Russian Federation 2018: Putin says he can’t wish Saudi Arabia success today

Russia & Saudi Arabia to talk oil on World Cup sidelines as teams meet on pitch

He later chipped the ball in for Russia's fourth goal in stoppage time.

Gazinsky headed into the net in the 12th minute at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, sparking scenes of delight from the home crowd.

The best player on the pitch, though, was central playmaker Aleksandr Golovin, who was rewarded for his offensive sparkle with a wonderful goal from a free kick just before the final whistle to cap off the scoring.

Russia, the lowest ranked team in the tournament have not won a single World Cup match since 2002.

The win for Russian Federation is a big boost to its hopes of advancing, but it will still face a tough test against Egypt on June 19 and Uruguay six days later.

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Casualty ward Alan Dzagoev has been Russia's most exciting creative force of the past decade, having become its youngest ever outfield player in 2008.

Both sides tried to assert their dominance in the opening exchanges by holding onto the ball and dictating the tempo of the game.

Pizzi was appointed to the job after Saudi Arabia qualified a year ago for the finals.

Russian Federation started the World Cup as the lowest-ranked team in the tournament but the hosts were a class above Saudi Arabia, Dzyuba's header stretching the lead in the 71st minute.

Russian Federation selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.

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Victory for Russian Federation, ranked a lowly 70th in the world - three places below Saudi Arabia - was vital for the home nation's hopes of progressing, with tougher games against Egypt and Uruguay to come.

"Due to unforeseen logistical circumstances, the Saudi flag bearers' delegation will unfortunately no longer be able to attend the opening of the 2018 FIFA World Cup", Coca-Cola said in a statement to Reuters.

Preceding the opening game is the opening ceremony which will give us insight to Russia's entertainment and culture heritage.

Three minutes before the first-half whistle, substitute Denis Cheryshev doubled the lead, becoming the first substitute in this World Cup to score a goal.

Yet given Saudi Arabia's high turnover of coaches, including a previous mid-World Cup sacking, the Argentine-born Pizzi could well be on his way before he gets a chance to try and rectify the situation.

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