World Cup 2018, RESULT- Russia 5-0 Saudi Arabia, Denis Cheryshev stars from the bench in dominant victory for the host nation in Moscow
- Russia’s Iury Gazinsky scored the first goal of the World Cup with a header
- Russia star Alan Dzagoev limped off inside 25 minutes with hamstring injury
- But replacement Denis Cheryshev doubled the hosts’ lead before half-time
- Artem Dzyuba added a third a minute after coming off the bench
- Cheryshev and Aleksandar Golovin struck in stoppage time for host nation
- Russia starting XI: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Zobnin, Gazinsky, Golovin, Samedov (Kuzyaev), Smolov (Dzyuba), Dzagoev (Cheryshev)
- Saudi Arabia starting XI: Al-Muaiouf, Al-Breik, Osama Hawsawi, Omar Hawsawi, Al-Shahrani, Al-Jassam, Otayf (Al-Muwallad), Al Dawsari, Al-Shehri (Bahbir), Al-Faraj, Al-Sahlawi (Asiri)
- READ: Martin Samuel’s full match report from the Luzhniki Stadium
High up in the Luzhniki Stadium, FIFA president Gianni Infantino was exactly where he loves to be: in among the money.
On one side, sat Saudi royalty; on the other, President Vladimir Putin. As the third Russian goal went in, Infantino gave his robed friend a little shrug of commiseration. That’s football, it seemed to say. And indeed it is.
After four long years, the World Cup is finally back.
You can follow the opening ceremony and all the action from the tournament’s first match, with proceedings due to kick off at 3.30pm BST. Our man at the helm will be DAN RIPLEY.
14.15: Fans from both teams are in good spirits as they arrive at the Luzhniki
A supporter takes a group selfie in front of Russia fans outside the stadium before the game
Russia fans will be hopeful their side can open up with a win on home soil
A Saudi Arabia fan shows off their national flag as he arrives for the World Cup kick-off
Saudi Arabia supporters are looking forward to their first World Cup since 2006
14.11: This is a huge game for Russia and Saudi Arabia…
And not just because it is the opening game and all the eyes are all on them. They are also in a group along with Uruguay and Mohamed Salah’s Egypt.
With tough games like those to come, victory today is perhaps crucial to whether they progress beyond the group stage.
Russia and Saudi Arabia are also grouped with Egypt and Uruguay. The top two will progress
14.05: The Luzhniki Stadium is all set for the first game of the tournament
The Luzhniki Stadium will host the opening game for the FIFA World Cup finals
The host nation Russia will be taking on Saudi Arabia to kick off proceedings
Kick-off for the Group A clash is at 4pm BST in the only game of the day from…