1238 GMT November 21, 2017
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, fifa.com 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.