The opening match of the Fifa Confederations Cup, between the two lowest-ranked nations at this month's tournament, was no glamour tie, yet the hosts will have few complaints after comfortably beating lowly New Zealand 2-0 yesterday at St Petersburg Arena. Earlier, an official opening ceremony for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russian Federation was held in front of packed spectators stands of the newly-built football stadium in the countrys second largest city of St Petersburg.
Two minutes later, New Zealand were forced to clear the ball off the line once more.
"People can see the national team have spirit, and are like a family, and maybe that's why our performances have got better", said striker Fedor Smolov, who scored the second goal after the first was credited as an own goal by New Zealand defender Michael Boxall.
The tournament will culminate with the final on July 2 at Saint Petersburg's Kretovsky Stadium, the venue for the opening match. "Among the public, I don't think that there are big expectations at the moment, so maybe it's good that there's not too much pressure on us", said Smolov. "It allowed us to play", Cherchesov said. The most experienced players received me with open arms and made me feel welcomed.
This Sunday, June 18, 2017 (8:00 AM Pacific) Portugal will play Mexico at the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia for a group stage match in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. We know these days that possession of the ball is the most important thing.
In head coach Stanislav Cherchesov's first competitive match, the hosts were confident and proved worthy winners of this opening Group A game.
Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo runs during a training session ahead of the Russian Federation 2017 Confederation Cup football tournament in Kazan on Saturday. "Cristiano is totally focused in helping our team".
"Nothing is going to change", Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio said Saturday, a day before Portugal's Confederations Cup debut against Mexico in Kazan.
Federation Internationale de Football Association will for the first time also implement a three-step procedure that allow referees to stop matches in the event of racist or discriminatory incidents - a new measure Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko welcomed as the "absolute right decision".
A minute later, the vocal supporters had better cause as Poloz beautifully redirected a pass into the path of Denis Glushakov. Mexico has only lost one game in its last five, its latest result was a 1-1 draw with the United States while its greatest victory was a 3-0 win against Honduras. The president prefers ice hockey and saw a team that carried fervent hopes of an Olympic title lose on home ice in the quarterfinals at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Andre Silva, the 21-year-old forward who is about to make his debut in a major tournament with Portugal, has been successfully teaming up with Ronaldo to give the European champions an impressive attacking force entering the Confederations Cup.