Ronaldo scores, Portugal eases past New Zealand 4-0

"We started the game really well, and were the stronger of the two teams".

Cristiano Ronaldo, Bernando Silva, Andre Silva and Nani all got on the scoresheet as the Euro 2016 winners finished top of Group A ahead of Mexico, who claimed the runners-up spot after registering a 2-1 triumph over hosts Russian Federation.

Portugal manager Fernando Santos has world-class players at his disposal, headlined by Cristiano Ronaldo and others, such as Nani, Pepe and Ricardo Quaresma.

Despite indications that Santos will rest Cristiano Ronaldo with one eye on the semifinals, Portugal should have enough talent in the team to overcome a much lower ranked New Zealand team.

Ronaldo duly dispatched the spot-kick for his 75th goal for Portugal, in front of the more than 50,000 fans at Saint Petersburg Stadium.

Ronaldo's second goal of the tournament was a penalty that opened the scoring in the 33rd minute.

Forward Andre Silva wrapped up the comfortable victory with a fierce angled finish after 80 minutes and Nani added a fourth in stoppage time.

The final round of matches in group A of the Confederations Cup is here, with Portugal still battling to secure a place for themselves in the semifinals.

The 36-year-old replied: "For me Ronaldo is the best player in the world but if you take him out you still have world class players in there".

Cherchesov insisted that his players had improved throughout the tournament and "had done the best they could" in the loss to Mexico.

Ronaldo said: "We are very happy to be in the semi-finals".

Mexico's Hirving Lozano celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the Confederations Cup, Group A soccer match between Mexico and Russia, at the Kazan Arena, Russia, Saturday, June 24, 2017.

They also went on to lose their second game in the competition on Thursday night as Mexico beat them by a 2-1 scoreline amid ugly scenes.

In St Petersburg, Portugal coasted to a 4-0 win over New Zealand but it came at a cost as the Manchester City-bound Bernardo Silva was substituted because of an ankle injury.

"We know that in the semi-finals both Chile and Germany are great teams, but we are confident and want to win". The feisty end to their match against New Zealand drew a lot of attention, so it will be interesting to see how they line up against Russian Federation.

Aleksandr Samedov scored the opening goal of the match for the hosts at the 25-minute mark, while Mexico's Nestor Araujo equalized five minutes later.

  • Zachary Reyes