Published: Sun, June 25, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Portugal land in Confederations Cup semi-finals


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 came off after the break to be replaced by Nani and Portugal added to their lead when Andre Silva scored a fine solo effort on 80 minutes.

In its semifinal, Portugal will be without defender Pepe, who was suspended for a second yellow card in the tournament.

"I hope they can get the pitch in better condition because it's always important for the quality of the match, especially where you have teams which are technically strong and fast".

But New Zealand manager, Anthony Hudson said his team started very well and stronger of the two teams and "never accepted the result". "We are building a team that is showing that it can play against any opponent in any situation".

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It remains to been seen who Fernando Santos' men will next meet in Kazan on Wednesday, but Real Madrid forward Ronaldo told reporters the focus now should be on lifting the trophy back at the Krestovsky Stadium on July 2. "They're a team with great spirit and capacity".

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.

Cristiano Ronaldo (from penalty spot), Bernardo Silva and Andre Silva and Nani's goals ensured victory for the Portuguese.

Eliseu and Quaresma linked well on the left, with the full-back then playing the ball across the face of goal for Bernardo Silva to stab home from close range.

Ronaldo was denied three times with headers by New Zealand's impressive goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic, who made eight saves and used his big body to block second-half shots by Andre Silva and substitute Nani.

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Nani completed the scoring with his 25th worldwide goal.

The post Confed Cup: Portugal, Mexico Win, Zoom Into Semis; Hosts Russia, New Zealand Crash Out appeared first on Complete Sports Nigeria.

Igor Akinfeev was then left embarrassed as Lozano nipped in front of the Russian Federation goalkeeper to head in from the edge of the area on 52 minutes after a towering clearance caused chaos in the home defence.

For Russia it was their final competitive fixture ahead of next year's World Cup, but coach Stanislav Cherchesov remained upbeat despite his side's early exit.

The lead was short lived, however, with Mexico swiftly equalising through a Nestor Araujo header, the centre back directing a header past Russia's goalkeeper Akinfeev, although he did not seem to be going for goal.

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