Russia v New Zealand – Confederations Cup Liveblog

Russia v New Zealand – Confederations Cup Liveblog

Russia v New Zealand – Liveblog

The FIFA Confederations Cup kicks off today in Saint Petersburg with Russia vs New Zealand. We are on location at the Krestovsky Stadium to bring you all the action from the first day of the tournament.

Russia vs New Zealand – Fulltime

Russia have the three points. The Sbornaya were dominant throughout the match and deservedly won the game 2-0. At the same time Cherchesov will have to ensure that his men will be more efficient against Portugal and Mexico later in the group stage. One thing is certain tonight’s performance will not be enough to beat either country. Russia will now face Portugal in Moscow on Wednesday and New Zealand will travel to Sochi where they will face Mexico.

93. Minute

Aleksandr Bukharov continues to leave out major scoring chances! The big Rostov striker receives the ball in the six-yard box, but cannot get the ball past Marinovic, who redirects the ball over the crossbar.

90. Minute

The night is over for Smolov who is taken off for Alexey Miranchuk. Three minutes until fulltime.

88. Minute

Smolov wants his second goal! The Krasnodar forward wins the ball in his own half and storms into New Zealand’s box, but his shot is stopped.

86. Minute

New Zealand’s keeper Marinovic with an attempt to beat Akinfeev with a long free-kick from his own half. But the ball misses the net.

83. Minute

Massive chance by Bukharov to make it 3-0, but the big Russian forward misses a pass by Fedor Smolov.

81. Minute

Russia remain in absolute control here. Fedor Smolov especially is showing his talent by toying with New Zealand’s defence. But at the same time Russia will have to question their efficiency here another opponent would have surely punished them.

75. Minute

FIFA admits the attendance numbers. Yes, we say admit, because as expected this match is far from being sold out…

Russia v New Zealand attendance. Image by Manuel Veth

Russia v New Zealand attendance. Image by Manuel Veth

72. Minute

Russia needed this goal! The Sbornaya can now easily circulate the ball and rest up for the much more important game against Portugal on Wednesday.


Fedor Smolov with the second goal for Russia. The Krasnodar forward starts the play in New Zealand’s half by passing the ball out to the wing to Aleksandr Samedov. Samedov then plays the ball into the box where Smolov had run into position to simply tap the ball home.

67. Minute

There is no way through for Russia at the moment. New Zealand’s defence have more or less killed Russia’s attacking game.

62. Minute

Russia need a second goal to be on safe side and as a result, Cherchesov decides to replace Poloz for Aleksandr Bukharov. The Rostov striker is a more out and out striker, who should be able to create room for Smolov.

61. Minute

The freekick, however, comes to nothing and the score remains 1-0.

60. Minute

Russia with a good free-kick chance here.

57. Minute

Russia are now in control of this match. But the lead remains slender and the Kiwis just need one good chance to upset the balance here.

52. Minute

Russia keep on coming. Again it is Poloz who almost scores, but Marinovic stops his curled effort. The Unterhaching keeper with a much better perforamence in the second half.

47. Minute

Almost 2-0 for Russia. Poloz with a free header just outside the six-yard box. Marinovic stops the ball, however, and then recovers just in time to also parry the rebound by Aleksandr Erokhin.

46. Minute

We are back underway here at the Krestovsky Stadium. Both teams remain unchanged for now.

Russia v New Zealand – Halftime

Russia got the lead thanks to Denis Glushakov. The Sbornaya were dominant and deserve the lead. Cherchesov’s men, however, need to be careful. New Zealand appear dangerous on the counter-attack and th Kiwis are only one goal away from upsetting the apple cart.

Interesting FIFA have decided to call Glushakov’s goal an own goal by Michael Boxall. Although it appears that Boxall did not play the ball until it had already crossed the line.

43. Minute

Can Russia get their second goal before halftime? The Sbornaya is certainly dominant, but they are resting on a slender lead.

40. Minute

Fedor Smolov breaks into New Zealand’s penalty box and is stopped just on time by a Kiwi defender.

38. Minute

Not a common sight all New Zealand players are in Russia’s half.

Russia v New Zealand all of Kiwis' field players are in Russia's half. Image by Manuel Veth

Russia v New Zealand all of Kiwis’ field players are in Russia’s half. Image by Manuel Veth

34. Minute

This goal should give Russia some confidence. New Zealand in the meantime continue to play counter-attacking football, which at times looks very dangerous.


Denis Glushakov finally breaks the deadlock! The Spartak midfielder receives the ball on the edge of the box after a wonderful pass from Poloz and then manages to force the ball past two New Zealand defenders, who almost beat him to the touchline. Great play, great goal and Russia are up front in their must win game.

25. Minute

Georgy Dzhikya with a shot from distance and again Marinovic has problems with the shot. It becomes evident that the Unterhaching goalkeeper is more used to Regionalliga Bayern football.

21. Minute

New Zealand with a spell in which they control the ball in Russia’s half. Wood ends the play when he smashes the ball from 30 yards out into the stands.

20. Minute

Still no goals. But the Sbornaya are clearly in control and the Russian fans are rewarding the effort with encouragements.

