Putin present to see Russia kick off Confederations Cup

Rosalie Stanley
June 24, 2017

Cherchesov's 3-5-2 formation proved too strong for New Zealand's limited team, and the passing and movement of the hosts may even have earned the admiration of Putin, who watched from the stands alongside Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino after delivering a stirring pre-match address.

Having played his last test match on June 9 against the Chilean team, the Russian team as a whole looked good.

"We coped with the task before us". More information can be found on Fifa's website.

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.

Michael Boxall's own goal in the 31st minute broke the deadlock for Russian Federation, and Fedor Smolov confirmed the result with his strike with 21 minutes remaining in Saint Petersberg.

But weak defending allowed Russia's Fedor Smolov to slip past the New Zealand defence and tap in a low cross by team mate Alexander Samedov in the 69th minute.

The eight-nation, 16-game tournament features the host nation, 2014 World Cup victor Germany and champions of FIFA's six continental governing bodies.

"Judging by the game, it seemed the quality (of the pitch) was rather good". We can play much better and perform much more skilled football than we showed today.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and FIFA President Gianni Infantino officially opened the tournament.

The Russian interior ministry has since blacklisted 292 fans, effectively banning them from attending official sporting events.

New Zealand is now without a win in 10 FIFA Confederations Cup matches and struggled to make an attacking impression.

THE Confederations Cup kicks off with a match that will be of great interest to Leeds United fans. Anthony Hudson and the All Whites have been working hard in their preparations for the Confederations Cup and will look to cause an upset against Russian Federation.

At Saturday's game there were two pre-game stadium announcements warning fans against discriminatory behaviour.

On the sporting side, the six Federation Internationale de Football Association confederation champions plus world champions Germany and hosts Russia are doing battle for the 10th edition of a tournament whose future is in doubt.

Shprygin, who was twice deported from France past year during Euro 2016, said he had been notified by organisers that his fan-ID, needed to attend matches, had been cancelled.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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