Ronaldo sets Portugal on way to Confederations Cup semis
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 25, 2017,
Jun 25, 2017, 5:45
And Nani, Ronaldo's replacement from the bench, added a fourth for good measure, ensuring that Portugal's next generation did not take all the glory as Fernando Santos' men finished ahead of Mexico thanks to a super goal difference after their 2-1 defeat of Russian Federation.
All Whites coach Anthony Hudson has no problems with New Zealand being written off before they even take the field against Portugal in their final Confederations Cup pool match.
Marinovic made impressive saves to deny Ronaldo, Andre Silva and Nani but was powerless stop Andre Silva when he collected the ball on the halfway line, ran at two defenders who backed off, and fired his shot into the far corner.
Copa America holders Chile lead Germany on goal difference ahead of the final round of matches in Group B, although Australia and Cameroon still harbour outside qualification hopes.
To compound Russia's misery, Yuri Zhirkov was sent off after receiving a second yellow card on 68 minutes.
Moreno scored the stoppage-time equalizer in Mexico's 2-2 opening draw against European champions Portugal.
The former Monaco winger had to go off right after with an ankle injury picked up from scoring the goal.
"We faced a rival that needed to win and had nothing to lose, and we competed very well against them", Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio said.
Portugal dominated all aspects of play early on Sunday (AEST), firing in 22 attempts on goal with 12 on target and earning 12 corners to New Zealand's one. However, games are won on the pitch and this New Zealand side have absolutely nothing to play for and the pressure to qualify and no slip up rests entirely on Fernando Santos' men.
The Portuguese, on the contrary, do not know the defeats in the last 4 matches, in the Confederations Cup, having drawn with Mexico 2: 2 and defeating Russian Federation 1: 0.
New Zealand goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic makes a save during the Confederations Cup, Group A soccer match between New Zealand and Portugal, at the St. Petersburg Stadium, Russia, Saturday, June 24, 2017.