Russian Federation welcomed the world to the World Cup on Thursday as fans streamed in, the hosts savoured a 5-0 victory and President Vladimir Putin's government derided Western efforts to isolate him.
Villarreal winger Cheryshev took the ball on inside the box, taking two sliding Saudi Arabia players out of the game with his first touch before getting the ball out of his feet and firing high into the net.
Just 12 minutes into the match, the Saudi backline got caught out of place after a corner kick, leaving a wide open opportunity for Yury Gazinsky to score the opening goal of the tournament.
In turn, Infantino gave Putin a "big, big thank you from the bottom of our hearts" for Russia's "engagement" with the World Cup.
"There are so many unpredictable things in the World Cup".
Russian Federation can now prepare to face Egypt next week full of confidence while Saudi Arabia need to find instant improvement if they are to avoid further embarrassment against Uruguay.
Their striker Mohammed Alsahlawi has 28 goals in 40 caps - albeit eight in two matches against East Timor - and trained with Manchester United this season.
The games will be available for the first time this year in six local languages: English, Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu.
Cheryshev showed he can fill the void to a certain extent, and there is no better way to make an impression than by scoring a goal.
2018 러시아 월드컵 드디어 막을 올린다 The wait is finally over for Football fans around the world.
Russian Federation could not have hand-picked a more beatable opponent than Saudi Arabia for their World Cup opener.
Saudi coach Juan Antonio Pizzi made a change after 63 minutes, bringing winger Fahad Al Muwallad on for midfielder Abdullah Otayf, and Russia's Stanislav Cherchesov replaced Aleksandr Samedov with Daler Kuzyaev soon afterwards.
Speaking in Russian, Putin thanked Federation Internationale de Football Association for being "one big team" that has helped Russia prepare for the "most significant event in global sport".
With their squad all based in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia's lack of exposure to games against the elite is another problem they have to overcome to have any hope of competing at this level in the future.