#ConfedCup Ronaldo scores as Portugal, Mexico reach semis

Mexico winger Hirving Lozano took advantage of an terrible 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.

Portugal's Nani, right, celebrates after scoring his side's fourth goal during the Confederations Cup, Group A soccer match between New Zealand and Portugal, at the St. Petersburg Stadium, Russia, Saturday, June 24, 2017.

Hosts Russia are out of the Confederations Cup following a 2-1 defeat by Mexico in Kazan.

Hosts Russia took a deserved 25th-minute lead in Kazan through Aleksandr Samedov, but Nestor Araujo equalised for Mexico with a looping header on the half hour.

Russian Federation goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev completely mis-read the situation after Hector Herrera sent a looping clearance 80 metres downfield from the edge of the Mexican area seven minutes into the second half. Mexico held on to their lead and claimed all the three points.

However, Portugal will miss the service of defender Pepe as he booked his second yellow card while there will be a fitness concern for coach Fernando Santos as Bernardo Silva was substituted at half-time because of an ankle injury.

In the Portugal-New Zealand match, Ronaldo who was voted Man of the Match for the third time opened scoring via a penalty in the 33rd minute.

In the day's other game, tournament hosts Russian Federation were eliminated from the Confederations Cup after losing 2-1 to Mexico in their final Group A game.

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It was 2-0 four minutes later when Bernardo Silva slipped a shot into an unguarded goal after neat play on the left flank between Ricardo Queresma and Eliseu.

Marinovic impressed and made eight saves, using his big body to block second-half shots by Andre Silva and Nani.

The video assistant referee (VAR) was again a talking point after the officials stopped the game in the 19th minute, over a minute after Fedor Smolov had fallen to ground inside the box following a challenge from Hector Moreno.

Portugal went into the game knowing a draw would be enough to see them through into the knockout stages, although in the end they cruised into the semifinals with a comprehensive win over the All Whites - who had no chance of qualifying having lost their opening two games. They have a club in common, you know...

The game began with an high intense pace and aggression as one player from both sides were cautioned. 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.

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.

A ruthless Portugal side put New Zealand to the sword with a 4-0 win on Sunday morning, sending the All Whites home from the Confederations Cup in bitter fashion.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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