Sports Desk: Russia thrashed Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening match of their home world cup at the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow in Russia.
Russia were leading 2-0 at half time, It was a deserved lead for the hosts too, who dominated for the majority of that first half and could have been even further ahead. Saudi Arabia, for their part, were very poor and offered very little.
The first goal of the opening game of the World Cup arrived after only 12 minutes when Yury Gazinskiy not just opening his account, but also the account for the entire tournament with a well-cushioned header.
Golovin put a fine cross into the box which Gazinskiy met with a header after his marker had slipped. It was a perfect connection across the face of goal, nestling into the far corner.
There were also half-chances for Dzagoev in the opening 45 minutes, and the only downside for Russia is that their star man was forced off which looks like it could be a tournament-ending hamstring injury after just a quarter of the match.
Dzagoev's departure did have an impact on Russia's control over the game too, which is why that strike from Cheryshev was so important just before half time.
The second goal came just before half time too, and this one was full of quality as Cheryshev - who had earlier come off the bench for the injured Dzagoev - dinked the ball over two sliding tackles before blasting it home.
It came at the end of a sweeping counter-attack from the hosts and at one stage it looked as though the chance might be gone, but Cheryshev did brilliantly to keep it alive and score.
In the second half, things worsened for Russia. Even at halftime, the Saudis looked broken, and it did not get better. Dzyuba scored on another header, likewise just after entering the game, then Cheryshev added his second in the 90th minute.
If that late goal seemed unfair to the Saudis, it got worse a moment later when Goliovin added No. 5 on a free kick in injury tim
Full time score:
Russia: 5 [Yuri Gazinskiy (12th minute), Denis Cheryshev (43rd, 90+1), Artem Dzyuba (71st) and Aleksandr Golovin (90+4)]- Saudi Arabia: 0