Confederations Cup begins with colourful opening ceremony

Russia unveils ‘psychic’ cat ahead of Confederations Cup

After the New Zealand "All Whites" had cleared off the line several times, the breakthrough for the hosts came on 31 minutes when midfielder Denis Glushakov raced through into the box and chipped the ball over Kiwi 'keeper Stefan Marinovic.

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The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup has kicked off in the iconic Russian city of St. Petersburg, with a ceremony showing off folk and contemporary Russian culture.

An own-goal from Michael Boxall and Fedor Smolov's second-half strike sealed all three points for new coach Stanislav Cherchesov's side as the tournament hosts impressed at the Krestovsky Stadium. 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.

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Shprygin, who had been deported from France previous year during the European Championship, said he had been notified by Confederations Cup organisers that his fan-ID, needed to attend matches, had been cancelled.

With three points, Russian Federation will next face Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal in Moscow on Wednesday.

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

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".

Russian Federation were under pressure before the match began with the country's President Vladimir Putin in the gallery. "He is focused on what needs to be done here, and without a doubt he will have a great tournament", Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio said Saturday.

Smolov's goal was rightly ruled out for offside, but dominant Russian Federation were not to be denied, taking the lead on 31 minutes.

"It is the first step to the English Premier League now", Cherchesov said in English as he looked across to his also-smiling forward at a news conference.

Although Russia were under pressure to perform well on home soil after slipping to a record low 63rd in FIFA's world rankings this month, the country faced even more scrutiny over issues off the pitch in the run-up to the tournament.

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