Ronaldo strikes as Portugal down Russia at Confederations Cup


Ronaldo strikes as Portugal down Russia at Confederations Cup

Only the goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, winning his 100th cap, denied Portugal victory by a greater margin as he made vital saves from Ronaldo and André Silva either side of half-time.

Mexican coach Juan Carlos Osorio has warned his players not to be complacent ahead of their match with New Zealand (Thursday 6am NZT), saying that the All Whites have a similar team spirit to the All Blacks.

"But we were better, we had more chances", said Ronaldo.

Mexico winger Giovani Dos Santos was guilty of missing an gilt-edged chance early on, but on the whole, El Tri were extremely profligate in front of goal in the first-half.

"There are no easy games, all national team games are hard".

Wood's superb strike was New Zealand's first goal in four matches and only the third time they have scored at a Confederations Cup in four campaigns.

SOCHI, Russia (AP) - Mexico asserted its superiority in the second half against New Zealand to avoid a Confederations Cup embarrassment on Wednesday, coming from behind to win a fiery Group A encounter 2-1 that ended in a brawl.

In its response, the Mexican officials also have pleaded its supporters to finally put a stop to the insulting slur and suggested the situation will be more serious if they don't obey the regulations.

"They are gentlemen, they compete well and hopefully we can match their determination to compete for every single ball".

"We recognise in New Zealand a strong team who are very good in the aerial game", said Osorio. We'll be building up to the action throughout the day before giving you a minute-by-minute account of the game as it unfolds. "We will be doing all we can to get the three points".

- Fedor Smolov has scored five goals in his last five games for club and country combined, including two in his last four for Russian Federation. "It's true that the camera shows some things I said but (New Zealand's) assistant coach is responsible for what happened".

Ronaldo passed up a glorious opportunity to extend his side's lead just past the hour when he headed wide from Andre Gomes' cross as Portugal broke at pace. We don't want to be fearful or negative or sit back and allow Mexico to do what they want.

"I'm expecting an incredible spirit from our team - this is a massive game for us".

Portugal, the reigning European champions, will start with the slight edge, but if they go into the game overconfident they could very lose.



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