Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Sports | By Mabel Barber

Putin present to see Russia kick off Confederations Cup

Next year's World Cup will take place in 12 stadiums spread across 11 cities, including Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, and Sochi, the host cities for the Confederations Cup.

St. Petersburg's Hermitage Museum on Thursday unveiled Achilles, a white moggy who will be offered two different plates before each game to predict the Confederations Cup results.

St. Petersburg, June 18 (IANS): Hosts Russia defeated New Zealand 2-0 in the Group A opening match of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup football tournament here on Saturday.

World Champions Germany and the champions from FIFA's six confederations are competing in the two-week tournament that will allow Russian Federation to test its soccer infrastructure in four of the 11 cities hosting World Cup matches.

Russian Federation will be quite a different side from that which turned in a modest display at last year's UEFA EURO.

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

"But we will be able to check whether we've done everything right only once we play in official matches".

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It will be the first meeting between Russian Federation and New Zealand, the champions of Oceania, in the post-Soviet era. 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. New Zealand had already experienced with three times and it is the fourth competition but, did create any biggest achievements in past games. "We could have been more aggressive".

"When the president of our country comes out to make a speech it mobilises us and gives us great motivation, but it also adds to our responsibilities", he said after the match. That will be a far more exacting exercise for these players but so far, so good.

"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 the postgame news conference.

Russian Federation were on the front foot early and had two chances cleared off the line in the opening 10 minutes.

New Zealand lost possession 30 yards out, Aleksandr Erokhin and Dmitry Poloz quickly combined passes before putting through Denis Glushakov.

However, Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said last week terrorism did not pose any threat to Confederations Cup participants and spectators.

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