Putin present to see Russia kick off Confederations Cup

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Russian Federation kicked off their Confederations Cup Group A campaign in style as they cruised to a 2-0 victory over New Zealand in St Petersburg.

A lovely display by Erokhin and Poloz had set Glushakov through on goal, and the latter's effort was turned in by Boxall to put the hosts ahead in the 31st minute.

In New Zealand, the match will be streamed on Sky Go NZ, and while the match isn't being shown online in Russian Federation, you can find viewing options for other countries by checking out LiveSoccerTV.

The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup will be held in Russian Federation through July 2 in four host cities - Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, and Sochi.

Prior to attending the match at the 68,000-capacity sold-out Krestovsky Stadium, neither Matt nor Fred had ever been at a "real football ground" of that size, noting that all the soccer stadiums in New Zealand are shared with rugby teams, or worse - converted from cricket pitches.

The FIFA Confederations Cup is viewed by experts as a rehearsal for the organizers, with only one year to go to the FIFA World Cup.

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Russia's win eases the pressure on winning its second game, against Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal in Moscow on Wednesday.

Participants in the 2017 Confederations Cup are hosts Russian Federation, 2014 FIFA World Cup Champions Germany, 2015 Copa America Champions Chile, 2015 AFC Asian Cup Champion Australia, 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup winners Mexico, 2016 UEFA Euro Cup champs Portugal, OFC (Oceania Football Confederation) Nations Cup victors New Zealand and 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations Champion Cameroon.

Russia's opening goal had an ugly finish after two pretty pieces of individual skill once the All-Whites defense needlessly lost the ball. Tommy Smith then tidied up when Poloz poked a close-range shot slowly past Marinovic. Aleksandr Samedov's corner found Viktor Vasin who saw his header hacked clear by Michael McGlinchey.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and FIFA President Gianni Infantino officially opened the tournament.

"When the president of your country comes out to make a speech this mobilizes us", said coach Stanislav Cherchesov, a former goalkeeper who played for the national team before and after the fall of communism.

Russia's victory showed it can win a big game at home, even if Putin is in the arena.

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