Russian Federation scores wild first goal vs. New Zealand at 2017 Confederations Cup

Russian Federation breathed a sigh of relief on Saturday after its soccer team won the opening match of the Confederations Cup and the country demonstrated that one of its most problematic World Cup pitches was fit for worldwide matches.

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Russia's Denis Glushakov, top, chips the ball over New Zealand goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic to score the opening goal during the Confederations, Cup Group A soccer match between Russian Federation and New Zealand, at the St.Petersburg st.

An own goal from Kiwi defender Michael Boxall and Fyodor Smolov's second-half strike gave the hosts the flawless start to the campaign as they prepare to host the 2018 World Cup.

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Russian Federation got what it wanted in the opening game, but on Sunday the football took the back seat as confusion reigned over VAR decisions in the Portugal-Mexico and Chile-Cameroon matches.

Hello. Add your message here. Besides Russia and New Zealand, Portugal, Mexico, Cameroon, Chile, Australia and Germany have also sent their national teams to participate in the cup. We will prepare together the best tournament, Infantino said.

And Fedor Smolov sealed victory with 21 minutes remaining, finishing simply from six yards after starting a move that led to the hapless Boxall failing to clear Samedov's threatening right-wing cross.

The Portuguese football federation released a statement, signed by coach Fernando Santos, Cristiano Ronaldo and the rest of the players, saying that "in this sad hour we send our deepest sympathies to the families, friends and loved ones of the victims of the fires".

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According to Infantino, the stadiums in Russian Federation produce a big impression and both tournaments offer a good chance for all to give a new impetus to football development. "There are other quality players. we have to control the ball as much as possible".

Russia's opening goal had an ugly finish after two pretty pieces of individual skill once the All-Whites defense needlessly lost the ball.

Poloz's neat touch set up Denis Glushakov, who dinked his effort over goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic and off the post before Boxall bundled the ball into his own net.

Russian authorities insist that the Confederations Cup's ticketing system, which requires ticket holders to apply for a personalised fan-ID, ensures that all fans are screened and troublemakers are kept away.

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