The second matchday in Group A ended in a defeat for the host nation, Russia, which went down to a solitary goal from Portugal scored by Cristiano Ronaldo on eight minutes. The good news for Russia is the way the team reacted in the second half - some good football and some team spirit!
Russia 0 Portugal 1
Portugal came out of the bootroom blazing and the winning goal (and only one) came after just eight minutes, when Cristiano Ronaldo converted Guerreiro's cross with his head. 1-0 to Portugal after 8 minutes and with Smolov playing up front alone, some feared a massacre was on the cards.
Kombarov and Zhirkov combined well on 16' and Russia started to open up, getting the first corner kick. On 23', Golovin then Glushakov had shots blocked. On 31, Akinfeev in his one hundredth appearance for Russia saved from Ronaldo who nearly made it 2-0. By now Russia was well back into the game and the fans sat back to enjoy a wonderful game of football.
On 40' Golovin got a pass through to Smolov who should have done better with what was a real chance.
In the second half, Erokhin came on as substitute for Shishkin. First into action was Akinfeev again, on 50' this time denying André Silva's header from five metres out. With confidence in the keeper, that seemed to be the spark which ignited Russia, which began to throw more and more players forward looking for opportunities.
On 54' a combination between Vasin and Zhirkov resulted in a corner. On 60', Samedov saw Smolov in a good position and his assis was centimetres out of reach. So nearly the equalizing goal. Portugal came back with two half-chances for Ronaldo. Russia kept up the pressure though and on 66', Poloz substituted Kombarov. Russia put Burkharov on substituting Kudriashov on 83' and started playing 4-3-3.
The final minutes saw panic in the Portuguese defence as Russia fires cross after cross. At the end of the day, Portugal celebrated the win but Russia showed it can play as equals with one of the best sides in the world.
Many lessons to be learnt, tactically, from this game.
Rogic 41 Stindl 5, Draxler 44 (pen.), Goretzka 48
Germany scored early on, Australia equalized but Germany was 2-1 up atthe break. Shortly after, 3-1 and Australia pulled it back to 3-2. Ball possession 59% to 41% in Germany's favor, 18 shots against 9, both keepers making three saves.
Mexico and Portugal draw, Chile beats Cameroon
Mexico 2 Portugal 2; Cameroon 0 Chile 2
Mexico 2 Portugal 2
J. Hernández 42 Quaresma 34,
H. Moreno 90+1 Cédric 86
Cameroon 0 Chile 2
Vidal 81 Vargas 90+1
Played won drawn lost goals for goals against points
Portugal 2 1 1 0 3 2 4
Russia 2 1 0 1 2 1 3
Mexico 1 0 1 0 2 2 1
New Zealand 1 0 0 1 0 2 0
Chile 1 1 0 0 2 0 3
Germany 1 1 0 0 3 2 3
Australia 1 0 0 1 2 3 0
Cameroon 1 0 0 1 0 2 0
Confederations Cup: Russia kicks off
Russia 2 New Zealand 0 was the result of the opening game of the Confederations Cup which comprises a competition between the winners of the seven confederations plus the host nation of the next FIFA World Cup, in this case Russia.
Russia (Host nation FIFA 2018) Mexico (CONCACAF) Portugal (Winner UEFA 2016) New Zealand (Oceania Football Confederation winner 2016)
Cameroon (2017 Africa Cup of Nations) Chile (2015 Copa América) Australia (2015 Asian Cup winner) Germany (Winner FIFA 2014)
Saturday June 17
Group A Russia 2 New Zealand 0
Saint Petersburg Stadium
Boxall 31 (own goal)
17 shots, 9 on target (2 goals, 2 blocked, 6 saved) and 8 off was Russia's production tonight in which a fluid display of football swept the visitors off their feet. That said, New Zealand had their chances especially towards the end of the match and proved why the All Whites were such a sensation in the 2014 World Cup. However Russia dominated and put on a firm and sound display of football, the players with the most remarkable performances being Glushakov and Smolov, who had 4 shots on goal.
The Russian key to the match was pace and aggression, moving players onto the ball and running off the ball at the same time.
Sunday June 18
Portugal 2 Mexico 2
Cameroon 0 Chile 2
Monday June 19
Wednesday June 21
Mexico New Zealand
Thursday June 22
Saturday June 24
New Zealand Portugal
Sunday June 25
Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey specialized in long distance running as a teenager and in 1974, at 16 years of age, achieved a time of 13.30.01 in the five thousand meters and a year later, a time of 28.00.21 in the ten thousand meters in regional competitions, however he chose not to enter competitive sport and preferred to play football (Soccer), handball, tennis, judo, Krav Maga, table tennis and badminton in his free time. Today at 58 years of age, he continues to play the same sports as a participant and maintains an active interest in all modalities as a spectator and commentator, beginning and ending each day with a routine of TaiJi.