Published: Sat, June 24, 2017
Sports | By Grace Becker

Putin present to see Russia kick off Confederations Cup

Putin present to see Russia kick off Confederations Cup

St. Petersburg, June 18 (IANS): Hosts Russia defeated New Zealand 2-0 in the Group A opening match of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup football tournament here on Saturday.

The Spartak Moscow midfielder lifted the ball over Marinovic and saw his effort hit the post before Boxall, one of two defenders desperately scrambling back to try to clear, helped it over the line.

The new football arena in St. Petersburg is hosting the opening and final matches of the Confederations Cup, also dubbed as the Tournament of Champions.

After the first round of matches in Group A, it is Russian Federation who lead the table following their 2-0 victory over New Zealand.

Glushakov broke the deadlock after 31 minutes after the New Zealand defence went to sleep, allowing the hosts to claim a vital lead going into half-time.

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Touching on Zenit ex-forward Hulk's remark that he encountered racism nearly in every game he played in Russia, Aleksandr said, "Everyone loves Hulk in our country, we've never had such a star player here".

But Russia have achieved mixed results since his appointment with three wins, three draws and three defeats.

But a win is a win, and Russian Federation certainly needed one in front of President Putin after his insistence earlier this week that Stanislav Cherchesov's team had to raise their game as the World Cup looms on the horizon.

The competition will serve as a dress rehearsal for the 2018 World Cup, and Russian Federation would certainly love to get off to a good start on the pitch.

A SuperSport United defender scored an own goal, as Russian Federation claimed a 2-0 win over New Zealand to begin their FIFA Confederations Cup campaign with three points.

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Organisers of the ongoing Confederations Cup have blocked a Russian fan group leader from attending matches at the tournament after they cancelled his "fan-ID". New Zealand had already experienced with three times and it is the fourth competition but, did create any biggest achievements in past games.

"But we will be able to check whether we've done everything right only once we play in official matches".

"The majority of Mexico's starters play in Europe and compete at a high level, so I believe we have what it takes to bring down the current European champs!" he said.

"It is the first step to the English Premier League now", Cherchesov said in English as he looked across to his also-smiling forward at a news conference.

The incidents sparked further fears about hooliganism at the Confederations Cup and the World Cup in 2018.

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