With one year until the 2018 Fifa World Cup, the official pre-World Cup showpiece known as the Confederations Cup which welcomes the Champions of the 6 Confederations, Hosts and World Cup win ners is here. The hosts Russia showed no love to their opponents in the opening match.
The opening game saw Russia (red) vs New Zealand (white)….yip it looked like a Valentines day party on the pitch. These two teams only met once before when Russia won 3-0 and with Russa ranked 63rd in the Fifa rankings compared to New Zealand ranked 95, it would seem that maybe history would repeat itself.
This is however Russia’s first Confederations Cup and as hosts of the tournament they are bound to feel the pressure, the St Petersburg Stadium was packed to the brim to watch their country with an all local line-up take on the White Caps from New Zealand. At kick-off in St Petersburg the time in New Zealand was 3am 18-06-2017…I wonder how many people in New Zealand woke up to watch the game though.
The first goal came in the 32nd minute, a scrappy goal which looked more like a try in Rugby with a couple of New Zealand players diving to save the ball out of the net……I think that’s why there was a fan wearing an All Black jersey.
Half-time score 1 – 0 Russia were on the attack and should have scored more if it was not for the defence and save from New Zealand.
The second half continued in the same fashion and Russia managed a second goal in the 69th minute scored by Smolov. New Zealands best chance came in the 78th minute but the ball was cleared off the line by the Russian defence.
It was an exciting game for the Russian team and fans, I am hoping for an awesome tournament….who will you choose as your Champion????