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Russian Federation relieved after passing first World Cup test

18 June 2017
Russian Federation relieved after passing first World Cup test

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

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.

Dmitry Poloz then went down under a challenge from New Zealand goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic in the area, but the Colombian referee waved away the penalty appeals and there was no intervention from the video assistant.

"I thought I scored the opening goal but it doesn't really matter who was credited for it", Glushakov said. "The main thing is that we took the lead".

In addition to the opening game, St. Petersburg will host two other matches during the group stage of the tournament: Cameroon vs Australia on June 22, and New Zealand vs Portugal on June 24.

General information about host cities, stadiums, tickets, transportation, timetables and results for the games, the latest news, and other trivia info can be found on our special RT page here. Portugal will play Mexico in a Confederations Cup, Group A soccer match scheduled for. We played the match we have been planning for.

Ronaldo will be able to focus his fans' minds on playing after widespread suggestions this week he wants to leave Real Madrid and Spain, where his tax affairs are under investigation.

"It is the first step to the English Premier League now", Cherchesov said in English as he looked across to his also-smiling forward at a news conference.

The four Russian cities that will host the eighth Confederations Cup - St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan and Sochi - were represented at the event. "But I imagine they are happy with the win in the first game".

A Confederations Cup trophy, never mind a World Cup title, might be too much to ask even for Putin, But Saturday was a start.