Cristiano Ronaldo in focus after Confederations Cup tie

The late drama took much of the focus away from Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo who, apart from the assist for Ricardo Quaresma's opener, failed to inspire his side.

Within 15 minutes Portugal had taken the lead, however, with Ronaldo, who has now scored or provided an assist in each of his last seven games for the national team, nearly inevitably at the heart of it.

"We need to keep believing in ourselves, we know we have a great chance".

Both teams are trailing hosts Russian Federation in Group A, who beat New Zealand 2-0 in the tournament opener on Saturday. Chile was also made to wait for a review before a goal was confirmed.

The referee held up the game for the assistant to check the replay, before the goal was cancelled 40 seconds later, as Pepe had been adjudged to be offside.

Ronaldo's most expressive work came on the pitch and with the ball in play.

"Hector Moreno's goal handed Mexican football a huge result", he said.

Portugal coach Fernando Santos said it was not the performance he expected from his team.

Ahead of the match being played in Sochi on Wednesday night (Thursday morning NZ time), Stuff puts the microscope on the team known as El Tri.

Neither team could get a foothold on the game as it got underway once more, Portugal's next best chance before the hour mark being Pepe nodding wide from a good cross, only to see the offside flag raised anyway.

Oribe Peralta scored five goals in Mexico's two games against the All Whites in their World Cup playoff tie in 2013.

"I think it was a very good result for Mexico".

Cristiano Ronaldo and the European champions faced off against Mexico in Kazan, while Chile met African champions Cameroon in Moscow.

Ronaldo reportedly wants to leave Real after being accused by Spanish prosecutors of defrauding the authorities of €14.7 million (US$16.5 million, RM17.4 million) in tax through offshore companies.

Despite being relatively quiet in the match, Ronaldo won the Man of the Match award, but he declined to attend the post-match press conference that usually accompanies the accolade.

Of greater outcome was the astute piece of vision later in the first half, which set up Ricardo Quaresma for a strike that counted, even if the speed and power that used to characterize Ronaldo initially failed him.

It had seemed as though Cedric had handed all three points to the European champions when he fired Portugal in front in the 85th minute but Mexico and Moreno had other ideas.

  • Leroy Wright