Federation Internationale de Football Association chief Infantino to attend Confederations Cup match in Kazan

Solenn Plantier
Juin 19, 2017

The All Whites' Michael Boxall got a touch on the ball and was credited with an own goal.

Stanislav Cherchesov says Vladimir Putin's rousing speech at the Confederations Cup opening ceremony gave Russian Federation extra motivation to defeat New Zealand. The win puts them top of Group A, with Mexico and Portugal - the other two teams in the section - due to face off on Sunday.

Russian Federation went ahead in the first half of the Group A encounter through what was credited as an own goal from the New Zealand defender Michael Boxall, and Smolov wrapped up the victory in the 69th minute.

Scoring chances came early for Russian Federation, playing with confidence and unexpected flair, a powerful header by defender Viktor Vasin bouncing off the inside of the post before being cleared by New Zealand's Michael McGlinchey off the line.

It helped the Russian team to seize the lead after twice having shots stopped on the line.

Aleksandr Samedov's corner found Viktor Vasin, who saw his header hacked clear by Michael McGlinchey, then Tommy Smith was on hand to clear Dmitry Poloz's strong effort.

Russian Federation sealed all three points as Smolov started and finished a swift passing move in the 69th minute to extended their unbeaten streak to four matches under Cherchesov.

Ten minutes before kickoff, both teams lined up in front of the main stand to listen speeches by Putin and FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

"When the president of our country comes out to make a speech it mobilises us and gives us great motivation, but it also adds to our responsibilities", Cherchesov told reporters.

Nani (C) and Portugal players celebrate after their team's 1-0 win against France in the UEFA EURO 2016 Final match between Portugal and France at Stade de France on July 10, 2016 in Paris, France.

"Here, on modern football arenas there will be tough, honest, fair fight until the last minutes of the match", Putin said in Russian, adding that the eight-team, two-week event would "unite nations and continents, to promote the values of fair and lovely play".

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