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Russia coach has comic touch at Confederations Cup

18 June 2017

"This is what we do all of the hard work for", Wood told FIFA.com ahead of the Russian Federation match. "That is not only the 20 world champions but also others who have since joined us and we want to deliver a good performance".

Russian Federation are automatically part of the Confederations Cup as they're hosting the tournament, as well as the 2018 World Cup.

Portugal won 2-1 the only time it faced Mexico in an official match, in the group stage of the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

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 game in the 69th minute.

Russia's players duly delivered a victory their head of state had all but demanded this week by beating a poor New Zealand team 2-0.

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Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo exercises during a training session at the Arena in Kazan, Russia, on Saturday, June 17, 2017. It will help dictate the tempo of the game in their favor and even help them gain the confidence to win the 2017 Confederations Cup.

Russian Federation eventually broke the deadlock in the 30th minute as Denis Glushakov was played through on goal by Fyodor Smolov and lobbed on-rushing Marinovic. "Forward Fedor Smolov will try to terrorize the New Zealand defense from the opening whistle, with an early goal sure to calm any nerves for the home team".

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.

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"I believe we will have the same team as we did in this game against Portugal".

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I'd much rather be in our position than Russia's. "We are looking forward to it, we are not panicking, we are not anxious", said Hudson.

The visitors have not had the best of warm-up games, losing by a 1-0 margin to both Belarus and Northern Ireland but will now be banking on Chris Wood, a prolific striker who plies his trade in the English Championship.

New Zealand is not a frequent guest of the Confederations Cup.

The eight-team tournament will put Russia's ability to handle thousands of visiting and home fans under the spotlight. New Zealand can catch the game on Saturday, June 17. New Zealand can also be watched via live stream on ITV Hub, FOX Sports GO and fuboTV.

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Russia coach has comic touch at Confederations Cup