Ronaldo leads Portugal to easy win over New Zealand

Solenn Plantier
Juin 25, 2017

All Whites coach Anthony Hudson also felt the scoreline was harsh on his team and said that he saw plenty of cause for encouragement in their performance.

Hosts Russia have been knocked out by Mexico in the FIFA Confederations Cup, after going down 1-2 in the last group match played today.

Cedric was dropped for the first time for the highly-rated Nelsen Semedo, having previously featured as first choice for his national side.

Ronaldo's second goal of the tournament was a penalty that opened the scoring in the 33rd minute. Join the Saints Marching team!

Despite the off-field turmoil and constant speculation about his future, the Portugal captain has dazzled on the pitch in Russian Federation and scored two goals in three matches.

Bernado Silva, Andre Silva and Nani also scored goals for Portugal to help them finish top of their pool on seven points.

It means that the current European Champions have kept clean sheets in consecutive games, the first time that has been done this competition.

And Nani, Ronaldo's replacement from the bench, added a fourth for good measure, ensuring that Portugal's next generation did not take all the glory as Fernando Santos' men finished ahead of Mexico thanks to a super goal difference after their 2-1 defeat of Russian Federation.

On June 25, Chile will face Australia in Moscow, while Germany plays against Cameroon in Sochi to determine the other semifinal competitors.

"It was a hard pitch where the grass was somewhat too long and it was nearly impossible to play better than we did", he told Portuguese media after picking up his third successive man-of-the-match award.

It was his 75th goal for Portugal, bringing him level with Sandor Kocsis in second place on the list of Europe's highest worldwide goal scorers.

"The team played their hearts out and I don't think anyone here tonight or in front of their television sets have any doubts about that". "So we were forewarned", he said. "They are two world powers and our objective is to reach the final and win, with total modesty and humility and showing respect as we have done until now".

European champion Portugal outclassed a typically robust New Zealand team which extended its winless Confederations Cup run to 12 games across four editions.

Portugal swiftly doubled their lead when Eliseu's unsafe low cross from the left was forced home by Silva, although there was brief concern for the new Manchester City signing as he landed awkwardly on his ankle.

CRISTIANO RONALDO could head back to Manchester United after a huge swap deal this summer - is this how the Red Devils will line up next season?

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