Troubled Ronaldo eyes more silver at Confederations Cup

This will be the first time Portugal are competing in the Confederations Cup but they are expected to go all the way, along with Germany, as a serious contender for the title.

In the 20th minute of the match in Kazan, Cristiano Ronaldo unleashed a shot that cannoned off the crossbar to Joao Moutinho, who clipped the ball to Pepe to score.

Mexico's Carlos Vela, left, celebrates with teammate Mexico's Hirving Lozano after scoring his team's first goal against the US during their World Cup soccer qualifying match at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, Sunday, June 11, 2017.

But Portugal's talisman was at his best in an action-packed first half in his team's opening match, with hosts Russian Federation and New Zealand still to come in the group.

Although Mexico had more possession, Ochoa was the busier of the two keepers and the Europeans could have taken all three points had the Video Assistant Referees (VAR) not controversially disallowed Nani's first-half goal for offside.

Portugal is hoping a red-hot Cristiano Ronaldo can continue his sparkling form and help the European champions show that their victory at Euro 2016 wasn't a fluke.

The lead wouldn't last long, as Javier Hernandez extended his lead at the top of Mexico's all-time goalscorer list with a typical finish from close range after some good work by Carlos Vela.

The result leaves both sides tied for second place in Group A, behind hosts Russian Federation who top the group after beating New Zealand 2-0 on Saturday in St. Petersburg. New Zealand is at the bottom of the group with no points.

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo during the training session at the Kazan Arena in Russian Federation.

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo inspects the grass during a training session at the Arena in Kazan, Russia, on Saturday, June 17, 2017.

KAZAN, Russia (AP) - Portugal is not anxious about Cristiano Ronaldo being distracted at the Confederations Cup by talk of his possible departure from Real Madrid.

Ronaldo has scored 12 goals in six worldwide outings since coming off injured in the Euro final, but Mexico ― winners of the Confederations Cup in 1999 ― are confident they can stop him.

Whether it was the right flank in the first half or the left in the second half, Quaresma was quite easily the most menacing of attacking players for Portugal ahead of the much fancied Ronaldo.

"In the end it was a well-deserved result after how we played today", Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio said. "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.

  • Julie Sanders