Midfielder Denis Glushakov flicked the ball over goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic in the 31st minute as New Zealand defenders rushed back to try to clear it off the line. New Zealand’s Michael Boxall got a touch on the ball and was credited with an own goal.
Sloppy defending by New Zealand allowed Russian forward Fedor Smolov to tap in a low cross by team mate Alexander Samedov in the 69th minute.
The New Zealanders managed just two shots on goal.
Coach Anthony Hudson said he was disappointed.
“Slightly deflated but the team showed a lot of spirit.
“The game didn’t go like we wanted it … and they caused us problems.
“It’s an unbelievable experience and there is a lot to build on.”
Hudson said Russia were sharp, quick and motivated.
New Zealand’s next game is against Mexico on Thursday morning.