Russian Federation eases to 2-0 Confederations Cup win over New Zealand

Solenn Plantier
Juin 18, 2017

Russian Federation kicked off their Confederations Cup Group A campaign in style as they cruised to a 2-0 victory over New Zealand in St Petersburg.

Participants in the 2017 Confederations Cup are hosts Russian Federation, 2014 FIFA World Cup winners Germany, 2015 Copa America champions Chile, 2015 AFC Asian Cup champions Australia, 2015 Concacaf Gold Cup winners Mexico, 2016 UEFA Euro Cup champs Portugal, OFC (Oceania Football Confederation) Nations Cup victors New Zealand and 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) champions Cameroon.

At the St. Petersburg stadium it ended; Russian Federation 2-0 New Zealand.

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).

"I believe we will have the same team as we did in this game against Portugal".

"Obviously in the first game of the tournament we wanted to get a better result than we did", New Zealand manager Anthony Hudson said.

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

Cherchesov felt president Putin's pre-match speech - which ended with the proclamation "Dear friends, let us watch football!"

Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to attend the opening match, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters when asked if Putin was planning to visit the game.

In the only match played Saturday, Smolov took his chance to shine.

New Zealand is now without a win in four trips to the Confederations Cup, and next plays Mexico on Wednesday in Sochi.

Russia's opening goal had an ugly finish after two pretty pieces of individual skill once the All-Whites defense needlessly lost the ball. A three-player race to meet the rebound off a post saw the sliding Boxall's trailing right arm get the final touch in a bundle of bodies.

Russia's victory showed it can win a big game at home, even if Putin is in the arena.

"This is my first visit to Russian Federation".

Here is everything you need to know about the opening match of the World Cup warm-up tournament.

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