Russian Federation delivers win for Putin to open Confederations Cup


Stanislav Cherchesov says Vladimir Putin's rousing speech at the FIFA Confederations Cup opening ceremony gave Russian Federation extra motivation to defeat New Zealand.

Russian Federation has introduced a new scheme that will allow football fans to enter the country for the 2018 World Cup without a visa.

The 2017 Federations Cup organizing committee is chaired by Russia's Deputy Prime Minister and President of the Russian Football Union Vitaly Mutko.

On June 17 the Federation Internationale de Football Association president visited the opening game of the 2017 Confederations Cup match in St. Petersburg, in which Russia defeated New Zealand 2:0.

Putin this week demanded better results from the 63rd-ranked team to impress the Russian public.

The fan-ID system has been successfully tested at the 2017 Confederations Cup first match, Sorokin said.

It would mean they would nearly certainly need to get at least a draw against world No 17 Mexico, and probably a win given their last group match was against European champions Portugal.

Russian Federation sealed all three points as Smolov started and finished a swift passing move in the 69th minute to extended their unbeaten streak to four matches under Cherchesov.

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Without a win in 10 Confederations Cup matches, New Zealand next play Mexico on Wednesday in Sochi.

A win against either Portugal or Mexico will nearly certainly do the job.

Arriving by helicopter close to $750 million new stadium in his native St. Petersburg barely 20 minutes before kickoff, Putin was soon installed in the main grandstand and made a speech to launch the tournament. "It allowed us to play", Cherchesov said.

New Zealand, meanwhile, were finding it tough to hold maintain possession of the ball, which led to a lack of chances.

When the goal came, it had an ugly finish after two pretty pieces of individual skill once the All-Whites defense needlessly lost the ball.

While Germany are resting their senior players for the tournament, the Confederations Cup will benefit from the star appeal of Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

As Infantino said, the Federation Internationale de Football Association will work with Russia for one more year to organize the best World Cup.