Russian Federation eases to 2-0 Confederations Cup win over New Zealand

Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov speaks during a news conference at the St. Petersburg Stadium Russia Friday

KAZINFORM The main annual global football tournament among national teams - the FIFA Confederations Cup - kicks off in Russian Federation on June 17, Kazinform has learnt from TASS.

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Russia, playing New Zealand in Group A to kick off the cup, scored in the 31st minute through Denis Glushakov.

Russian fan leader Alexander Shprygin has been barred from the Confederations Cup before the opening match in Saint Petersburg on Saturday which saw the hosts beat New Zealand 2-0.

Russia, a record low 63rd in FIFA's world rankings, face Portugal on Wednesday while New Zealand play Mexico the same day.

Group A rivals Portugal and Mexico meet in Kazan on Sunday.

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"We knew the scenario with who was coming to the game", New Zealand coach Anthony Hudson said.

Ten minutes before kickoff, both teams lined up in front of the main stand to listen speeches by Putin and FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

New Zealand keeper Stegan Marinovic clearly brought down Russian striker Dmitry Poloz during the first half but rather than review it the Columbian official waved play on.

"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.

"Cristiano is totally focused in helping our team". We played the match we have been planning for.

Nani was already celebrating with his teammates when Argentine referee Nestor Pitana asked for the ball and indicated the goal was being reviewed. It came off some lovely passing from the hosts, with Glushakov lifting the ball over the goalkeeper and off the right post while a insane scramble at that post took place.

Russian Federation was also unhappy they didn't get a penalty before the end of the first half.

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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