World Cup: Russia Beats Saudi Arabia 5-0

Russia launched the World Cup party in spectacular style when they thrashed a feeble Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the tournament's opening match to give their Group A aspirations a huge boost. Thursday's win gave the hosts the lift they desperately needed after a nine-month winless run.

Substitute Denis Cheryshev scored two brilliant goals after Yuri Gazinsky had headed home the tournament's first after 12 minutes.

Artem Dzyuba was also on target a minute after coming on as a 70th-minute substitute and Aleksandr Golovin completed a memorable day by smashing in a free kick with the last action of the game.

Watching Russian President Vladimir Putin wasted no time in phoning coach Stanislav Cherchesov to congratulate him. Trust Putin.

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