Russia eases to 2-0 Confederations Cup win over New Zealand

The hosts had a positive start to the tournament which serves as a test run of facilities ahead of the FIFA World Cup to be hosted them in 2018.

This year's tournament is held between June 17 and July 2 at four stadiums in Russian Federation and they are Spartak Stadium in Moscow, St. Petersburg Stadium, Fisht Stadium in Sochi and the Kazan Arena in Kazan.

Russian football fan leader Alexander Shprygin has been barred from attending his country's opening Confederations Cup match against New Zealand in St Petersburg hours before kickoff on Saturday. "I don't know if it played a part or not".

Asked if his team could have been more aggressive, Hudson's response was emphatic.

Russia's coach suggested it was an advantage to have such a pep talk.

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


The Russian team is playing its next match against Portugal at Spartak Arena in Moscow, while New Zealand is going to the Russian southern resort of Sochi, where they are scheduled to play Mexico at the Fisht Stadium.

The All Whites survived until halftime but the largely one-sided nature of the match continued after the restart and in the 68th-minute a slick build-up resulted in an easy finish for striker Fedor Smolov at the back post when the Kiwi defence was again unable to clear a risky ball into the box.

Group A's next game will see Portugal squaring off against Mexico on Sunday.

After New Zealand lost possession in a unsafe 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.

"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. 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. "But I imagine they are happy with the win in the first game".

Russian authorities insist that the Confederations Cup's ticketing system, which requires ticket holders to apply for a personalised fan-ID, ensures that all fans are screened and troublemakers are kept away.

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