Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Sport | By Scott Davis

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

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

Russia's president was in the $750 million new stadium in his native St. Petersburg to see forward Fyodor Smolov's 69th minute goal add to an own goal by New Zealand defender Michael Boxall in the 31st.

New Zealand failed to recover in the second half and they were totally outclassed as Russian Federation chased a potential landslide.

Russia's Fedor Smolov, center, 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 in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturd.

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.

Russian Federation kicked off the Confederations Cup by beating New Zealand in a game over-shadowed by referee Wilmar Roldan failing to make use of the video review system.

Cristiano Ronaldo will put speculation over his club future firmly on one side as he leads European champions Portugal into their Confederations Cup opener against Mexico in Kazan today.

New Zealand lost 1-0 to Belarus in their final match of preparations, and Kosta Barbarouses and Ipswich Town's Tommy Smith replaced Themistoklis Tzimopoulos and Shane Smeltz in the starting lineup.

However, Argentine referee Nestor Pitana called for a review from the video assistant referee and it was eventually ruled Pepe was one of four players who were offside from Joao Moutinho's first cross into the box following the failed set-piece.

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This competition is not only a chance for Russian Federation as a country to prepare for hosting its first global football tournament but also a chance for the national team to pit their wits in competitive action.

Federation Internationale de Football Association is trialing the use of video assistants and wants them to be used at next year's World Cup in Russia.

Spartak Moscow schemer Denis Glushakov provides class in the middle and it was his delicate chip which paved the way for Russia's opening goal.

"Overall we showed a lot of spirit, and there's certainly some positives to take into the next game for us".

"I think we were superior, we created more chances and we leave the field frustrated", Cedric said. In its last two games, Portugal has won both games and outscored its opponents 7-0. "The main thing is that we took the lead".

"When you play the host nation in the opening game of the tournament it's never going to be easy".

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