Russian Federation defeats Saudi Arabia 5-0

Three minutes before the first-half whistle, substitute Denis Cheryshev doubled the lead, becoming the first substitute in this World Cup to score a goal.

Creative fulcrum Alan Dzagoev, who has often suffered misfortune around big tournaments, had to go off after just 20 minutes with a suspected hamstring injury, to be replaced by Villareal's Denis Cheryshev.

While the rest of the tournament is bound to feature iconic and memorable moments on the pitch, the lasting image from the opening game is likely to be Russian President Vladimir Putin's shrug and consequent handshake with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after the first goal.

Cheryshev scored a stunning goal with the outside of his left foot in time added on and Golovin sealed the rout with a goal from a free-kick.

Russia's players were significantly taller and heavier than the Saudis, a help when challenging for the ball and when the penalty area was crowded.

It's hard to imagine Russian Federation beating the vastly superior Uruguayans, but if they can get a draw with Egypt, whose best player, Mo Salah, is fresh off a serious shoulder injury suffered in the Champions League final, they could scramble through to the next round.

The other Group A teams Uruguay and Egypt meet Friday in Yekaterinburg.

Dzyuba had played only once for Russian Federation since 2016, while Cheryshev and Gazinsky made two appearances in that time.

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Meanwhile, the game's lead character designer is Yusuke Kozaki, who was attached to the making of " Fire Emblem Awakening ". Tsukuda and his team have approached this brand new game with the goal of making it "the best mech action game" out there.

"Our goal is to beat Russian Federation".

Artem Dzuyba netted a third before terrific late efforts from Cheryshev and Aleksandr Golovin wrapped up Russia's first win since October to launch their Group A campaign in style.

Following his release a short time after his arrest, Mr Tatchell tweeted he had been, "charged with violating Federal Law 54 & Presidential Decree 202, which prohibit all protests near the Kremlin & during World Cup".

Only South Africa, in 2010, have failed to advance from the group stage as the host nation and a seven-match winless run had ramped up the pressure on Stanislav Cherchesov's side.

In a World Cup first, the video assistant referee system was available for the match between the tournament's lowest-ranked teams, though it wasn't used for an official review.

Russian Federation scored its first goal in the game's 12th minute.

- In this game, Sergei Ignashevich became the oldest player to ever appear in a World Cup match for Russia/USSR (38 years & 335 days old).

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