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FIFA Confederations Cup: Portugal and Mexico advance, hosts Russia bow out

Portugal beat New Zealand 4-0 to advance to the semi-finals. Mexico also made the knockouts after beating hosts Russia 2-1.

football Updated: Jun 24, 2017 23:35 IST
‪‪FIFA Confederations Cup‬,‪Cristiano Ronaldo‬,‪Portugal national football team‬
Cristiano Ronaldo powered Portugal through to the semi-finals. Mexico are also through to the next round. (REUTERS)

European champions Portugal comfortably dispatched New Zealand 4-0 to reach the Confederations Cup semi-finals on Saturday after Cristiano Ronaldo set them on their way with a penalty.

Portugal’s all-time leading scorer swept the ball home in the 33rd minute, his 75th goal for his country, and Bernardo Silva added the second four minutes later.

A solo effort from Andre Silva, his eighth goal in 11 appearances, in the 80th minute and a stoppage-time goal from substitute Nani completed the scoring.

It was a typically efficient performance from Portugal who never looked in danger despite a sluggish start.

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In the other game, host nation Russia fought valiantly effort but could not avoid early elimination at the Confederations Cup after a 2-1 loss to Mexico on Saturday, a result that secured the Mexicans a place in the semifinals of the World Cup warm-up tournament.

Needing a victory to advance from its difficult group, the hosts played well and took the lead with a goal by Alexander Samedov in the first half, but the experienced Mexicans equalized with Nestor Araujo before halftime and secured the victory early in the second with a goal by Hirving Lozano after a blunder by Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.

The Russians had plenty of chances, but poor finishing kept them from earning a better result. Several players missed clear scoring opportunities throughout the match in front of 41,585 fans at Kazan Arena.

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Russian players gathered in the middle of the pitch to salute fans after the final whistle and were applauded by the crowd.

First Published: Jun 24, 2017 23:29 IST