15 June, 2018
Just 12 minutes into the match, the Saudi backline got caught out of place after a corner kick, leaving a wide open opportunity for Yury Gazinsky to score the opening goal of the tournament.
There will not be many occasions when Saudi Arabia's players have enjoyed 62 per cent of the possession on the home turf of a European opponent and yet for much of the first half, as the world watched Russian Federation kick-off its own tournament, the team in green had the ball.
Russia's fans will not care about that after enduring a wretched run of seven games without a win but they will be aware that the Asian qualifiers look desperately ill-equipped to trouble Egypt or group favourites Uruguay, who meet tomorrow, and that there is still much to be done for the hosts to secure progress to the knockout stage.
Russian Federation even overcame the setback of losing midfielder Alan Dzagoev to a 22nd-minute injury by scoring again through Denis Cheryshev (twice) and Artem Dzyuba to record a convincing victory.
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A lack of an attacking threat in recent outings was a primary concern for Russian Federation going into a group campaign in which they will also face Egypt and Uruguay.
The hosts could hardly have dreamt of a better start to their home tournament, putting the Saudis to the sword with the last two goals coming in added time.
Saudi Arabia's route to the knockout round is much more hard.
Coach Juan Antonio Pizzi does not speak any Arabic but it will not take long for them to become aware of his Spanish description of their performance as shameful.