Two goals from Denis Cheryshev, one each by Yuri Gazinskiy, Artem Dzyuba and Aleksandr Golovin gave the Russians the win, the second biggest by a host nation in their opening match in the history of the World Cup.
The result on Thursday marked Russia's first win in football's showpiece event since a 0-2 defeat of Tunisia at the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea. As the heir apparent, 32-year-old Prince Mohammed bin Salman, pushes forth reforms that improve the country's image overseas, he has also cracked down on women's rights defenders who have campaigned for years for greater freedoms.
Team Korea arrived at its World Cup base camp in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on Tuesday.
"We need to get through the group".
Saudi Arabia fired Carlos Alberto Parreira after a 4-0 loss to hosts France in the group stages in 1998, even though four years earlier he had won the World Cup with his native Brazil. "We did not show today what we have done in our previous games", Pizzi said.
Russia’s midfielder Denis Cheryshev celebrates after scoring the second goal during the
"We don't know if Salah is going to play or not".
Cherchesov spoke of "a crescendo" as the matches become more hard, and warned that Egypt will not be easy in St Petersburg even if their Liverpool star forward Mohamed Salah is not fit to play after his Champions League final injury.
The team had been trained so they could rise to the occasion, Ezzat said.
Russia's celebrations were tempered by an injury to influential midfielder Alan Dzagoev. Cherchesov expressed fear he could miss the rest of the tournament.
Head coach Pizzi took over the Saudi team in November a year ago after the football federation sacked Edgardo Bauza, a fellow Argentinian who had only been in charge for two months.
"We are preparing for a new match".