Portugal cruise into semi-finals of 2017 FIFA confederations cup

Hosts Russia have been knocked out by Mexico in the FIFA Confederations Cup, after going down 1-2 in the last group match played today.

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring from the penalty spot with his 75th global goal in the 33rd minute.

Coach Fernando Santos is not concerned about which team is up next for Portugal, with Group B to be decided on Sunday.

Shortly after Zhirkov's red card Russian defender Viktor Vasin collected another yellow card for his team and with minutes remaining before the final whistle Alexander Golovin was penalized with a yellow card.

Russian Federation had raised the hopes of their fans by taking a first-half lead through Alexander Samedov but were quickly pegged back by Nestor Araujo's equaliser on the half hour.

"We achieved a result, a good victory and a place in the semi-final, which was our main goal".

Captain Cristiano Ronaldo put Portugal ahead from the penalty spot on 33 minutes.

The former Manchester United player continues to be highly productive in attack and defense thanks to his hard work on and off the ball. They cheered when Ronaldo was on the big screens, even during Portugal's national anthem, and gave him an ovation when substituted midway through the second half.

The strategy helped Ronaldo get his 75th global goal and Portugal an ultimately easy 4-0 win at the Confederations Cup on Saturday.

New Zealand's Confederation Cup is over, the All Whites finishing winless and bottom of their group after being outplayed 4-0 by Portugal in St Petersburg.

Ronaldo's fine form has continued in the colours of Portugal, with a brace in a World Cup qualifier against Latvia followed by two efforts at the Confederations Cup - taking him to 56 in 55 games.

On June 25, Chile will face Australia in Moscow, while Germany plays against Cameroon in Sochi to determine the other semifinal competitors.

"We want to win this tournament, against whoever", the 29-year-old said.

Mexico's Hector Herrera, top, and his teammates celebrate their side's first goal during the Confederations Cup, Group A soccer match between Mexico and Russia, at the Kazan Arena, Russia, Saturday, June 24, 2017.

Making it worse, in the 68th minute of the game, Yury Zhirkov was sent off for elbowing his opponent.

However, five minutes later Mexican defender Nestor Araujo's header found its way past Russia's goaltender Igor Akinfeev and ended up in the net of the hosts, drawing the score to 1-1.

  • Julie Sanders