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Russia 2 New Zealand 0: Hosts make confident start to Confederations Cup

New Zealand is not a frequent guest of the Confederations Cup.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.Federation Internationale de Football Association general secretary Fatma Samoura said on Friday that the estimated attendance for the tournament would be 65 percent, and that Russia’s match against European champions Portugal had been sold out for weeks.New Zealand keeper Stegan Marinovic clearly brought down Russian striker Dmitry Poloz during the first half but rather than review it the Columbian official waved play on.Russian Federation eventually broke the deadlock in the 30th minute as Denis Glushakov was played through on goal by Fyodor Smolov and lobbed on-rushing Marinovic.Russian Federation convincingly beat New Zealand 2-0 at St Petersburg’s Krestovsky Stadium in front of 50,251 people, including President Vladimir Putin and FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who addressed the crowd before kick-off.Portugal’s forward Cristiano Ronaldo runs during a training session ahead of the Russian Federation 2017 Confederation Cup football tournament in Kazan on Saturday.”I don’t know how it was to play on, but judging by the game it seemed the quality (of the pitch) was rather good”. We played the match we have been planning for.The win puts them top of Group A, with Mexico and Portugal – the other two teams in the section – due to face off on Sunday. Dmitri Poloz set up the chance with a through ball to Denis Glushakov, who tried to chip All Whites goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic.Nani was already celebrating with his teammates when Argentine referee Nestor Pitana asked for the ball and indicated the goal was being reviewed. Although Michael Boxall helped the ball over the line and was credited with an own goal.”And the match between Russian Federation and Portugal has been sold out several weeks ago”.While Germany are resting their senior players for the tournament, the Confederations Cup will benefit from the star appeal of Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo.