Such a result would end Russia's wretched run of seven games without a win - the worst among all 32 teams going into the tournament.
Russian Federation showed a different performance than it previously did in the friendly games at the World Cup preparations in which they failed to achieve a single victory in 2018. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen. Under new coach Juan Antonio Pizzi, they have won three of their last nine matches, and the team is a work under progress. Find out by following our live matchcast. Now Russia's competitors will need to step up to this mark to keep up with their goalscoring form.
Sbornaya had the ball on their feet for just 39% of the time, taking 14 shots toward Saudi's keeper, while the Green Falcons took six shots towards Igor Akinfeev, but none of them went on target.
It was the host nation's first World Cup win since 2002, and it raises the hope that Russian Federation can get past the group stage for the first time since the Soviet era.
Flag-waving supporters from all over the world chanted "Russia!" as the host team opened their campaign in style in the city's Luzhniki stadium.
"I could never have dreamed of anything like this".
After a vibrant opening ceremony led by Robbie Williams had got the 78,011 crowd in attendance buzzing, the onus was on the players to deliver but from the off, it looked like only one team were up to the challenge. The talismanic midfielder left the pitch after 24 minutes into the opener, and it seems like he's ruled out for the rest of the World Cup. Their last win in the competition dates back to the group stages of the 1994 edition (1-0 v Belgium). Russian president Vladimir Putin was on-hand to make opening remarks, welcoming fans to what he assured us would be an "open, hospitable and friendly" World Cup.
Substitute Denis Cheryshev scored twice - the first after a piece of skill that would have graced a Lionel Messi highlights reel - and the second a superb shot in stoppage time.
With the five goals against the Saudis, a draw could be enough against either of its two remaining opponents.
With 43 minutes on the clock, the 27-year-old doubled Russia's lead with a blistering left-footer from inside the box. He fell for the feint Cheryshev in the second goal, closed Gazinskaya and Dzyuba in the first and third.
"We are very disappointed by the defeat", Ezzat said, according to the Al-Youm Assabaa newspaper.
Dzagoev's injury could deny Russian Federation their best player for the remainder of the tournament, but they certainly have alternatives who can be similarly important. "I couldn't think", he said.