Mexico beats Russia to advance to Confederations Cup semifinal

  • Mexico beats Russia to advance to Confederations Cup semifinal

Mexico beats Russia to advance to Confederations Cup semifinal

Cristiano Ronaldo brushed aside his off-field problems by scoring the victor as Portugal edged out hosts Russian Federation 1-0 at the Confederations Cup on Wednesday, before Oribe Peralta gave Mexico a come-from-behind 2-1 win over New Zealand. "We started the game really well, and were the stronger of the two teams".

Cristiano Ronaldo notched up his 75th global goal as Portugal turned on the style to beat New Zealand 4-0 and top Group A.

Notably, Cristiano Ronaldo, Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal and Javier Hernandez all have scored once for their nations.

Ronaldo twice threatened the New Zealand goal in quick succession, nodding straight at goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic on 24 minutes and then clattering the crossbar shortly after with another header from a Ricardo Quaresma cross.

The Euro 2016 champions took the lead on 33 minutes through a penalty from their captain, his 75th worldwide goal, before Manchester City-bound midfielder Bernardo Silva knocked in a second from close-range only to pick up an ankle injury which saw him substituted at the break.

In the end, only one achieved their aim, Portugal easing through to the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup while New Zealand's wait for a win at this tournament stretched to a 12th match.

Portugal still looked determined to make sure of their position as group winners by adding more goals and new AC Milan signing Andre Silva effectively clinched it in the 80th minute with a fine solo effort. Getting Sanchez back from injury for the match against Germans proved big, as the Arsenal man scored in the sixth minute.

They did not get off to the best of starts as they were left frustrated by a last gasp Mexico equaliser in a 2-2 draw in their Group A match on Sunday.

In the semifinals, Portugal will play on Wednesday in Kazan against the runner-up in Group B, which is now Germany before the final group games Sunday.

Mexico finished second in Group A on seven points, behind Portugal on goal difference.

Portugal coach Fernando Santos speaks during a news conference in St.Petersburg, Russia, Friday, June 23, 2017.

The opening goal came following pressure by the Russian attack in the 25th minute.

He said: "I see this as another game that we want to approach with the mindset of being organised, having the right mentality and we want to get a result". Chile will hope for more of the same to push past Australia, who need a 2-0 win or better to move on to the next round. "Our guys are very confident so we're not thinking about the future; we're thinking about today". Victory over New Zealand tomorrow will secure a semi-final spot.