Yuri Gazinsky
Gazinsky of Russia celebrates after scoring his team's first goal at Fifa World Cup 2018.Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Welcome to the live updates of the Fifa World Cup 2018 opening match between Saudi Arabia and Russia from Moscow. 

Live Updates

2018-06-1422:59 (IST)

What next for Russia and Saudi Arabia

Russia are comfortably placed at the top spot of Group A. They hit five goals as goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev kept a clean sheet after hardly being troubled by an insipid Saudi Arabian attack.

The hosts will next face Egypt on Tuesday, June 19 in St. Petersburg before taking on group favourites Uruguay on June 25.

Meanwhile, after being humiliated on the opening day, Saudi Arabia are looking unlikely to progress to the knockout stages. They will face another tough test on June 20 against Uruguay and then take on Egypt on June 25 in Nizhny Novgorod in their final group game. 

2018-06-1422:53 (IST)

Three points from a confidence-boosting win for Russia

Russia top Group A with a 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia. Perfect start for the hosts!

Stanislav Cherchesov's men were the better side throughout the 90 minutes as they never let their intensity drop despite losing one of their key midfielders, Alan Dzagoev to a hamstring injury in the 22nd minute.

No shots on goal from Saudi Arabia

That tells you the story of the match. Russian keeper Igor Akinfeev had a trouble-free day in Moscow. 

Saudi Arabia had 60% of the possession but failed to make any meaningful use of it. Their defence was horrible and their attack lacked teeth. Horrible, horrible night for the team from Asia.

Denis Cheryshev, who replaced Dzagoev, was the star of the match, scoring two stunning goals after coming off the bench. The 27-year-old Villareal winger scored his first international goal on the big day. He provided a composed finish after Russia counter-attacked for the umpteenth time in the first 45 minutes. 

He then scored a screamer, Russia's fourth, in the added time of the second half. He collected a loose ball and fired it into the top corner with a shot from the outside of his left boot. 

Aleksandr Golovin, who had been brilliant throughout the match, added to Saudi Arabia's woes with a stunning free kick in the final minute. 

It all started when Yuri Gazinsky opened the scoring with a wonderful header in the 12th minute. Artem Dzyuba was the second Russian player to score a goal in their opening match after coming off the bench. 

2018-06-1422:25 (IST)

Stunning strike from Cheryshev, makes it 4-0

90+3 min: Goal! Aleksandr Golovin scores a stunning free-kick to add to Saudi Arabia's woes. He got the ball away from the wall and it drifted into the post to complete the thrashing of the Asian team.  

90+2 min: Goal! Stunner from Cheryshev, his second goal of the match as Russia make it 4-0 in the added time. 

The man who scored the second goal for the hosts slides one into the top corner with a tap from the outside of his left boot. What a wonderful strike!

2018-06-1422:11 (IST)

It's one-way traffic in Moscow

72 min: Free-kick for Russia soon after the third goal. Golvin takes it and curls it into the box only to see it headed wide 

71 min: Dzyuba scores. Russia triple their lead. It's all one-way traffic here in Moscow. 

The substitute slots it into the bottom corner with a wonderfully-executed header. It was his first touch as well. 

2018-06-1421:47 (IST)

Can Saudi Arabia make a comeback?

54 min: A brief spell of possession play inside the Russian box results in a good chance for the trailing team. However, Taisar Al-Jassim was not able to meet a cross from the right flank. He stretched to the limits but was unable to get any contact with the ball. 

52 min: It has been a slow start to the second half after both teams resumed with no change in personnel. Saudi Arabia are looking to keep a lot of possession but are unable to make use of it in the final third. 

48 min: Aleksandr Golovin has been impressive for Russia so far. The CSKA Moscow youngster is quickly helping Russia take control after the break. 

2018-06-1421:23 (IST)

Hosts Russia smiling at half-time

Half-time: Russia head into the break with a two-goal lead over an unimpressive Saudi Arabian side. Substitute Denis Cheryshev and Yuri Gazinsky were the scorers as the hosts got plenty of opportunities in the first-half. 

