Cheryshev, who himself suffered an injury-plagued season, doubled Russia’s lead 20 minutes later with a skill that left two Saudi players on the ground, and an emphatic left-foot shot into the roof of the net.
But after Iury Gazinsky scored the first goal of this World Cup to give Russian Federation the lead in the 12th minute, a home win was never in doubt, and the feelgood factor this result will now generate is crucial for the tournament as a whole.
Yuri Gazinsky initially put Russian Federation ahead with a header from Alexander Golovin’s cross in the 12th minute.
The forced change turned out to be inspired as Cheryshev got on the score-sheet in the 43rd minute to become the first ever substitute to score in the opening game of a World Cup.
Just a few moments later, Golovin curved a free kick over the Saudi wall and past goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf. “We saw that we are on the right track but we should forget this game and concentrate on the next one”, Cherchesov said after ending a seven-game winless run in emphatic style.
The forward was soon replaced by Dzyuba, who struck nearly immediately by heading another Golovin cross beyond a helpless Muaiouf in the 71st minute.
Saudi Arabia captain Osama Hawsawi was on his guard against Golovin – and Argentine referee Nestor Pitana didn’t bother to consult the video assistant despite Golovin’s penalty appeal.
“There are so many unpredictable things in the World Cup”.
Still, Russia easily won the match 5-0.
Dzyuba had played only once for Russian Federation since 2016, while Cheryshev and Gazinsky made two appearances in that time.
What’s next? The other two sides in Group A – Egypt and Uruguay – open their campaigns when they meet at midnight tonight (NZT). He later chipped the ball in for Russia’s fourth goal in stoppage time.
In addition to installing toilet bowls and painting the prison bars, Navalny said cell blocks have been fitted with LCD screens for prisoners to watch World Cup matches.
The World Cup favourites enter the fray this weekend.
The goal was exactly the start that Russian Federation needed to get the crowd going, and Luznhiki Stadium was rocking after Russian Federation won 5-0.
Coach Juan Antonio Pizzi had earlier said that Saudi Arabia would play without fear on Thursday.