Every goal scored from every game at Russian Federation 2018

Achilles the cat lies on a table after attempting to predict the result of the opening match of the FIFA World Cup 2018

Achilles the cat lies on a table after attempting to predict the result of the opening match of the FIFA World Cup 2018

Substitute Denis Cheryshev scored two goals on Thursday (Friday NZ Time) to lead the host nation over Saudi Arabia 5-0 in Group A with President Vladimir Putin watching from the stands alongside Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino.

Yuri Gazinsky initially put Russian Federation ahead with a header from Alexander Golovin's cross in the 12th minute.

Gazinskiy headed in Golovin's cross to score the first goal of the 2018 event, with Dzagoev's replacement Cheryshev lashing in the second before the interval. Substitute Denis Cheryshev scored twice - the first after a piece of skill that would have graced a Lionel Messi highlights reel - and the second a superb shot in stoppage time.

The tournament hosts have had an even less auspicious build-up, however, and Pizzi said they would be looking to take the game to the Russians in the Group A match at the Luzhniki Stadium.

For Saudi Arabia it was a return to the global showpiece for the first time in 12 years, with their only previous finals wins at the 1994 World Cup.

Their striker Mohammed Alsahlawi has 28 goals in 40 caps - albeit eight in two matches against East Timor - and trained with Manchester United this season.

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The crowd were then treated to a fabulous finale as Cheryshev cleverly steered home the fourth with the outside of his foot before Golovin capped a great personal performance by curling his free kick beyond the wall to get the month-long Moscow party well and truly started.

"Canada, Mexico, and the United States are ready to welcome the world to North America and serve as stewards of the largest FIFA World Cup in history".

Saudi Arabia's route to the knockout round is much more hard. Egypt and Uruguay play on Friday (Saturday NZT) in Yekaterinburg.

Russian Federation dominated in front of a sell-out crowd of 78,011 - and millions more on TV - at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium and also overcame a major blow when forward Alan Dzagoev had to limp off midway through the first half with what appeared to be left hamstring injury.

Saudi Arabia sent some players to the Spanish league for experience this season but they didn't get much playing time while there.

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