Confed Cup: Ronaldo heads Portugal to 1-0 win over Russia
- Author: Julie Sanders Jun 22, 2017,
Jun 22, 2017, 19:06
Mexico will face hosts Russian Federation (on 3 points), while Portugal are yet to take on New Zealand, who are mathematically eliminated after the defeat to Mexico.
Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo scored the only goal of the game at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow just a day after he was summoned to appear in a Spanish court over allegations relating to tax fraud.
"Russia are hard to play against and it's the first time we've beaten Russian Federation here".
The Russians seemed to recover after the break as deep into the second half they began coining up unsafe attacks on the Portuguese goal one after another.
Defender Georgy Dzhikiya headed narrowly over the bar from the game's final corner in added time.
New Zealand striker Chris Wood reflected with disappointment on a mixed evening in front of goal as Mexico secured a 2-1 comeback win in a feisty clash at Fisht Stadium. Mexico then uped the ante in the second half by introducing FC Porto midfielder Hector Herrera who played a pivotal role in Mexico's resurgence in the game.
"I am proud of what my team did, it's normal to have to suffer at this level, but we deserved to win", said Osorio.
One major drawback in the game for Portugal was their young left back Raphael guerreiro was left injured in the second half near the one hour mark and had to be substituted to prevent further damage.
"We have four points and we have to congratulate our team".
"We know him well, he knows his team-mates, we know his characteristics, we know the characteristics which adapt better to Bernardo".
It took two second-half goals from the startled Mexicans in Sochi to avoid an enormous upset after the world No.17 ranked side trailed the 95th-ranked All Whites at halftime.
Mexico had the chance to seal the win in the 88th minute but Tommy Smith popped up with a fine block to clear Jimenez's effort off the line.
Mexico took control of the game and Oribe Peralta grabbed the victor from close range after 72 minutes when he swept home another incisive cross from man of the match Aquino.
New Zealand boss Anthony Hudson described Osorio's reaction as "bizarre" and did not want to dwell on the unsavoury scenes after his players performed at a level far above their Federation Internationale de Football Association world ranking of 95th.