Hosts Russia began their FIFA World Cup campaign in emphatic fashion, registering an easy 5-0 victory over minnows Saudi Arabia in a Group A game at the 81,000-seater Luzhniki Stadium here on Thursday.
In the second half Artem Dzyuba scored in the 71st minute with a fine header shortly after coming on, Cheryshev floated the ball into the top corner with an insouciant swish of his left boot from the edge of the Saudi penalty area in the 90th minute and Aleksandr Golovin converted a free-kick in added time. Russian Federation employed pressure by earning multiple corners and after one of them was blocked, Russian Federation regained the ball.
"We are not getting ahead of ourselves". It was Russia's first World Cup win since 2002.
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. Barely 12 minutes into the game Russia's Yuri Yazinsky scored his first ever worldwide goal for his country. It proved something of a fortuitous situation - if not for him - as his replacement Cheryshev doubled the lead with a mesmerizing touch of skill.
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Collecting a pass from Roman Zobnin on the left of the box he showed great composure to nonchalantly dink the ball inches above two prone defenders desperately sliding in, before lashing into the roof of the net. A long ball from the defence was brought down by Golovin before Cheryshev got inside the box before finishing with a chip with his outside of his left foot in the first minute of the second-half injury time.
Cheryshev then came on when Dzagoev went down clutching a hamstring.
Speaking as an analyst on SuperSport following the match, Okocha, who represented Nigeria at the 1994, 1998 and 2002 World Cup, believes the Saudi were whipped by Russian Federation because of the standard of their domestic league.