Russia 5-0 Saudi Arabia: Cheryshev nets brace in big win

World Cup 2018 By: Ikponmwosa Umweni | 14/06/2018

Russia kicked off the World Cup in grand style, as the host nation thrashed Saudi Arabia 5-0 on Thursday evening encounter at Luzhniki Stadium.

Denis Cheryshev struck twice Yuri Gazinskiy, Artem Dzyuba and Aleksandr Golovin all found back of the net in an emphatic win but an injury to star man Alan Dzagoev will cause concern for Russia.

The watching world did not have to wait long for the opening goal as Yuri Gazinskiy headed home Aleksandr Golovin's set-piece delivery after just 12 minutes.

Russia's confidence only built as Saudi Arabia's fell, banishing memories of their recent poor form, and even the injury-enforced withdrawal of Alan Dzagoev did not disrupt their momentum.

Dzageov's replacement Cheryshev double their advantage minutes before the break, making the most of a poor pass to wriggle past a defender and power home a fierce shot into the roof of the net.

Saudi Arabia improved after the break as the Russians retreated, enjoying spells of possession but were unable to test goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.

Artem Dzyuba sealed all three points with 20 minutes left to play, heading the ball past Abdullah Al-Mayoof as Golovin picked up his second assist of the day.

Cheryshev then put the icing on a commanding win with a stunning volley in injury time for this second and Russia's fourth, while there was still time for Golovin to cap a fine display by netting a free kick from the edge of the area.

Russia face Egypt on Tuesday evening before Saudi Arabia face Uruguay on Wednesday afternoon.