Russian midfielder Alan Dzagoev might not play a further part at the 2018 FIFA World Cup after the CSKA Moscow man suffered a suspected hamstring in the early stages of the host nation’s opening clash against Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

The home side were leading through Yuri Gazinskiy’s 12th-minute header, but they were forced into making an early change as the injury-prone midfielder went down clutching his hamstring in the 22nd minute.

Russia were streaming forward in attack, three against three, but as the their No.9 failed to continue, the attack petered out.

As the ball went out for a throw, match referee Fabian Pitana stopped play and called for the physios to attend to the stricken 27-year-old.

The Luzhniki Stadium, buzzing after the opener, was hushed as Dzagoev got treated but it became apparent that he could no longer carry on.


Villareal  midfielder Denis Cheryshev replaced his compatriot in the 24th minute and the hosts will look to make the most of their dominance by registering another goal in their Group A tie before half-time.