes after replacing Fedor Smolov.
And as the match moved into injury time the impressive Cheryshev smashed home with a crisp strike into the top corner before the superb Aleksandr Golovin curled a free-kick around the wall.
It put the seal on a sensational and unexpected start to the World Cup for the hosts – and gives them a real chance of qualifying from the group stage.