Confederations Cup Kicks Off In Russia One Year Ahead Of World Cup

Hosts Russia kick off the Confederations Cup against New Zealand in St Petersburg today, targeting victory in their opening match to set the tone for a successful tournament.

With Putin no doubt starting to shift uneasily in his seat, Russian Federation finally broke the deadlock after 31 minutes - Denis Glushakov's delicate chip over the advancing Marinovic bundled over the line with FIFA crediting unfortunate New Zealand defender Michael Boxall with the final touch. The Confederations Cup is a tradition that takes place one year before the World Cup in the country that is hosting the World Cup, allowing the champions from each continent to face off against the victor of the previous World Cup and the upcoming host country.

Before every major tournament comes an opening ceremony.

However, Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said last week terrorism did not pose any threat to Confederations Cup participants and spectators.

Three of the previous nine Confederations Cups have been won by the host nation and Russian Federation, playing in the tournament for the first time, impressed with victory in Saint Petersburg.

"The game didn't go how we wanted", he said afterwards.

The news of his possible departure attracted the attention of global media covering Portugal at the eight-nation competition that serves as a warm-up for next year's World Cup.

We are finally underway in Russian Federation. They hardly needed to be in dispatching No. 95 New Zealand, which seemed to find the world stage too big.

In the opening match, Russian Federation midfielder Denis Glushakov flicked the ball over goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic in the 31st minute as All Whites defenders rushed back to try to clear it off the line. We're all feeling courageous and will take things on full of optimism.

"So, we're slightly deflated but the team showed a lot of spirit".

"Obviously in the first game of the tournament we wanted to get a better result than we did", New Zealand manager Anthony Hudson said.

New Zealand are now without a win in 10 Confederations Cup matches and struggled to make an attacking impression.

Madrid sports media is awash with headlines suggesting Ronaldo wants out.

World Cup holders Germany and Australia complete the group.

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