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Tough draw for NZ at Confederations Cup

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/11/2016

New Zealand will face host nation Russia in the opening match of the Confederations Cup tournament in Saint Petersburg.

The All Whites were also drawn alongside European champions Portugal and Concacaf champions Mexico in pool A for the eight-team quadrennial tournament starting on June 17.

The other pool comprises world champions Germany, Chile, Australia and the African champions, who will be found in February.

The tournament doesn't feature three-time defending champions Brazil, who failed to qualify.

New Zealand qualified by winning this year's Oceania Nations Cup tournament in Papua New Guinea.

Their second game is against Mexico in Sochi on June 21 before returning to Saint Petersburg three days later to face a Portugal side likely to feature world class Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo.

New Zealand are familiar with Mexico, having played them three times in the last three years, including a 2-1 loss in Nashville last month.

The draw ceremony was conducted in Kazan on Saturday, with Russian two-time Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva conducting the draw.

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