News ID: 195020
Published: 0234 GMT June 18, 2017

Russians party in style

Russians party in style
Rmitry Tarasov (L) and Georgy Dzhikya of Russia celebrate victory over New Zealand in FIFA Confederations Cup opening fixture at Saint Petersburg Stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia on June 17, 2017. MATTHEW ASHTON/GETTY IMAGES

Host Russia could not make a better start to the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, following up a spectacular opening ceremony with a 2-0 defeat of New Zealand in the opening match of the tournament.

Played out under the warm Saint Petersburg sun, the afternoon began with a colorful and entertaining opening ceremony featuring 2,000 artists.  It proved the perfect curtain-raiser for a match that served up no shortage of goalmouth action and kept both keepers busy, reported.

Cheered on by a crowd of 50,251, the Russians made a strong start to the tournament, backing up their early dominance when Michael Boxall inadvertently turned in Denis Glushakov’s dinked effort on goal. Fedor Smolov added a second for the host after the restart, stabbing the ball home from inside the penalty area.

Smolov was named Man of the Match, while New Zealand now has two unwanted Tournament of Champions records to its name, having gone 513 minutes without scoring in the competition and ten matches without winning.

Later today, in Group B of the competition Asian champion, Australia will be playing 2014 World Cup champion and tournament favorite, Germany in Fisht Stadium in the city of Sochi.

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