FIFA Confederations Cup: Portugal, Mexico through to semi-final

Cheryl Sanders
June 26, 2017

The All Whites have ended their Confederations Cup adventure with a crushing 4-0 defeat at the hands of Portugal.

They stretched Portugal's defence on occasion and caused enough uncertainty to force Santos into a decision that may yet cost his team. The tough defender is suspended for being shown a yellow card for a crude challenge just before he could be substituted.

"We are very happy to be in the semi-finals", he said.

Defender Diego Reyes also didn't practice with the team in its final training session before traveling to Sochi for Thursday's semifinal against Germany.

"At 2-0 we could have kept the scoreline respectable, but we didn't", he said.

FIFA Confederations Cup: Portugal, Mexico through to semi-final

Portugal opened the scoring through a Ronaldo penalty in the 33rd minute, with Bernardo Silva extending their lead four minutes later. It was the third time in as many games in Russian Federation that Osorio's team had conceded first and had to fight back.

Porto midfielder Herrera fired in a deep cross to the far post where Araujo lifted the ball over Akinfeev and into the opposite corner. Ronaldo shot high to Marinovic's left as the goalkeeper dived right.

The second goal came from neat play on the left between Ricardo Queresma and Eliseu to set up Silva from five meters (yards).

CITY new boy Bernardo Silva has reassured fans he is fit and healthy after being hurt in the Confederations Cup. Shots in the sixth and 76th minutes lacked power to test goalkeeper Rui Patricio, and defender Bruno Alves blocked a low shot at the far post in the 59th.

Tommy Smith and Michael Boxall were guilty of blocking, but Danilo seemed to hook his foot under Smith's leg and went down very easily in the box.

"To be perfectly honest I did not see the replay [of the goal] as I was dealing with something else", he said.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after opening the scoring.

Portugal and Mexico were level on four points each coming into the final group game while New Zealand took the lead against Mexico in their last match but eventually fell to a 2-1 defeat and the Kiwis were out to play for pride against the reigning European Champions having also lost 2-0 to hosts Russian Federation in the opening match of the tournament.

Portugal coasted to a 4-0 win over New Zealand in St Petersburg to secure their place in the Confederations Cup semi-finals.

Mexico winger Hirving Lozano took advantage of an bad mix-up in the Russian defence to score an extraordinary goal which gave his side a 2-1 win and knocked the Confederations Cup hosts out of the tournament on Saturday.

While Cristiano Ronaldo was named man of the match for the third time in a row - having started the rout with a first-half penalty - two of Portugal's newer generation had more convincing claims to the headlines and suggested they could be in the starting lineup to stay.

Mexico went ahead seven minutes after the break, Akinfeev making a calamitous decision to come for a long ball and missing it, allowing Lozano a simple finish.

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.

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