All Whites fall short in Confed Cup opener

Smolov was named Budweiser Man of the Match, while New Zealand now have two unwanted Tournament of Champions records to their name, having gone 513 minutes without scoring in the competition and ten matches without winning.

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It was a game Russian Federation were widely expected to win against a New Zealand team that are Oceania champions but are the lowest-ranked nation in the tournament.

Russian Federation breathed a sigh of relief after its football team won the opening match of the Confederations Cup and the country demonstrated that one of its most problematic World Cup pitches was fit for global matches. The European champion opens its Group A program on Sunday against Mexico in Kazan.

Russia's Denis Glushakov, top, chips the ball over New Zealand goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic to score the opening goal during the Confederations, Cup Group A soccer match between Russian Federation and New Zealand, at the St.Petersburg st. But after their impressive run of form to the final of Euro 2016, Portugal are preparing to add a second major trophy for their national team.

Arriving by helicopter close to $750 million new stadium in his native St. Petersburg barely 20 minutes before kickoff, Putin was soon installed in the main grandstand and made a speech to launch the tournament.

"We achieved a very good result and at times a very good game".

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

When the goal came, it had an ugly finish after two pretty pieces of individual skill once the All-Whites defense needlessly lost the ball. Several defenders rushed back to attempt to clear the ball, but after coming off the post it was bundled over the line by defender Michael Boxall.

The hosts won the opening match of Group A at the Krestovsky Stadium in front of Russian President Vladimir Putin in Saint Petersburg.

Putin welcomed fans to what he called a "big football festival" and thanked Infantino and FIFA for the faith they had shown in Russian Federation.

Pizzi says the Chile staff is "optimistic from the images we've seen, but we understand and know that the player still feels pain, and that's why we'll wait until tomorrow to decide if he plays". He prefers ice hockey and saw a team that carried fervent hopes of an Olympic title lose on home ice in the quarterfinals at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

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