Hosts Russia kick off the Confederations Cup against New Zealand in Saint Petersburg on Saturday June 17,2017, targeting victory in their opening match to set the tone for a successful tournament.
It will be the first meeting between Russia and New Zealand, the champions of Oceania, in the post-Soviet era. The USSR beat New Zealand 3-0 at the 1982 World Cup in Spain.
But Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov, appointed after the country's disastrous Euro 2016 campaign, predicts a tricky encounter as he oversees his first competitive match in charge
Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend the opener along with FIFA boss Gianni Infantino at Saint Petersburg's purpose-built World Cup 68,000-seater stadium.
Russia beat New Zealand 2-0
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 New Zealand defender Michael Boxall, and Smolov -- top scorer in the Russian league last season -- wrapped up the points in the 69th minute.