Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Portugal thrash New Zealand, reach Confederations Cup semis

Portugal thrash New Zealand, reach Confederations Cup semis Portugal thrash New Zealand, reach Confederations Cup semis
Isaac Mcdaniel | 27 June, 2017, 05:26

Advancing from the group with Portugal, and the Gold Cup winners, Mexico, was seen as a hard task from the start, but an opening victory against New Zealand had left Russian Federation in position to make it to the semi-finals despite a defeat to Portugal in the second match.

Portugal's goal shower started in the 33 minutes, when Christiano Ronaldo scored a penalty and Pen Bernaldo added a goal four minutes later, which made the first half to end 2-0.

An inevitable third goal came in the 80th when Andre Silva dribbled deep into the New Zealand penalty area to score with a rising shot.

Into week two at the Confederations Cup and Saturday saw Group A wrapped up, with Portugal heading through in top position courtesy of a thumping 4-0 win over New Zealand.

"We knew it could be complicated because we had seen New Zealand play Mexico and the problems they caused the Mexicans". He had 17 goals in 31 second-division games for Union the season before.

"This team are on the right path, they have got great character, great belief and it's a young team moving in the right direction". New Zealand finished bottom of the group after losing all three games.

Danilo was felled on the half hour mark by a combination of Tom Doyle and Tommy Smith - and Real Madrid legend Ron made no mistake from the spot, firing high into the back of the net.

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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.

Mexico have progressed to the semi-finals of the FIFA Confederations Cup after claiming a 2-1 win over hosts Russian Federation in their final group game.

However, their lead only lasted for five minutes before Nestor Araujo equalised with a deft header that looked suspiciously like an attempted lay-off - something our team reporters are sure to ask him about! The only blot for Portugal was a booking for defender Pepe - his second of the tournament - to leave him suspended for the semifinal.

"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". Porto midfielder Herrera fired in a deep cross to the far post where Araujo lifted the ball over Akinfeev and into the opposite corner.

Mexico then suffered a blow in the 39th minute when Diego Reyes was forced off with an injury. The goalkeeper apparently wasn't sure if he could use his hands and ended up taking too long to commit to the ball with his feet, allowing Lozano to nip in and head it into the open net.

Although Saudi Arabian referee Fahad Al Mirdasi bizarrely referred the incident to be reviewed by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) a couple of minutes after the event, he then kept his original decision not to award a foul.

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