ST. PETERSBURG, June 17. /TASS/. The Russian national football team defeated New Zealand 2-0 in the opening match of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, held on Saturday in Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg.
The score was opened by hosts Russia into 31st minute of the match when midfielder Denis Glushakov shoved the ball into the lower right corner of the guests’ net, lobbing the All Whites' keeper. But the opener was counted as an own goal as defender Michael Boxall touched the ball in a last-second desperate attempt to clear.
With an average ball possession of over 60 percent in the first half and numerous attempts on the net of New Zealand, both teams retreated for the break with 1-0 flashing on the scoreboard.
Almost 25 minutes into the second half, Russian forward Fedor Smolov cannoned another goal for his team after having received a flawless assist from Alexander Samedov.
"I am disappointed about the game, I did not guard well," New Zealand’s midfielder Michael McGlinchey said in an interview with TASS after the match.
Speaking about the Russian national team, the 30-year-old midfielder said "they are a decent side and we expected that."
The game was played at the newly-built 57,000-seat capacity St. Petersburg Stadium and tonight’s attendance of the match totaled over 50,200.
McGlinchey added that he liked playing at the new arena in St. Petersburg saying that "it is a beautiful stadium - massive, brand new, top quality facility."
The Russian team is playing its next match against Portugal at Spartak Arena in Moscow, while New Zealand is going to the Russian southern resort city of Sochi, where they are scheduled to play Mexico at the Fisht Stadium.
This year’s tournament is held between June 17 and July 2 at four stadiums in Russia and they are Spartak Stadium in Moscow, St. Petersburg Stadium, Fisht Stadium in Sochi and the Kazan Arena in Kazan.
Participants in the 2017 Confederations Cup are hosts Russia, 2014 FIFA World Cup Champions Germany, 2015 Copa America Champions Chile, 2015 AFC Asian Cup Champion Australia, 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup winners Mexico, 2016 UEFA Euro Cup champs Portugal, OFC (Oceania Football Confederation) Nations Cup victors New Zealand and 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations Champion Cameroon.