Saudi Arabia have hardly tested the Russian goalkeeper, Igor Akinfeev. They have no at all troubled the opposition defence, disappointing effort this.

On the other hand, Russia have dominated the first half. Despite losing one of their best midfielders in Alan Dzagoev to a hamstring injury as early as in the 22nd minute, the hosts have been able to dictate the play. 

Saudi Arabia tried to keep possession but kept losing a lot of balls, making it easy for the Russians. Too many errors from the defenders haven't helped as well.

Gazinsky was not left free inside the box as he leapt above the Saudi Arabian defenders for the first goal. And a couple of pointless slides from the defenders helped Cheryshev slot one into the near corner just before the half-time. 

Saudi Arabia, who have never won a world cup match after conceding the first goal, need a miracle here. 

2018-06-1421:16 (IST)

Russia double the lead before half-time

43 min: Denis Cheryshev doubles the lead for the hosts. It's his first international goal as well. The midfielder, who replaced an injured Dzagoev, receives a pass inside the box and dodges past two defenders, who slid without any purpose, to slot it past the near post. 

2018-06-1421:13 (IST)

Russia dominate the opening 30 minutes

30 min: Russia have looked a confident unit so far in the first half. They have put pressure on the Saudi Arabian defence with their pace down the flanks. The hosts are maintaining a good tempo and, as expected, the crowd is behind them. 

24 min: Dzagoev is being substituted after the hamstring injury by Denis Cheryshev. What a sad end to the midfielder's run in the opening match. He is out after just 23 minutes of play. 

22 min: Alan Dzagoev goes down, clutching his hamstring. He seems to be in a bit of pain. The midfielder, who was pulling the strings wonderfully well for Russia, is unable to continue. 

20 min: Yasser Al-Shahrani, one of the key players for Saudi Arabia, gets up the right flank and crosses to Mohammad Al-Sahlaawi, who puts in a diving header. It is deflected by Ilya Kupetov.
First real effort from the Group A minnows. 

2018-06-1420:47 (IST)

Yuri Gazinsky's header gives Russia the lead

12 Mins: Yuri Gazinsky creates history, becomes the first goal-scorer of Fifa World Cup 2018 as he puts Russia ahead as early as in the 12th minute of the match. 

Gazinsky wonderfully guided a cross from the left by Aleksandr Golovin into the net, leaping above the Saudi Arabian defenders. Notably, it was the 28-year-old's first international goal. What a time to get it!

Russia were beginning to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian defence by consistently putting long balls. Three corners were won inside the first 10 minutes. 

2018-06-1420:40 (IST)

Russia, Saudi Arabia struggle for rythm

We have had five minutes of action so far. No team has been able to control proceedings. Russia won the first free kick and corner of the tournament but they were able to test the Saudi Arabian defence with them. 

2018-06-1420:31 (IST)

Russia vs Saudi Arabia - Confirmed line-ups

Okay, here we are witnessing the moment we were waiting for so long. The national anthem of the teams was played after Russian president Vladimir Putin and Fifa president Gianni Infantino made short speeches. 

The crowd at the 80,000-seater stadium is buzzing. Meanwhile, here in the confirmed line-ups of the two teams. 

2018-06-1420:03 (IST)

Two of the lowest-ranked team in the tournament to start the campaign

Two of the lowest-ranked teams, Russia (70) and Saudi Arabia (67), will play the tournament-opening Group A match at the 80,000-seater Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Definitely not a glamorous tie to kick-off proceedings at the 21st edition of the World Cup but the hosts will not complain if they can sneak a win on Thursday.

2018-06-1420:03 (IST)

Two of the lowest-ranked team in the tournament to start the campaign

Two of the lowest-ranked teams, Russia (70) and Saudi Arabia (67), will play the tournament-opening Group A match at the 80,000-seater Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Definitely not a glamorous tie to kick-off proceedings at the 21st edition of the World Cup but the hosts will not complain if they can sneak a win on Thursday.