Published: Sun, June 18, 2017
Sport | By Scott Davis

Russian Federation opens Confederations Cup with uninspiring win over New Zealand

Russian Federation opens Confederations Cup with uninspiring win over New Zealand

"Welcome to Russian Federation", he said.

The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup has kicked off in the iconic Russian city of St. Petersburg, with a ceremony showing off folk and contemporary Russian culture.

Russian Federation scored on both sides of halftime to secure a 2-0 win over New Zealand in Saint Petersburg, a performance that won't exactly have the other two teams in Group A, powers Portugal and Mexico, shaking in their boots.

Russia's Fedor Smolov celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the Confederations Cup, Group A soccer match between Russia and New Zealand, at the St. Petersburg Stadium, Russia, Saturday, June 17, 2017.

"This is a challenging project, which includes transport, hotels and etc".

The Russian president made it a national priority to win hosting rights for the 2018 World Cup in a fierce Federation Internationale de Football Association bidding contest seven years ago.

"I believe we will have the same team as we did in this game against Portugal". We're all feeling fearless and will take things on full of optimism.

What is the Confederations Cup?

Both teams were lined up on the pitch for an unusual pre-match protocol, looking up at the VIP boxes to hear from Russia's leader and FIFA President Gianni Infantino, before being able to complete their preparations.

"It is the experience and knowledge that will be of enormous value for 2018".

With three points, Russian Federation will next face Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal in Moscow on Wednesday.

Africa's flag bearers Cameroon will begin their quest at the tournament when they face South American champion Chile at the Otkrytiye Arena in Moscow on June 18 as well.

The issue of racism against fans and hooliganism is also a concern after ugly clashes between Russian and English fans at Euro 2016 in Marseille last summer.

"It will be interesting how they go in the other games", the footballer stated.

Ronaldo has not spoken to the media in Kazan and his staff said it would not comment about the recent issues involving the player. Nevertheless, at the moment the national team of New Zealand successfully performs in the qualification for the upcoming World Cup, having passed the third stage of selection without defeats and taking 1st place in Group A among the countries of Australia and Oceania.

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