New Zealand are now without a win in 10 Confederations Cup matches and struggled to make an attacking impression.
Globe champions Germany and the champions from FIFA's 6 confederations are competing in the two-week event that will permit Russian Federation to check its soccer framework in 4 of the 11 cities hosting World Cup matches.
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 lost possession 30 yards out, Aleksandr Erokhin and Dmitry Poloz quickly combined passes before putting through Denis Glushakov.
Although Michael Boxall helped the ball over the line and was credited with an own goal.
Right back Alexander Samedov provided the assist with a square ball across the face of goal, and Fedor Smolov was in flawless position at the far post to poke it into the back of the net.
The opening match of the FIFA Confederations Cup between Russian and New Zealand football teams has started in St. Petersburg.
The Kiwis threatened only with back-to-back chances in the 78th minute: A powerful Ryan Thomas shot saved by Russian Federation captain Igor Akinfeev and Tommy Smith's header blocked on the line.
That has prompted speculation linking him with Paris St Germain and Manchester United amongst others, but Silva, who completed a big-money switch to AC Milan from Porto earlier this month, insists the four-time Champions League victor remains focused on his country's upcoming matches.
"If this is going to happen several times during a game, well it's not very pleasant for the players", Cameroon coach Hugo Broos said. It came off some lovely passing from the hosts, with Glushakov lifting the ball over the goalkeeper and off the right post while a insane scramble at that post took place.
Russia's fast start contrasted with New Zealand seeming unsettled early in a game that began after an unusual pre-match ceremony. The president prefers ice hockey and saw a team that carried fervent hopes of an Olympic title lose on home ice in the quarterfinals at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.