Russian Federation has struggled in friendly competition ahead of the tournament, and is the lowest ranked squad participating in the 2018 World Cup, pegged at No. 70 going into Thursday's matchup at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
Russian Federation looked lively from the start as they poured into the vast spaces on both flanks and it was no surprise when they opened the scoring after 12 minutes as Gazinsky was totally unmarked to nod home Golovin's deep left-wing cross.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud and Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino attended the opener along with further dignitaries and heads of state - but none from Western European or North American countries. He later chipped the ball in for Russia's fourth goal in stoppage time.
(L to R): Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Russian President Vladimir Putin watch the ceremony prior to the Russia 2018 World Cup Group A football match between Russia and Saudi Arabia.
This is Saudi Arabia's fifth appearance at the World Cup finals and their first since 2006.
Two-goal hero Denis Cheryshev celebrates victory with teammates after Russia's 5-0 rout of Saudi Arabia.
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Canada will host men's World Cup matches for the first time, while Mexico gets its first taste of the event since 1986. The United States will play the biggest role in the bid, with 10 of the 16 host cities being in America.
In a World Cup first, the video assistant referee system was available for the match between the tournament's lowest-ranked teams, though it wasn't used.
But with the five goals against the Saudis, a draw could be enough against either of its two remaining opponents.
Saudi Arabia also play Uruguay and Egypt in Group A.
Aside from wing-back Yasser Al Shahrani, who impressed down the left flank, Saudi Arabia offered little and did not even threaten a shot on target.
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.
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