Russian Federation defeats Saudi Arabia 5-0

Alexei Nikolsky  Russian Presidential Press and Information Office  TASS

"During the World Cup it is forbidden to hold any action like this against Putin, against all these things", the policeman said.

An energetic Russian Federation secured the biggest World Cup opening match win since 1934, as it raced to a 5-0 victory over Saudi Arabia, with rising star Aleksandr Golovin at the heart of the home team's best moves.

Vladimir Putin, sitting next to the Federation Internationale de Football Association president and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, reacts to Russia's goal.

Then, to the delight of the home fans, Iury Gazinsky headed Russian Federation in front in the 12th minute after a cross from Aleksandr Golovin.

The goal is exactly the start that Russian Federation needed to get the crowd into it, and Luznhiki Stadium is rocking now.

His potential move to Juventus stirred excitement at home this week after years in which Europe's best clubs have lost nearly all interest in Russian talent.

The score of 3-0 seemed to remain flashing unchanged until the final whistle in the game, but in the three-minute stretch of the added time Russia's Denis Cheryshev upped the score to 4-0 with a swift shot of the ball over the Saudi Arabian goalkeeper.

Russian Federation can now prepare to face Egypt next week full of confidence while Saudi Arabia need to find instant improvement if they are to avoid further embarrassment against Uruguay.

Artem Dzyuba celebrates his goal that put Russian Federation up 3-0 in the opening game against Saudi Arabia.

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After Russia scored the first goal of the tournament, cameras captured President Vladimir Putin shrugging and shaking hands with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

But his replacement, former Real Madrid winger Cheryshev, celebrated his recent recall to the national side with Russia's second goal two minutes before half-time.

Group B is underway at 3am when Morocco, fresh from missing out on hosting rights to the 2026 tournament and appearing at a World Cup for the first time since 1998, meet Iran, who are looking to progress to the knockout rounds for the first time ever.

It featured British singer-songwriter Robbie Williams performing some of his most successful singles including "Let Me Entertain You", "Feel" and "Angels".

Dzagoev was then replaced by Cheryshev as one of Russia's key players went down with what looked like a pretty serious hamstring injury.

Saudi Arabia will take the field on Thursday as lengthy +800 underdogs.

The World Cup has received special attention this year in the kingdom as its team will play for the first time since 2006.

"We are focused on the opening game, that will set the tone for the other games".

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