/TASS, Yevgeny Ionov/. The Russian national football team deserved 2-0 victory over New Zealand in the opening match of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, New Zealand's attacking midfielder Marco Rojas told TASS.
Russian Federation went ahead in the first half of the Group A encounter through what was credited as an own goal from the New Zealand defender Michael Boxall, and Smolov wrapped up the victory in the 69th minute.
Asked if his team could have been more aggressive, Hudson's response was emphatic.
With three points, Russian Federation will next face Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal in Moscow on Wednesday.
The hosts now take on Portugal on Wednesday after Fernando Santos' men have played Mexico in their Group A opener.
New Zealand is now without a win in four trips to the Confederations Cup, and next plays Mexico on Wednesday in Sochi.
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.
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After New Zealand lost possession in a unsafe area, Poloz's neat touch released Glushakov, who clipped his finish over Marinovic and off the post before Boxall bundled the ball into his own net as he and Smith frantically tried to clear. A three-player race to meet the rebound off a post saw the sliding Boxall's trailing right arm get the final touch in a bundle of bodies.
It helped the Russian team to seize the lead after twice having shots stopped on the line.
First, Aleksandr Samedov's corner found Viktor Vasin, whose diving header from 12 yards struck the inside the post before being hacked clear off the line by Michael McGlinchey.
Dmitry Poloz then went down under a challenge from New Zealand goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic in the area, but the Colombian referee waved away the penalty appeals and there was no intervention from the video assistant.
Russian Federation convincingly beat New Zealand 2-0 at the St Petersburg stadium in front of 50,251 people, including President Vladimir Putin and FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who addressed the crowd before kickoff.
Ten minutes before kickoff, both teams lined up in front of the main stand to listen speeches by Putin and FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
"When the president of your country comes out to make a speech this mobilizes us", said coach Stanislav Cherchesov, a former goalkeeper who played for the national team before and after the fall of communism. "But I imagine they are happy with the win in the first game".