Portugal and Mexico advance, hosts Russian Federation bow out — FIFA Confederations Cup

Portugal and Mexico advance, hosts Russian Federation bow out — FIFA Confederations Cup

It also cost Portugal the services of Pepe in the semifinals.

Russian Federation played a man down from the 68th minute as Yury Zhirkov was sent off with a second yellow card, the first player in the tournament to be shown a red card.

Action is due to continue tomorrow with the final round of matches in Group B.

With a comfortable two-goal lead, Portugal took fewer risks in the second half, opting for control of the ball over risky attacking.

John Sutcliffe checks in after Mexico's 2-1 win, and how Juan Carlos Osorio, and the team can build off it moving ahead. "We know that in the semi-finals both Chile and Germany are great teams, but we are confident".

"We want to win this tournament, against whoever", the 29-year-old said.

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.

Ronaldo's sharp headers could have turned an easy win into a rout.

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.


Ronaldo was the one to break the deadlock, dispatching an emphatic penalty beyond Stefan Marinovic to score on the 30th birthday of nemesis Lionel Messi. Midfielder Danilo was pushed and tripped trying to meet the ball from a corner.

Portugal swiftly doubled their lead when Eliseu's unsafe low cross from the left was forced home by Silva, although there was brief concern for the new Manchester City signing as he landed awkwardly on his ankle.

Marinovic made impressive saves to deny Ronaldo, Andre Silva and Nani but was powerless stop Andre Silva or Nani late in the game.

European champion Portugal outclassed a typically robust New Zealand team which extended its winless Confederations Cup run to 12 games across four editions.

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

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

The Confederations Cup reaches a decisive stage this weekend, as the last group stage matches take place and four teams will qualify for the semi-finals.

Portugal on Saturday finished tied with Mexico at seven points apiece after three round-robin matches, but it topped the group based on a +5 goal differential thanks to its 4-0 thrashing of the Kiwis, Efe news reported. Notably, highly-rated youngster Hirving Lozano, 21, gets his first game time at Russian Federation 2017.

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo applauds as he is substituted.

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