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

Rufina Vignone
Giugno 19, 2017

From Saturday to July 2, Russian Federation is hosting the Confederations, the main warm-up event for next year's World Cup. "We are the only team at the Confed Cup that has not won any other tournament to qualify, but we will do our best".

Putin said this week he expected Russian Federation to play like warriors and that fans expected better results from the world's No. 63-ranked team.

Fifa formally launched the initiative jointly with the game's law-making body Ifab (International Football Association Board) on Thursday as part of a strategy "focusing on improving fairness and the image of the game", it said in a statement. "We could have been more aggressive".

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

Putin even got to meet Pele at half time. The European champion opens its Group A program on Sunday against Mexico in Kazan.

The news of his possible departure attracted the attention of worldwide media covering Portugal at the eight-nation competition that serves as a warm-up for next year's World Cup.

Ten minutes before kickoff, both teams lined up in front of the main stand to listen speeches by Putin and FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

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

Coach Fernando Santos and some of Ronaldo's teammates are confident the star forward won't be affected by the buzz created by a report that said he wants to leave the Spanish club because of allegations that he defrauded the country's tax authorities.

But this was Putin's show. 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.

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

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