Start of Confed Cup is great holiday for Russia: Sports minister

(AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky). Russia’s Denis Glushakov, center, scores the opening goal during the Confederations, Cup Group A soccer match between Russia and New Zealand, at the St.Petersburg stadium in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 17, 2017.

The hosts almost went ahead after after seven minutes when Viktor Vasin’s glancing header crashed against the upright with Stefan Marinovic well beaten.

“But Russia’s authorities have worked out a comprehensive security concept that will act during the major football tournaments here to avoid any chance of the repetition of such kind of events”.

Just seconds later, Smith headed the resulting corner from McGlinchey towards goal but Russian Federation somehow managed to scramble the ball off the line.

But Russia sealed victory in the 69th minute when New Zealand fail to react fast enough to Samedov squared pass across goal – and there was Fedor Smolov to slot home unmarked from just a few yards out.

New Zealand opted for a change on the hour-mark, as Kosta Barbarouses made for way Bill Tuiloma as they pushed for an equaliser.

Russian Federation secured victory in the second half with Fyodor Smolov’s goal in the 69th minute.

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.

An own goal by Michael Boxall and an easy tap-in by Fedor Smolov was all Russian Federation needed to defeat Oceania side New Zealand in the opening fixture of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.

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

The Russian players during their final training session ahead of today’s match against New Zealand.

Russia’s win eases the pressure on its second game, against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal in Moscow on Wednesday.

Stanislav Cherchesov’s men delivered with an impressive 2-0 win, a match that followed the tournament’s opening ceremony which included Russian president Vladimir Putin.

“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.