Sports

Russia 2 New Zealand 0: Hosts begin Confederations Cup with comfortable win

Russia 2 New Zealand 0: Hosts begin Confederations Cup with comfortable win

An already unhappy night for Boxall, he also put his hand up for fluffing a clearance before Russia's second goal on 69 minutes, became even more unpleasant when he was hauled away after the match for drug testing.

Zenit's soccer player Aleksandr Kerzhakov holds white colored and blue eyes 1, 5 years old cat named Achilles at a news conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, Thursday, June 15, 2017.

The Spartak Moscow midfielder clipped the ball over the goalkeeper and bundled it into the net, although replays showed the final touch came off defender Michael Boxall's sliding body.

Stanislav Cherchesov says Vladimir Putin's rousing speech at the Confederations Cup opening ceremony gave Russian Federation extra motivation to defeat New Zealand.

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) - Host nation Russia beat a poor New Zealand team 2-0 on Saturday to open the Confederations Cup with a win that was all but demanded by Vladimir Putin.

All Whites central defenders Michael Boxall, right, and Tommy Smith are unable to prevent Denis Glushakov's shot from sneaking in to give Russian Federation the lead.

"I believe we will have the same team as we did in this game against Portugal".

"The game didn't go how we wanted to go", New Zealand coach Anthony Hudson acknowledged. "We could have been more aggressive".

Participants in the 2017 Confederations Cup are hosts Russian Federation, 2014 FIFA World Cup Champions Germany, 2015 Copa America Champions Chile, 2015 AFC Asian Cup Champion Australia, 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup winners Mexico, 2016 UEFA Euro Cup champs Portugal, OFC (Oceania Football Confederation) Nations Cup victors New Zealand and 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations Champion Cameroon.

Co-leader Koepka has 'bombs away' mentality at Erin Hills
His eagle came on the 667-yard 18th, as Thomas hit a 330-yard drive, then knocked his 3-wood to 8 feet and made the putt. Open courses, it was beginning to firm up from the early week rain, plus the USGA had a few tricks up its sleeve.

Portugal and Mexico, who meet today, are the other two teams in Group A.

Without a win in 10 Confederations Cup matches, New Zealand next play Mexico on Wednesday in Sochi.

New Zealand had their first major chance in the 78th minute.

Russia's opening goal had an ugly finish after two pretty pieces of individual skill once the All-Whites defense needlessly lost the ball.

Alexander Yerokhin sparked the attack with an interception around 30 yards from goal, and his pass was helped on by Poloz into the path of Denis Glushakov. Tommy Smith then tidied up when Poloz poked a close-range shot slowly past Marinovic.

But a win is a win, and Russian Federation certainly needed one in front of President Putin after his insistence earlier this week that Stanislav Cherchesov's team had to raise their game as the World Cup looms on the horizon.

After addressing the crowd at the end of another dismal opening ceremony, Putin sat back alongside Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino and expected to be entertained.

"When the president of our country comes out to make a speech it mobilises us and gives us great motivation, but it also adds to our responsibilities", Cherchesov told reporters.


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