Putin present to see Russia kick off Confederations Cup
18 June, 2017, 01:26 | Author: Jonathon Greene
Viktor Vasin hit the post, Dmitry Poloz saw a stabbed effort cleared off the line while New Zealand goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic made numerous saves to keep the scoreline blank.
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) - What Vladimir Putin wants, Vladimir Putin tends to get.
On the sporting side, the six Federation Internationale de Football Association confederation champions plus world champions Germany and hosts Russia are doing battle for the 10th edition of a tournament whose future is in doubt.
This year's tournament is held between June 17 and July 2 at four stadiums in Russian Federation and they are Spartak Stadium in Moscow, St. Petersburg Stadium, Fisht Stadium in Sochi and the Kazan Arena in Kazan.
Arriving by helicopter close to the stadium barely 20 minutes before kickoff, he was soon installed in the main grandstand making a speech to launch the tournament.
"My conscience is quite clear", Ronaldo said Wednesday as he walked from a Portugal team bus into Lisbon airport on his way to Russian Federation.
The tournament's organising committee told Reuters it had launched a programme allowing "underprivileged Russian fans" to attend matches for free and that local authorities were in charge of distributing those tickets.
"The make-up of our team has often been scenarios like that where we haven't always been able to get our best players together".
It will be played at the Krestovsky Stadium in St Petersburg - the new home of Zenit.
"We know that it is going to be another tough game. We could have been more aggressive".
Group A rivals Portugal, led by Cristiano Ronaldo, and Mexico meet in Kazan on Sunday, with Russia's next game against the Portuguese in Moscow on Wednesday. As for football? The subject elicits a universal "thumbs down" gesture that says everything about Russia's current relationship with its team just 12 months before World Cup kicks off.
"He takes this tournament very seriously and is focused".
Regular names like Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil, Toni Kroos, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels have all been rested as fringe and emerging players are given a chance to shine.
Federation Internationale de Football Association will for the first time also implement a three-step procedure that allow referees to stop matches in the event of racist or discriminatory incidents - a new measure Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko welcomed as the "absolute right decision".
The pool also includes Portugal and Mexico, presenting what is likely to be a tough path for either Russian Federation or New Zealand moving through these opening stages.
When the goal came, it had an ugly finish after two pretty pieces of individual skill once the All-Whites defense needlessly lost the ball. It will help dictate the tempo of the game in their favor and even help them gain the confidence to win the 2017 Confederations Cup.
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