Russia 2-0 New Zealand: Hosts too strong for hapless All Whites in Group A opener

Russia got their Fifa Confederations Cup campaign off to the perfect start as they ran out comfortable 2-0 winners against New Zealand in their Group A opener in Saint Petersburg.

The home side knew that they needed to get off to a winning start in group A, given the fact they face tough competition in Portugal and Mexico to get out of the group and they did just that.

Denis Glushakov opened the scoring for the hosts after the half hour mark to settle the nerves of a nation and form their on, they showed that they were clearly the better team.

Fyodor Smolov added a second in the second half for the hosts to seal a very important three points, while New Zealand know that this was probably their best chance of getting some points.

The hosts dominated from the start creating many chances

After the long opening ceremony finally ended, the football began and it was the hosts, unsurprisingly, who totally dominated the first half from start to finish.

Viktor Vasin was first to go close for the hosts when he saw his goalbound header, from a corner kick, come back off the post with Stefan Marinovic beaten in the New Zealand goal.

Just minutes later, the hosts got in behind again as Dmitry Poloz controlled the ball well inside the box before seeing his shot cleared off the line by Tommy Smith, who got back just in time to keep his side on level terms.

Rezo Djikia was next to try his luck for the hosts from a long way out but his shot was saved by Marinovic, who was doing well to keep his side in the game.

Glushakov gave the hosts a deserved lead after the half-hour mark

After much huffing and puffing though the goal did finally come for the home side just after the half hour mark. The hosts won the ball back in the New Zealand half and a brilliant ball through from Poloz found Glushakov, who flicked the ball over the keeper with the ball just about going into the back of the net with the New Zealand defenders almost keeping it out.

They tried to get a second before half-time but the New Zealand defence stood strong but going the other way they offered next to nothing as all they done for most of the half was hit the ball long to Chris Wood, who was very isolated up front and would need more support in the second half.

The second half started exactly the same way as the first

The second half though started the same way as the first as the Russians continued to pile on the pressure on the New Zealand goal.

A brilliant move from the hosts resulted in Miranovic producing a brilliant double save. Poloz headed the ball towards goal from a good cross but the keeper kept that out before getting up quickly to deny Aleksandr Yerokhin.

Poloz had yet another chance to get a goal soon after but once again he was denied by the impressive Marinovic, who really kept the score down for his side.

Smolov added a second goal for the hosts to seal three points against a poor New Zealand side

The second goal though did finally come for the hosts midway through the second half when Aleksandr Samedov found Smolov unmarked in the box to tap the ball home to give his side what they deserved in the game.

The second goal finally brought the New Zealand players out of their shell and they almost got a goal back but Ryan Thomas saw his long range shot well saved by Igor Akinfeev.

From the resulting corner, Smith saw his brilliant goalbound header cleared off the line by Yuri Zhirkov, who was in the right place at the right time.

That was as good as it got for Anthony Hudson's men though as the hosts should have had a thid goal in injury time when Aleksandr Bukharov, on as a second half substitute, found space in the box from a corner but somehow he was denied by more brilliant goalkeeping from Marinovic and after that the game ended with a pretty comfortable win for the hosts.