Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Ronaldo sets Portugal on way to Confederations Cup semis

Jan Ortega | 28 June, 2017, 02:41

"Overall though, it was a fair victory", said Portugal coach Fernando Santos.

Plus, neither Russian Federation nor Mexico have Cristiano Ronaldo in their ranks. "We know that in the semi-finals both Chile and Germany are great teams, but we are confident".

New Zealand manager Anthony Hudson said: "At 2-0 we could have kept the scoreline respectable but we didn't".

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring from the penalty spot with his 75th global goal in the 33rd minute.

"The team played their hearts out and I don't think anyone watching in the stadium or on their TV screens can say otherwise".

With Ronaldo dominating All Whites defenders in the air midway through the first half, the next aerial challenge saw two leave him in a heap with rugby-style physical skills.

A second Portugal goal arrived four minutes later. Porto midfielder Herrera fired in a deep cross to the far post where Araujo lifted the ball over Akinfeev and into the opposite corner. Ronaldo shot high to Marinovic's left as the goalkeeper dived right.

Manchester City signing Bernardo Silva has taken to social media to update supporters on an injury sustained while on worldwide duty with Portugal at the Confederations Cup. The new Manchester City signing turned his right ankle landing on the foot of defender Thomas Doyle and did not appear for the second half.

His loudest ovation was for applauding back to the crowd when substituted midway through the second half.

In the Portugal-New Zealand match, Ronaldo who was voted Man of the Match for the third time opened scoring via a penalty in the 33rd minute.

Marinovic made impressive saves to deny Ronaldo, Andre Silva and Nani but was powerless stop Andre Silva when he collected the ball on the halfway line, ran at two defenders who backed off, and fired his shot into the far corner.

New Zealand had chances and most fell to captain Chris Wood.

"I don't see why they can not go on and win this tournament", the English coach said.

The European champions played its last group stage match on Saturday, a breezy 4-0 win over New Zealand in which Ronaldo was substituted with more than 20 minutes left.

Mexico also progressed to the semi-finals as they knocked hosts Russian Federation out of the tournament with a 2-1 victory.

Mexico's victory sees them progress into the semi-finals alongside Portugal, who cruised to a 4-0 victory over New Zealand in the group's other fixture.

New Zealand nearly pulled a goal back on the hour when Doyle's ball across the face of goal from the left found Wood at the far post, but Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio recovered to make a sliding block on the line.

Mexico will meet the winners of Group B - which will nearly certainly be Chile or Germany - in their last-four encounter in Sochi on Thursday, but Hernandez is not concerned about which team they face.

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