Russian Federation wins 2-0 in Confed Cup

Russian Federation are now top of Group A, which has Portugal and Mexico also in it – who both will play the second match of the group on Sunday.

However, it was Russian Federation who got the next goal in the 69th minute as Boxall failed to deal with Samedov’s cross, which allowed Fyordor Smolov to tap into an empty net.

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. Portugal and Mexico are other teams in Group A and will face-off on Sunday, June 18.

World Cup holders Germany and Australia complete the group.

Russia, a record low 63rd in FIFA’s world positions, encounter Portugal on Wednesday and also New Zealand play Mexico the same day.

Video review is on trial in Russian Federation and Infantino hopes it can be fast-tracked for approval at the 2018 World Cup to help referees overturn “clear errors” in game-changing situations such as penalty kicks awarded and offside rulings affecting goals.

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) – Video review is making FIFA President Gianni Infantino “extremely happy” after being used five times and causing moments of confusion in the first round of Confederations Cup games.

Putin, who urged Russian Federation to improve their performances in the build-up to the tournament, seemed to enjoy the match and was seen happily applauding Smolov’s strike as he sat in the stands alongside FIFA president Gianni Infantino.

An own goal from Kiwi defender Michael Boxall and Fyodor Smolov’s second-half strike gave the hosts the ideal start to the campaign as they prepare to host the 2018 World Cup.

Aleksandr Samedov’s corner found Viktor Vasin who saw his header hacked clear by Michael McGlinchey.

The opening ceremony turned the St. Petersburg Arena into the setting for a spectacular and bright show, with more than 2,000 actors involved in the performance.

“For us it is very important to make people in the country fall in love with the national team”, said Smolov, the 27-year-old FC Krasnodar forward who was named the game’s best player.

“Here, on modern football arenas there will be tough, honest, fair fight until the last minutes of the match”, Putin said in Russian, adding that the eight-team, two-week event would “unite nations and continents, to promote the values of fair and lovely play”.