Russia beats New Zealand in the first match of the Confederations Cup

SANTA MONICA – Russia is off to a strong start in the Confederations Cup with a 2-0 win over New Zealand today.

The Confederations Cup, which officially kicked off in Russia today, began with the arrival of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who gave a speech shortly before the first match.

Then, the game started and Russia began it with two early chances in the first 10 minutes.  They, however, did not have any real luck until minute 31.  It was then, that Glushakov chipped the ball over the goalkeeper’s head and Russia took the lead, 1-0.

The game stayed rather quiet until minute 69, when Russia scored once again.  This time,  is was Fedor Smolov who received a cross, and, with the goalie on the other far side of the goal, he easily redirected the ball to the back of the net.  This put Russia up 2-0, a score that remained for the duration of the match.

Russia walked away with 3 points and New Zealand walked away with yet another winless game.  New Zealand has lost all but one of the 10 matches they have played at the Confederations Cup, they tied once in 2009. For Russia, however, this was a must win game.  Aside from being the host nation, they have only won 3 of their last 15 games.

Next up, Russia will take on one of the favorites to win the tournament.  They will play Portugal on Wednesday at 8:00 AM pacific time.  New Zealand will face off against Mexico on Wednesday at 11:00 pacific time.

Photo by ISI.