Thursday, 23 November, 2017

Portugal and Mexico advance, hosts Russian Federation bow out — FIFA Confederations Cup

Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal looks on during a training session at Spartak Stadium Portugal and Mexico advance, hosts Russian Federation bow out — FIFA Confederations Cup
Rita Gibson | 28 June, 2017, 13:47

Slowly but surely, Portugal began to gain control of the contest but it took until the 24th minute for Ronaldo to force a stop out of Stefan Marinovic with a header at the near post.

Portugal and Mexico have booked their places in the semifinal stage of the ongoing FIFA Confederation Cup taking place in Russian Federation.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after opening the scoring.

Russian Federation broke the deadlock in the 25th minute through Alexander Samedov but Nestor Araujo headed Mexico level five minutes later.

It was his 75th worldwide goal.

Andre Silva wrapped up a comfortable victory with a fierce angled finish on 80 minutes, and Nani added a fourth in stoppage time.

Akinfeev made a mistake that led to Mexico's second goal after a long clearance by Herrera from near the south American side's area.

"It was hard to play better than we played because the grass was not very good".

A Yuri Zhirkov red card when he picked up a second yellow for an apparent elbow didn't help Russia's cause and Mexico held on for the win.

"We knew we were going to have a really tough game against a very strong side in the host nation, who simply had to go for the win", said Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio.

Turkey rejects Arab terms to Qatar, US urges sides to talk
Shia-dominated Iran, an arch-rival of Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia, has stepped in by shipping Qatar tonnes of fruit and vegetables. The Al Udeid Air Base, just 20 miles southwest of the Qatari capital of Doha, is host to some 11,000 USA military personnel.

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 in Kazan, Russia, a result that secured the Mexicans in the semifinals of the World Cup warm-up tournament.

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

One team came seeking qualification and the other to enhance their reputation.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 75th worldwide goal as Portugal trounced New Zealand 4-0 in Saint Petersburg on Saturday to advance to the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup.

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.

Marinovic made impressive saves to deny Ronaldo, Andre Silva and Nani but was powerless stop Andre Silva when he collected the ball on the halfway line, ran at two defenders who backed off, and fired his shot into the far corner. But the goal sparked Mexico into life and they were level just five minutes later.

Juan Carlos Osorio's side finished in second position with seven points behind Portugal (due to an inferior goal difference of +2) who also defeated New Zealand 3-0 to set up a semi-final clash with the victor of Group A.

Chile and Germany are level on points atop Group B, though Australia or Cameroon could also sneak into the second-place spot with a win on Sunday.

Boss Fernando Santos said: "I warned my players to not let them win balls in the air, and the team reacted well".

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