Confederations Cup: Host Russia begin with 2-0 victory

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Russia players celebrate a goal-Photo: Goal.com

Russia cruised to a comfortable 2-0 win over New Zealand as the hosts made a confident start to the Confederations Cup.

Three of the previous nine Confederations Cups have been won by the host nation and Russia, playing in the tournament for the first time, impressed with victory in Saint Petersburg.

After having two early chances cleared off the line, they took the lead when Michael Boxall scored an own goal after Denis Glushakov had struck the post.

Russia made sure of victory in the second half, with Fyodor Smolov’s third goal in four internationals ensuring president Vladimir Putin, who called for improved performances in the event, was applauding happily in the stands.

New Zealand are now without a win in 10 Confederations Cup matches and struggled to make an attacking impression.

Portugal and Mexico, who meet on Sunday, are…

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