(AFP) – Host nation Russia thrashed Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening match of the World Cup to start their tournament in style in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on Thursday.
Iury Gazinsky opened the scoring with a header after 12 minutes, Denis Cheryshev added a second before Artem Dzyuba got the third in the 71st minute.
Cheryshev added a fourth with a superb finish before Golovin curled in a superb free-kick in injury time as President Vladimir Putin watched on in delight.
Igor Akinfeev (capt); Mario Fernandes, Ilya Kupetov, Sergey Ignashevich, Yury Zhirkov; Iury Gazinsky, Roman Zobnin; Alan Dzagoev, Aleksandr Golovin, Alexander Samedov; Fedor Smolov
Coach: Stanislav Cherchesov (RUS)
Saudi Arabia (4-5-1)
Abdullah Al-Muaiouf; Osama Hawsawi (capt), Omar Hawsawi, Mohammed Al-Burayk, Yasser Al-Shahrani; Salman Al-Faraj, Yahia Al-Shehri, Abdullah Otayf, Taiseer Al-Jassam, Salem Al-Dawsari; Mohammed Al-Sahlawi
Coach: Juan Antonio Pizzi (ESP)
Referee: Nestor Pitana (ARG)