Three reasons why Portugal will win the Confederations Cup

Paola Ditto
Giugno 19, 2017

Several defenders rushed back to attempt to clear the ball, but after coming off the post it was bundled over the line by defender Michael Boxall.

Hosts Russia got their Confederations Cup campaign off to the flawless start, easing to victory against a toothless New Zealand in St Petersburg.

On Sunday, Portugal and Mexico face off from Group A while Chile and Cameroon are playing each other from Group B.

An own-goal from Michael Boxall and Fedor Smolov's second-half strike sealed all three points for new coach Stanislav Cherchesov's side as the tournament hosts impressed at the Krestovsky Stadium.

Russian Federation secured victory in the second half with Fyodor Smolov's goal in the 69th minute.

New Zealand nearly clawed themselves back in the game twice - first Ryan Thomas had a brilliant effort saved by Igor Akinfeev and then Tommy Smith had a powerful header cleared off the line by Yuri Zhirkov.

Russian Federation were on the front foot early and had two chances cleared off the line in the opening 10 minutes.

New Zealand rallied briefly and midfielder Ryan Thomas forced Russian keeper Igor Akinfeev into a smart save, but in reality Russia ran out comfortable winners and could have added more goals late on. Tommy Smith then tidied up when Poloz poked a close-range shot slowly past Marinovic.

"When the president of your country comes out to make a speech this mobilizes us", Russian Federation coach Stanislav Cherchesov said through a translator.

Putin welcomed fans to what he called a "big football festival" and thanked Infantino and FIFA for the faith they had shown in Russian Federation.

"Regarding Ronaldo, he is motivated, and what I can see is that he is taking the competition very seriously and is totally dedicated to training and thinking about the next game against Mexico", Silva told reporters ahead of the European champions' opening game.

"It doesn't matter what your name is or the league you play in: we're all in this together and we're all fighting for the same objective". He 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.

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