‘Fans will give us strength for victory’ – Russia’s Smolov on game v Portugal

20 Jun, 2017 16:16
‘Fans will give us strength for victory’ – Russia’s Smolov on game v Portugal
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Russia's Fedor Smolov celebrates a goal during the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup match between Russia and New Zealand. © Alexei Danichev / Sputnik

Russia striker Fedor Smolov has said that Russian supporters will give them the strength to achieve victory in their 2017 Confederations Cup match versus European champions Portugal on Wednesday.

As Cristiano Ronaldo prepares to make an eagerly awaited appearance in the Russian capital in what surely will be the sternest test for Russia, 'Sbornaya' say that they are expecting the home crowd to inspire them.

“First and foremost the match versus Portugal will be against the European champions, against a team with a high concentration of elite level players, aside from Ronaldo,” said Smolov, speaking at the press conference at the Spartak Stadium.

“There will be a full stadium in Moscow tomorrow, the supporters will give us strength, give us hope, I think that we can achieve the victory,” he added.

Russia currently sit top of Group A after beating New Zealand 2-0 in St. Petersburg on Saturday in the tournament’s opening game, with Smolov scoring the second goal of the match.

Portugal drew their opening game on Sunday with Gold Cup champions Mexico in Kazan, meaning they sit third, level on points with their first game opponents.

Russia manager Stanislav Cherchesov, also present at the press conference, told reporters that Portugal’s draw against Mexico did not represent an advantage to Russia.

“In such tournaments, everything is decided on the third and final game,” Cherchesov said.