Federation Internationale de Football Association sells 65% of tickets for Confederations Cup matches

Russian Federation convincingly beat New Zealand 2-0 at St Petersburg's Krestovsky Stadium in front of 50,251 people, including President Vladimir Putin and FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who addressed the crowd before kick-off.

Also in Russia's group are Mexico and Portugal, whose squad includes Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

World Cup holders Germany and the six winners of Federation Internationale de Football Association confederations descend on Russia for the two-week tournament that will allow the hosts to assess the readiness of four of its World Cup venues and its ability to handle fans from overseas. Russian Federation has lost only once in its last five and is the favorite in the opener.

Russian Federation is set to host the 2018 World Cup in 12 stadiums spread across 11 cities, including Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan and Sochi. "He is an idol, even for us players", admitted veteran defender Bruno Alves, the 35-year-old who has just signed for Scottish club Rangers.

"Welcome to the FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia", Infantino said.

Russia's Fedor Smolov, center, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the Confederations, Cup Group A soccer match between Russia and New Zealand, at the St.Petersburg stadium in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturd.

The win against New Zealand was comfortable, and the team played some fluent attacking football at times. They're facing a New Zealand side that's been goalless in their last two games.

Russian Federation were denied a penalty after 14 minutes when New Zealand goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic appeared to bring down forward Dmitry Poloz.

Viktor Vasin hit the post, Dmitry Poloz saw a stabbed effort cleared off the line while New Zealand goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic made numerous saves to keep the scoreline blank. We're all feeling fearless and will take things on full of optimism.

"Obviously in the first game of the tournament we wanted to get a better result than we did", New Zealand manager Anthony Hudson said.

"The first half was quite scrappy - I think certainly the first goal was preventable, we gave the ball away in a really bad area".

Now the Madrid sports media is awash with headlines suggesting Ronaldo wants out of the Spanish champions, despite only signing a new contract through to 2021 in November.

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