17. Minute

The free kick is wasted.

16. Minute

Good freekick situation for New Zealand after Ryan Thomas is stopped by a Russian defender.

13. Minute

Big penalty shout by Russia. Poloz breaks into the box and beats Marinovic, who seemingly clips him, but the referee waves the play on.

11. Minute

New Zealand manage to break into Russia’s box and Chris Wood almost beats Igor Akinfeev, who seems a bit disoriented.

8. Minute

When will  Russia score. Dmitry Poloz controls the ball well inside the box and manages to beat keeper Marinovic, but New Zealand defender Tommy Smith can clear the danger.

6. Minute

Almost the goal for Russia. Viktor Vasin gets off a free header after a corner kick inside the penalty and the ball hits the post from where it jumps back into the field.

5. Minute

As expected Russia have taken control of the match. The Sbornaya are easily passing the ball around New Zealand’s box.

2. Minute

First chance for Russia! Aleksandr Golovin collects the ball at the penalty box and shoots the ball on net. Sefan Marinovic makes a meal of it and almost fists the ball into his own net.

Russia v New Zealand – Kick off

Here we go New Zealand kick off the match.

Russian fans with a banner during the national anthem. Image by Manuel Veth

Russia v New Zealand – Buildup


Vladimir Putin opens the tournament and the facility immediately erupts with Rossiya chants. Up next in Gianni Infantino. He urges the world to come to Russia to experience the best football ever. Whether his message will be heard is a different matter, however, ticket sales have been slow.


We were wondering whether the stadium would fill up. With ten minutes to go the facility is almost full and Rossiya chants are ringing through the arena. Ten minutes to go!


15 minutes to go and the Confederations Cup kicks off. Perhaps a moment to reflect. The Futbolgrad Network was born almost five years ago and heading to this event was always a long term goal. Now we are here and we truly can’t wait for the Confederations Cup to kick off. At the same time we also realize that not everything has been perfect when it comes to the build-up towards Russia 2018. We will therefore continue to report fair and critically on everything that is going on in Russian football.


The Sbornaya is now on the pitch for the warm-up. Meanwhile, the stadium is slowly filling up. But the main question remains will the stadium be sold out for this game?

Russia vs New Zealand Warmup

Sbornaya is in the house. Image by Manuel Veth


As expected Stanislav Cherchesov will rely on the 3-5-2 system he widely tested in the build-up of this tournament. Dmitry Poloz will be supporting Fedor Smolov up front. In the back Georgy Dzhikya, Viktor Vasin and Fedor Kudryashov are supposed to hold the fort. Aleksandr Golovin continues to be given a major role in midfield. The CSKA Moscow midfielder is widely considered the future of the Sbornaya.


Like clockwork! FIFA has released the line-ups for Russia v New Zealand exactly 60 minutes before kick-off.


Russia welcomes Australia, Chile, Portugal, Mexico, New Zealand, Germany, and Cameroon to the tournament.

The participants of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. Images by Manuel Veth

The participants of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. Images by Manuel Veth


Tatar tradition for Kazan, fishing melancholy for Sochi and loud and shrill techno for Moscow. We did not expect anything less when it came to representing Russia’s capital!

Moscow is displayed as a cross of Soviet kitsch and shrill techno. Image by Manuel Veth

Moscow is displayed as a cross of Soviet kitsch and shrill techno. Image by Manuel Veth


The opening ceremony kicks-off just in time for the Sbornaya to arrive at the Krestovsky Stadium. As mentioned in our Futbolgrad Podcast this is a must win game for Stanislav Cherchesov’s squad. Meanwhile, the Krestovsky Stadium remains mostly empty for what has been a beautiful opening ceremony. Dancers are displaying the various host cities onto the pitch. First up Kazan.

Russia vs New Zealand - Opening Ceremony. Image by Manuel Veth

Russia vs New Zealand – Opening Ceremony. Image by Manuel Veth


The opening ceremony of the Confederations Cup is about to kick off. But the stadium is still very empty. It appears that most Russian are enjoying the beautiful weather in Saint Petersburg in the parks and open spaces rather than watching the ceremony at the Krestovsky Stadium.


45 minutes until the opening ceremony of the Confederations Cup. The buzz around the arena is fantastic. Russia seems ready to finally kick off this tournament.


New Zealand are the great unknown at the tournament. Futbolgrad has taken a closer look at the Kiwis and whether they could potentially upset Russia in the first game of the tournament.


The Krestovsky Stadium certainly looks ready to host the opening match. We have some beautiful shots on our Instagram account.


Russia and New Zealand play each other for the first time in history. Manuel Veth has taken a closer look at the match. Click through below 👇 to read his preview on the game.


Our Editor in Chief gives his thoughts ahead of Russia v New Zealand on his Twitter Feed:


Fantastic atmosphere around the Krestovsky Stadium. Located on the tip of the Krestovsky Island the facility is right next to a part and the beautiful weather in Saint Petersburg has meant that many people have been swayed to come out to support their Sbornaya. That said there have been some reports that tickets sales have been slow going and it will be interesting to see whether the 68,000 seat Krestovsky Stadium will be sold out.