Portugal, Mexico, Russia tussle for semi-final berths

Ross Houston
June 24, 2017

The Selecao were surprise winners in France a year ago but still attracted barbs for a perceived defensive mindset - a stereotype they have since found hard to shift.

Igor Smolnikov had Russia's best chance to level, smashing over from close range, but the hosts could not produce a comeback and will not participate in the semi-finals, with Mexico progressing alongside Portugal from Group A.

"I don't know if I'm going to play with Cristiano or without Cristiano".

The hosts were unlucky not to force an equaliser after a string of chances in a strong second-half display.

The victory means Portugal require just a point from their clash with already-eliminated New Zealand in St Petersburg on Saturday. "On paper they are certainly better than us".

"That's what gives us pride in wearing this shirt".

"I hope that Hector Moreno will be in tomorrow's game - he's in the recovery process", Osorio told a news conference.

While acknowledging Ronaldo's status, Hudson says that even without him, the European champions pose a serious test.

"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.

The first match of the game was between Russian Federation and portugal, unsurprisingly like many times in the past Ronaldo has won the game for his national side with a delightful header from close range beating the goal keeper easily.

Herculez Gomez and the FC panel look at Mexico's lacklustre win over New Zealand and the changes that affected their play.

Mexico came from behind to defeat New Zealand 2-1 in its second game.

This will be the first senior meeting between eighth-ranked Portugal, and New Zealand, who are 95th - sandwiched between Guatemala and Madagascar.

Osorio said Mexico has been waiting for this type of game.

The second game of the day was between Mexico And new Zealand where the "EL TRIO" won the game in latter half of the game. - The All Whites have lost each of their last four games in all competitions, their worst run since 2003 to 2004, when they lost five on the bounce. And Cristiano Ronaldo was not on it! - Following his strike against Russia, Ronaldo has now scored 54 goals in competitive football this season for club and country combined, 42 goals for Real Madrid and 12 for Portugal.

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