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Russian Federation eases to 2-0 Confederations Cup win over New Zealand

19 June 2017

The Confederations Cup will be held from June 17th to July 2nd in the Russian cities of Kazan, Sochi, St. Petersburg and Moscow.

World Cup holders Germany and the Federation Internationale de Football Association confederations champions compete in the eight-team tournament, which will put Russia's ability to handle thousands of visiting and home fans under the spotlight.

As Infantino said, the Federation Internationale de Football Association will work with Russia for one more year to organize the best World Cup.

It is not every day that you share the company of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brazilian Football great Pelé and FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

The first goal of the 2017 Confederations Cup belongs to the hosts.

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"Obviously in the first game of the tournament we wanted to get a better result than we did", New Zealand manager Anthony Hudson said.

That was the scenario for the New Zealand Football President Deryck Shaw and Chief Executive Andy Martin who were alongside some of the world's biggest names in politics and sport at the opening game of the FIFA Confederations Cup in St Petersburg.

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

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.

"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 handsome play".

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Putin this week demanded better results from the 63rd-ranked Russian Federation team and for the players to perform like warriors.

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

Andres Guardado and Mexico trained in St. Petersburg on Saturday.

"It doesn't matter what your name is or the league you play in: we're all in this together and we're all fighting for the same objective". Let me remind you that Russian Federation rivals: New Zealand, Portugal and Mexico.

Russian authorities insist that the Confederations Cup's ticketing system, which requires ticket holders to apply for a personalised fan-ID, ensures that all fans are screened and troublemakers are kept away.

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