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Confederations Cup: Russia beat NZ 2-0

Russia's defender Fedor Kudryashov (L) and Russia's midfielder Dmitry Tarasov (R) acknowledge the fans after their 2-0 win against New Zealand in the 2017 Confederations Cup group A football match between Russia and New Zealand. Pic/AFPRussia's defender Fedor Kudryashov (L) and Russia's midfielder Dmitry Tarasov (R) acknowledge the fans after their 2-0 win against New Zealand in the 2017 Confederations Cup group A football match between Russia and New Zealand. Pic/AFP

Hosts Russia got off to a winning start at the Confederations Cup on Saturday, Fedor Smolov's second-half goal sealing a 2-0 win over New Zealand in the opener.

Russia went ahead in the first half of the Group A encounter through what was credited as an own goal from New Zealand defender Michael Boxall, and Smolov – top scorer in the Russian league last season – wrapped up the points in the 69th minute.

This competition offers Russia a chance to showcase its readiness to host the 2018 World Cup.

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