Russia headed into the curtainraiser on the 80,000-capacity Luzhniki, the crucible of Russian and Soviet recreation, and not using a victory in over 8 months and ranked a lowly 70th on the planet.
For Saudi Arabia it was once a go back to the worldwide showpiece for the primary time in 12 years, with their most effective earlier finals wins on the 1994 Global Cup.
Handiest South Africa, in 2010, have did not advance from the gang degree because the host country and a seven-match winless run had ramped up the drive on Stanislav Cherchesov’s aspect.
A loss of an attacking risk in contemporary outings was once a number one worry for Russia going into a bunch marketing campaign wherein they are going to additionally face Egypt and Uruguay.
The ones fears have been quickly washed away, a minimum of in the meanwhile, as Alexander Samedov and Fedor Smolov carved out early probabilities most effective to be denied through determined sliding blocks.
The hole objective got here quickly after, as Saudi Arabia did not transparent a nook and a curling move in from the left through Golovin picked out an unmarked Gazinsky to move low into the some distance nook.
It was once a objective that induced Russian President Vladimir Putin to show to the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, seated along FIFA leader Gianni Infantino, and shake his hand.
Russia misplaced Dzagoev to a hamstring harm halfway throughout the first 1/2, the CSKA Moscow midfielder clutching his hamstring as he crumpled to the turf.
However his substitute, former Actual Madrid winger Cheryshev, celebrated his contemporary recall to the nationwide aspect with Russia’s 2nd objective two mins ahead of half-time.
Cheryshev was once nonetheless left with a number of paintings to do within the house after a move from Roman Zobnin, brilliantly flicking the ball previous two final defenders ahead of rifling into the roof of the web.
Saudi in brief threatened early in the second one 1/2 when an inviting move in from the appropriate skipped simply past the achieve of Taiseer Al-Jassam.
Russia then just about grabbed a 3rd when Abdullah Al-Muaiouf spilled a low pressure from Roman Zobnin, the Saudi goalkeeper improving simply time in time to nudge the ball clear of Smolov.
The ahead was once quickly changed through Dzyuba, who struck virtually in an instant through heading some other Golovin move past a helpless Muaiouf within the 71st minute.
Cheryshev hammered in a fourth with the outdoor of his left in stoppage time and Golovin capped a powerful efficiency through bending in a last-gasp free-kick.
Russia meet Egypt of their subsequent event on June 19 in Saint Petersburg, whilst Saudi Arabia will glance to rebound in opposition to team favourites Rostov-on-Don an afternoon later.