Portugal weighs resting Ronaldo for New Zealand game

Sunday, 25 Jun, 2017

Never before has a host nation failed to reach at least the Confed Cup semifinal stage, but anything less than three points at the riverside Kazan Arena in Russia's Republic of Tatarstan will mean Russian Federation will crash out should Portugal likely beat New Zealand in St. Petersburg.

The talented Bernardo Silva doubled the European champions' tally before the break with a simple finish after a lovely Portugal move on the left flank.

His loudest ovation was for applauding back to the crowd when substituted midway through the second half.

"We'll try to counter their strengths and exploit their weaknesses, but we need to be focused".

"We need to control the game and show to ourselves that we can compete under such hard circumstances, take a step forward and keep growing as a team so we are capable of playing against any team and any style". "But we were better, we had more chances", he said.

New Zealand ended a 555-minute run without scoring in the Confederations Cup when Captain Chris Wood scored against Mexico.

Portugal will be without Raphael Guerreiro on Saturday, though the Borussia Dortmund defender could return in the tournament.

But like I said before the tournament: "the only nation that aren't continental champions are us, we are making a step forward", Cherchesov said.

Akinfeev had kept his team in the match early in the second half when he tipped a powerful header by Andre Silva round the post.

The linesman's flag denied Spartak Moscow's Samedow after he put the ball in the net early in the second half, and Mexico forged ahead as Lozano's courageous gamble paid off.

The Real Madrid superstar enjoyed a stunning sequence of games to end his 2016-17 campaign, netting 16 times in his final 10 fixtures.

After the draw with Portugal, Mexico's coach Juan Carlos Osorio made eight changes against New Zealand, which back-fired and his side only reacted when they fell behind.

The match turned when Porto midfielder Hector Herrera came on for the second half and Mexico's attacks started to flow.

"I don't know if I'm going to play with Cristiano or without Cristiano", Santos said through a translator.

In a game with New Zealand's favorite underdog allowed to take the lead.

The Oceania champions took a shock lead when Clayton Lewis threaded his pass between two defenders to Wood, who coolly fired home on 42 minutes. Statistics show that if on the field do not have in New Zealand, then to calculate the precise shots do not have to use all the fingers of both hands.

Mexico equalised when Aquino broke down the left flank and passed to Marco Fabian, who squared for forward Jimenez to fire home on 54 minutes.