Hosts Russia see off New Zealand in Confederations Cup opener

Posted June 20, 2017

The FIFA Confederations Cup is being held in Russian Federation for the first time and the "Tournament of Champions" is in effect a test-run for the largest sporting event in the world, the FIFA World Cup.

Four of the World Cup's 11 host cities - St Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan and Moscow - are staging matches at the eight-nation tournament which culminates with the final on July 2 in St Petersburg.

The Krestovsky Stadium was late in opening and came home well over budget, while serious problems have been experienced with the playing surface.

Russian athletes were excluded from the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro as well as this year's world athletics championships as a result of state-sponsored doping.

President Vladimir Putin, for whom the tournament and the World Cup are prestige projects, said Thursday: "Let us hope that the guys will try to perform well, like real fighters".

Russian Federation made a rapid start, with Aleksandr Golovin having a drive unconvincingly dealt with by New Zealand goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic, before the hosts were twice denied by goal-line clearances.

Nevertheless, the Confederations Cup will show some signs of Fifa's commercial regeneration.

The Portuguese football federation released a statement, signed by coach Fernando Santos, Cristiano Ronaldo and the rest of the players, saying that "in this sad hour we send our deepest sympathies to the families, friends and loved ones of the victims of the fires".

Having a Confederations Cup exactly one year ahead of the World Cup, at peak time for European leagues, would not be acceptable. "The main thing is that we took the lead". As they slid, one of them - Michael Boxall - turned it in to send the Krevstovsky wild with delight. In the U.S., for example, Fox Sports is set to show the tournament for the first time as it continues its relationship with major worldwide competitions.

"I think that my rights have been violated", Shprygin said.

Pizzi says the Chile staff is "optimistic from the images we've seen, but we understand and know that the player still feels pain, and that's why we'll wait until tomorrow to decide if he plays".

For that, though, they need to do something they have never done at the Confederations Cup: win.

Is the Russian Federation vs Portugal game online? If this continues, they will be entitled to suspend and, as a last resort, abandon the game.