Russia Rips Saudi Arabia 5-0 in World Cup Opener (Photos)

Russia's Yuri Gazinsky, left, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's first goal during the group A match between Russia and Saudi Arabia which opens the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, June 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

MOSCOW (AP) — Denis Cheryshev scored twice as Russia swept aside Saudi Arabia to open its home World Cup with a 5-0 win on Thursday.

After a lavish opening ceremony and with President Vladimir Putin watching on, Yuri Gazinsky put Russia ahead with a header off Alexander Golovin’s cross in the 12th minute.

Substitute Cheryshev chipped the ball over two Saudi defenders in the 43rd and then fired it high to goalkeeper Abdullah Al Muaiouf’s right.

Artyom Dzyuba made an instant impact off the bench to make it 3-0 in the 71st with a header off Golovin’s cross. In stoppage time, Cheryshev chipped the ball in for Russia’s fourth goal in stoppage time and Golovin scored from a free kick.

It was Russia’s first World Cup win since 2002 and ended a seven-game winless run in all matches.

Russia’s Denis Cheryshev celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal during the group A match between Russia and Saudi Arabia which opens the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, June 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Russia’s Yuri Gazinsky, left, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side’s first goal during the group A match between Russia and Saudi Arabia which opens the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, June 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Russia’s Alexander Golovin, right, scores his side’s fifth goal during the group A match between Russia and Saudi Arabia which opens the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, June 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

From left, Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, FIFA President Gianni Infantino, and Russian President Vladimir Putin watch the match between Russia and Saudi Arabia which opens the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Performers display the 2018 soccer World Cup logo and the colors of Russia and Saudi Arabia prior to their group A match which opens the tournament at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, June 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Victor Caivano)
FILE – In this file photo from May 28, 2018, Mexico’s Erick Gutierrez plays against Wales during the second half of their soccer match in Pasadena, California. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)
Russia, left, and Saudi Arabia warm up before their group A match which opens the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, June 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
Rigobert Youmbi from Cameroon poses for a photo when wearing a body paint in the Russian color prior to the opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia during the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, June 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Russian police detain Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell, center, as he holds a banner that read “Putin fails to act against Chechnya torture of gay people” near Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, June 14, 2018. A British LGBT activist has been detained has been detained near the Red Square for holding a one-man protest against Russia’s abuse of gays. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Russian President Vladimir Putin walks on stage at the FIFA congress on the eve of the opener of the 2018 soccer World Cup in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 13, 2018. The congress in Moscow is set to choose the host or hosts for the 2026 World Cup. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

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