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Russia beat New Zealand in Confederations Cup opener

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Russia’s midfielder Denis Glushakov (C back) is congratulated after scoring the first goal of the match during the 2017 Confederations Cup group A football match between Russia and New Zealand at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint-Petersburg on June 17, 2017.
Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP

Russia’s midfielder Denis Glushakov (L) vies for the ball against New Zealand’s defender Michael Boxall during the 2017 Confederations Cup group A football match between Russia and New Zealand at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint-Petersburg on June 17, 2017. Mladen ANTONOV / 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 Saint Petersburg in the tournament opener.

Russia went ahead in the first half of the Group A encounter through what was credited as an own goal from the New Zealand defender Michael Boxall, and Smolov wrapped up the victory in the 69th minute.

Group A rivals Portugal and Mexico meet in Kazan on Sunday.

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