News Worms
News Worms

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

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Mexico's Carlos Vela jump for the ball during the Confederations Cup, Group A soccer match between Portugal and Mexico, at the Kazan Arena, Russia, Sunday, June 18, 2017.

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. It proved the ideal curtain-raiser for a match that served up no shortage of goalmouth action and kept both keepers busy. Right back Alexander Samedov provided the assist with a square ball across the face of goal, and Fedor Smolov was in ideal position at the far post to poke it into the back of the net.

Within 15 minutes Portugal had taken the lead, however, with Ronaldo, who has now scored or provided an assist in each of his last seven games for the national team, nearly inevitably at the heart of it. "It was a fair result for how the teams played".

But it is also an opportunity for coach Stanislav Cherchesov and his side to show what they can do on the pitch, although they will face far greater tests in their next two outings than what New Zealand provided here.

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

This competition offers Russian Federation a chance to showcase its readiness to host the 2018 World Cup amidst off-field concerns surrounding hooliganism and security.

KAZAN, Russia Mexico claimed a 2-2 draw with Portugal in their Confederations Cup opener on Sunday with a last-gasp equaliser by Hector Moreno after Cedric seemed to have won the game for the European champions with a goal five minutes from time.

"We knew the scenario with who was coming to the game", New Zealand coach Anthony Hudson said. "Among the public, I don't think that there are big expectations at the moment, so maybe it's good that there's not too much pressure on us", said Smolov.

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 were on the front foot early and had two chances cleared off the line in the opening 10 minutes.

Alexander Yerokhin sparked the attack with an interception around 30 yards from goal, and his pass was helped on by Poloz into the path of Denis Glushakov. But having gone into Saturday with just three victories in their last 15 games, the Russians simply had to win. He prefers ice hockey and saw a team that carried fervent hopes of an Olympic title lose on home ice in the quarterfinals at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.


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