Ronaldo painted on Russian mural that only the team can see

St. Petersburg, June 17 (IANS) An official opening ceremony for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russian Federation was held in front of packed spectators stands of the newly-built football stadium in the countrys second largest city of St Petersburg.

All Whites coach Anthony Hudson is devastated his players didn't get what they deserved after falling 2-1 to Mexico in a sometimes spiteful Confederation Cup encounter.

The Mexicans will consider a win essential to fuel their hopes of reaching the semi-finals, while New Zealand desperately need to register three points or else they will kill their chances of moving forward in the tournament. We played against an opponent playing at home with a home crowd, a team which pressured us, but we were better.

"We recognise New Zealand are a strong team, with a good aerial game, very physical. We weren't European champions by accident", Ronaldo, Portugal's all-time leading scorer, told reporters after taking his worldwide tally to 74 goals.

Players from both sides became involved in an unseemly melee deep into injury time after Mexico skipper Diego Reyes dragged back Michael Boxall, who then lunged at substitute Hector Herrera.

Cristiano Ronaldo, coming off a tumultuous week off the field, had set up Ricardo Quaresma's opening goal for Portugal, and Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez hit Mexico's equalizer just before halftime.

Ronaldo took 21 minutes to pose his first threat, forcing goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa into a smart save after shooting on the rebound when his free-kick was blocked by the wall.

ITV hold the rights to the Confederations Cup. It was harsh on Mexico who had done most of the running, but Portugal have mastered the art of striking on the break.

Mexico equalized less than 10 minutes later with a close-range diving header by Chicharito after Portugal defender Raphael Guerreiro failed to clear a ball crossed into the area.

His goal in the 91st minute was also referred to the video assistant referees - presumably to check on another possible offside - but it stood.

  • Zachary Reyes