The game was scored with an own goal by New Zealand’s Michael Boxall at the 31st minute of the game.
The other two Group A teams include European champions Portugal spearheaded by the global superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and the most decorated CONCACAF team Mexico.
Federation Internationale de Football Association general secretary Fatma Samoura said on Friday that the estimated attendance for the tournament would be 65 percent, and that Russia’s match against European champions Portugal had been sold out for weeks.
On Saturday, Russia marched on toward hosting football’s biggest party when the rehearsal tournament, the Confederations Cup, kicked off in the $750 million new stadium in Putin’s native St. Petersburg.
From Saturday to July 2, Russian Federation is hosting the Confederations, the main warm-up event for next year’s World Cup.
“We have visited Moscow and the St Petersburg stadium and I can say that every technical detail there has been fine-tuned and we can expect one of the best competitions ever here in Russian Federation”, said the Senegalese FIFA official.
A new pitch had to be hastily laid before Saturday’s kickoff after uprooted chunks of grass and bare spots on the field spoiled the first match held at the new venue in April.
“When the president of your country comes out to make a speech this mobilizes us”, Russian Federation coach Stanislav Cherchesov said through a translator.
But this ID also serves as an additional security measure as fans can not enter the stadium without it even if they have a ticket for the match.
The 20-minute ceremony involved some 1,500 participants, who displayed various scenes of traditions and culture of four cities in Russian Federation, selected to host the global football tournament this year, reported Tass news agency.
“This is why we play all of the hard games in the Islands”.
New Zealand are now without a win in 10 Confederations Cup matches and struggled to make an attacking impression.
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Madrid sports media is awash with headlines suggesting Ronaldo wants out.