• Live
    • Audio Only
  • Share on Google +
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on twitter
  • Russia’s Fedor Smolov celebrates scoring their second goal in St.Petersburg, Russia, June 17, 2017.

    Russia’s Fedor Smolov celebrates scoring their second goal in St.Petersburg, Russia, June 17, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

Igor Akinfeev's team seize the lead after having shots stopped on the line twice.

Host nation Russia beat New Zealand 2-0 on the opening day of the Confederations Cup as they played in the tournament for the first time. 

RELATED: 
Confederations Cup Preview: teams and star players

In the 31st minute, New Zealand defender Michael Boxall scored an own goal after Denis Glushakov had struck the post.

It helped the Russian team to seize the lead after twice having shots stopped on the line.

Russia secured victory in the second half with Fyodor Smolov’s goal in the 69th minute.

He started a move on the halfway line, passed the ball wide to the right to Alexander Samedov and Smolov sprinted in to the penalty area to score from five yards.

With three points, Russia will next face Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal in Moscow on Wednesday.

The European champions will open the Group A program on Sunday against Mexico in Kazan.

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

Ryan Thomas’ powerful shot was saved by Russia captain Igor Akinfeev and Tommy Smith’s header from the resulting corner was hacked on the line by Yuri Zhirkov.

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

The Confederations Cup precedes the World Cup by a year to guarantee that the facilities and provisions of the host country are ready.

Three of the previous nine tournaments have been won by the host nation.

The championship game will be played on July 2 in St. Petersburg. 

Tags

Sports Soccer
|

Comment
0
Comments
Post with no comments.