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Putin convinced competition at 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup to be fair

18 June 2017

The four Russian cities that will host the eighth Confederations Cup - St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan and Sochi - were represented at the event.

But it is also an opportunity for coach Stanislav Cherchesov and his side to show what they can do on the pitch, although they will face far greater tests in their next two outings than what New Zealand provided here.

In the 69th minute, Russian Federation scored again when Smolov started a move on the halfway line, passed the ball wide to the right to Alexander Samedov and Smolov sprinted in to the penalty area to score from five yards.

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Russia's win eases the pressure on its second game, against Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal in Moscow. "We made too many mistakes, but that means we still have plenty of homework to do".

The hosts now take on Portugal on Wednesday, with Fernando Santos' men taking on Mexico in their Group A opener on Sunday. It came off some lovely passing from the hosts, with Glushakov lifting the ball over the goalkeeper and off the right post while a insane scramble at that post took place. A three-player race to meet the rebound off a post saw the sliding Boxall's trailing right arm get the final touch in a bundle of bodies.

Playing in the tournament for the first time, Russian Federation were on the front foot and had two early chances cleared off the line in the opening 10 minutes.

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First, Aleksandr Samedov's corner found Viktor Vasin, whose diving header from 12 yards struck the inside the post before being hacked clear off the line by Michael McGlinchey.

Ipswich's Tommy Smith was then on hand to keep Russian Federation at bay as the defender cleared Dmitry Poloz's effort.

"We are united in the belief that football is destined to serve the goals of public development, to unite nations and continents, to promote the values of fair and lovely play, to strengthen will and faith, to inspire, to give a dream to the younger generation", Putin said.

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Poloz was replaced on the hour, but Russia's waves of attack were not quelled and it was Smolov who finally doubled the hosts' lead when Boxall failed to clear Alexander Samedov's low cross. The president prefers ice hockey and saw a team that carried fervent hopes of an Olympic title lose on home ice in the quarterfinals at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Putin convinced competition at 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup to be fair