Confederations Cup - Russia start with victory

Lynette Rowe
June 20, 2017

Both Confederation Cup games played on Sunday in Russian Federation left teams confused by decisions - reached more slowly than expected - by referees taking advice from assistants watching multiple replays.

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).

The other two matches ended 1-0 to the Russians: a 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil qualifier in 2012 and an global friendly three years later.

Russian Federation convincingly beat New Zealand 2-0 at St Petersburg's Krestovsky Stadium in front of 50,251 people, including President Vladimir Putin and FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who addressed the crowd before kick-off.

Fyodor Smolov who was outstanding in the game got the second goal in the 69th minute.

"If this is going to happen several times during a game, well it's not very pleasant for the players", Cameroon coach Hugo Broos said.

Putin had also asked the players to perform like warriors, though they hardly needed to be war-like in dispatching No. 95 New Zealand, which seemed to find the world stage too big. "But we have to be careful because I don't think people understand this new rule really well".

After the game's second review, the goal and three points for Chile were confirmed.

More news: Pakistan thrashed India by 180 runs in finals

The European champions will open the Group A program on Sunday against Mexico in Kazan.

It was a game Russian Federation were widely expected to win against a New Zealand team that are Oceania champions but are the lowest-ranked nation in the tournament.

New Zealand, meanwhile, were finding it tough to hold maintain possession of the ball, which led to a lack of chances.

When the goal came, it had an ugly finish after two pretty pieces of individual skill once the All-Whites defense needlessly lost the ball.

In the 31st minute, New Zealand defender Michael Boxall scored an own goal after Denis Glushakov had struck the post.

A second seemed inevitable as Russian Federation remained firmly on the front foot.

Aleksandr Samedov's corner found Viktor Vasin who saw his header hacked clear by Michael McGlinchey. Tommy Smith then tidied up when Poloz poked a close-range shot slowly past Marinovic.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER