Russian Federation beat New Zealand in Confederations Cup opener

Solenn Plantier
Июня 19, 2017

The FIFA 2018 World Cup will be held on June 14-July 15 2018 in the cities of Moscow, St Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Ekaterinburg, Kaliningrad, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Saransk, and Volgograd.

The FIFA chief said he wanted to note the remarkable level of the infrastructure preparation in Russian Federation for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

This competition offers Russian Federation a chance to showcase its readiness to host the 2018 World Cup amidst off-field concerns surrounding hooliganism and security.

On Saturday, Russia marched on toward hosting football's biggest party when the rehearsal tournament, the Confederations Cup, kicked off in the $750 million new stadium in Putin's native St. Petersburg. 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.

After New Zealand lost possession in a risky area, Poloz's neat touch released Glushakov, who clipped his finish over Marinovic and off the post before Boxall bundled the ball into his own net as he and Smith frantically tried to clear.

Russian Federation breathed a sigh of relief on Saturday after its soccer team won the opening match of the Confederations Cup and the country demonstrated that one of its most problematic World Cup pitches was fit for global matches.

"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".

"This is a magnificent opportunity as a group to compete against a team from the global elite", said Osorio of the Portugal game in Saturday's news conference.

"The fact the leader of the country came to the match is on the one hand an additional positive, but it is also an additional responsibility", Russian Federation manager Stanislav Cherchesov, whose team face Portugal on Wednesday, told reporters.

New Zealand had their first major chances when Ryan Thomas' powerful effort forced an impressive save from Igor Akinfeev and Smith's header from the resulting corner was hacked off the line by Yuri Zhirkov.

"We're completely ready for the tournament", Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko said.

Along with Team Russia, they will welcome teams from seven countries: New Zealand, Portugal, Mexico (Group A); and Germany, Chile, Cameroon and Australia (Group B).

But for the next two weeks the main thing on the mind of the reigning Ballon d'Or holder is winning more silverware in the eight-nation World Cup warm-up event.

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