Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

Russian Federation defeats New Zealand at 1st Match of FIFA Confederations Cup

New Zealand's players arrive at Pulkovo International Airport in Saint Petersburg in Russia on June 9 to take part in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup Russian Federation defeats New Zealand at 1st Match of FIFA Confederations Cup
Hilda Schwartz | 18 June, 2017, 01:54

The over 68,000-seat capacity stadium created to host the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup matches was laid down in the western portion of Krestovsky Island in St. Petersburg in 2007.

Russia's Fedor Smolov, center, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the Confederations, Cup Group A soccer match between Russia and New Zealand, at the St.Petersburg stadium in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturd.

But, having come into the contest under significant pressure to start well in front of a 68,000-strong home crowd, the hosts responded superbly.

Fleet-footed midfielder Ryan Thomas was one of the best for a New Zealand side who spent large periods on the back foot. "It allowed us to play", Cherchesov said.

"However, we were playing against a very strong Russian team".

The goal was initially awarded to Denis Glushakov before it was ruled as an own goal upon review.

Still, the Russians secured the three points they needed to.

They twice had shots cleared off the line before eventually taking the lead on the half-hour mark, a sloppy pass out of defence leading to what was eventually judged a Michael Boxall own-goal.

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Smolov's goal was rightly ruled out for offside, but dominant Russian Federation were not to be denied, taking the lead on 31 minutes.

Russian Federation went ahead in the first half of the Group A encounter through what was credited as an own goal from the New Zealand defender Michael Boxall, and Smolov wrapped up the victory in the 69th minute. "We could have been more aggressive".

"Absolutely. When you lose 2-0 there is going to be parts where you wanted to be more physical, done your jobs better and competed a bit more".

"So, we're slightly deflated but the team showed a lot of spirit".

New Zealand are in the Confederations Cup thanks to winning the 2016 OFC Nations Cup tournament, and they are making their fourth Confederations Cup appearance.

The hosts now take on Portugal on Wednesday after Fernando Santos' men have played Mexico in their Group A opener.

"We have to be incredibly single-minded, mentally tough and we have to recover very quickly". They're going to be a team to keep a close eye on in the Confederations Cup, because it looks possible that New Zealand will be in the World Cup next summer, as well.

Poloz had a penalty claim turned down when he rounded Marinovic and went to ground, with referee Wilmar Roldan receiving no help from the video assistant - while Georgiy Dzhikiya's powerful strike was pushed wide by the keeper.

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