Russia Win Against New Zealand in Confederations Cup Opener

19 Juin, 2017, 17:08 | Author: Marie-Claire Cellier

Fyodor Smolov both began and ended a counter-attack which put the result beyond doubt in the second half, with Russian Federation now turning their attention to a game against Portugal on Thursday.

Russian Federation coach Stanislav Cherchesov started with an attacking-style line-up and the decision paid off as Russian Federation started the brighter of the two teams and put New Zealand under near-constant pressure in the opening exchanges.

"We're a tight-knit team and we really understand all the different phases we have to go through: when it's time to train we train, and when it's time to kick back and relax we do that too".

Pizzi says the Chile staff is "optimistic from the images we've seen, but we understand and know that the player still feels pain, and that's why we'll wait until tomorrow to decide if he plays".

The hosts continued to crank up the pressure after the break, forcing the impressive Marinovic into a fantastic double save, but Russian pressure finally told when Krasnodar striker Smolov - top scorer in the Russia Premier League for the past two seasons - tapped home from an Aleksandr Samedov cross on 69 minutes.

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Hosts Russia got their Confederations Cup campaign off to the flawless start, easing to victory against a toothless New Zealand in St Petersburg.

Russia's opening goal had an ugly finish after two pretty pieces of individual skill once the All-Whites defense needlessly lost the ball.

Russian Federation deserved its first-half lead after twice having shots stopped on the line in the opening 10 minutes.

Russia's victory showed it can win a big game at home, even if Putin is in the arena. New Zealand's Michael Boxall got a touch on the ball and was credited with an own goal.

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