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Confederations Cup: Russia’s Defeat of New Zealand Sets New Marks



In winning Saturday’s match against New Zealand in the opening game of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, Russia  have extended the home teams’ unbeaten streak to four wins and a draw since Korea Republic were overcome 5-0 by France in 2001.

New Zealand’s English manager Anthony Hudson became the youngest coach in the tournament’s history at 36 years and three months old, shaving five months off the previous record held by Nigeria’s Shaibu Amodu of Nigeria (1995) and Australian Frank Farina (2001).

Only once in ten Confederations Cup curtain-raisers have both teams managed to score, namely in Argentina’s 2-1 win over Tunisia in 2005.

Also, Shane Smeltz is the second New Zealander to play in three editions of the Confederations Cup having featured in 2003, 2009 and 2017. He thus followed in the footsteps of Ivan Vicelich who played 1999, 2003 and 2009.

New Zealand established two negative records in the Confederations Cup with their loss to Russia. The Antipodeans chalked up their tenth consecutive match without a win and have now played five games and a total of 513 minutes since scoring their last goal.


Three of the six own goals scored in the Confederations Cup are credited to Oceanian players. All Whites defender, Michael Boxall’s faux pas came four years after Tahitians Nicolas Vallar and Jonathan Tehau also put through their own net.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and the country’s most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022.

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