Russia 2-0 New Zealand: Hosts open up 2017 Confederation Cup with three points
It could have been uglier, but two goals were enough for the Russians
A goal in each half carried host Russia to a 2-0 win over New Zealand on Saturday in the Confederations Cup opener. Russia dominated the match, had nearly all of the chances and secured three points with a scoreline that could have been much worse.
With nine shots on goal, the first goal came from Denis Glushakov in the 31st minute with a nifty lofted shot after being sent through on goal:
New Zealand then improved a bit and was able to threaten through Ryan Thomas, but Russia was able to kill the match off in the 69th minute, with Fedor Smolov taking advantage of some horrendous defending by the Kiwis:
The victory gives Russia three points in Group A ahead of Sunday's match between the group's other two teams, Portugal and Mexico.
As for New Zealand, with Mexico and Portugal remaining, their time at the tournament will likely end with the group stage.
The Dortmund man has been linked with a move to England
The backing of the club president has reportedly been the key
A spot in the semis goes to the victor
Both teams have a great chance to advance
The cup begins in mid-June in Russia
This was a draw for both but not much better than a loss