The opening ceremony was lit with a lot of cultural and technological razzmatazz and the opening match will be one for the history books.
Russia started the match with a lot of intent and went close to scoring on a number of occasions, they continued to pile pressure on the Saudi Arabian defence which eventually gave way to the first goal in the 12th minute of the opener, Yuri Gazinsky rose highest to nod in a well taken cross, the goal sent the blue and red populated stadium into hysteria and from then on the HOST never looked back.
Additional goals from Denis Cheryshev (43′ 90’) Artem Dzyuba (71’ ) gave the host a 4-0 lead and Aleksandr Golovin crowned it all with a spectacular freekick on the stroke of 93rd minute
Contrary to expectation, it was a thrilling -one sided affair when an energetic and probing Russia overpowered Saudi Arabia en-route to a spectacular 5-0 victory at Luzhniki Stadium, the Saudis were completely overwhelmed and did not have a shot on goal.The veteran Russian Goalkeeper Akinfeev was practically on holiday throughout the match.
Russia XI: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Kutepov, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Gazinskiy, Zobnin, Samedov, Golovin, Dzagoev, Smolov.
Saudi Arabia XI: Al-Maiouf; Alburayk, Os.Hawsawi, Om.Hawsawi, Al-Shahrani; Otayf, Al-Dawsari, Al-Faraj, Al-Jassam; Al-Shehri, Al-Sahlawi.