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Russia opens Confederations Cup with 2-0 win over New Zealand

18 June 2017

(AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky). Russia's Denis Glushakov, center, scores the opening goal during the Confederations, Cup Group A soccer match between Russia and New Zealand, at the St.Petersburg stadium in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 17, 2017.

The Confederations Cup brings together the winners of each continent's regional competition, plus the World Cup winners and future World Cup hosts.

Although New Zealand proved they could also be unsafe on a few occasions, Russian Federation clearly dominated the game from start to finish.

This year's tournament will be held between June 17 and July 2 at four stadiums in Russian Federation.

Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo runs during a training session ahead of the Russian Federation 2017 Confederation Cup football tournament in Kazan on Saturday.

World champions Germany and the champions from FIFA's six confederations are competing in the two-week tournament that will allow Russian Federation to test its soccer infrastructure in four of the 11 cities hosting World Cup matches.

The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup will be held in Russian Federation through July 2 in four host cities - Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, and Sochi.

But empty seats remain a concern, with Russia's Sport Express reporting that some tickets were being handed out to state workers for free in a bid to fill the stands at an upcoming Confederations Cup match in Kazan. FIFA President Gianni Infantino will also attend the match.

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The news of his possible departure attracted the attention of worldwide media covering Portugal at the eight-nation competition that serves as a warm-up for next year's World Cup.

Africa's flag bearers Cameroon will begin their quest at the tournament when they face South American champion Chile at the Otkrytiye Arena in Moscow on June 18 as well.

Some 191 fans have been put on a blacklist barring them from games and legislation introduced to toughen up punishments and deport foreign hooligans. Nevertheless, at the moment the national team of New Zealand successfully performs in the qualification for the upcoming World Cup, having passed the third stage of selection without defeats and taking 1st place in Group A among the countries of Australia and Oceania.