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Ronaldo sets Portugal on way to Confederations Cup semis

26 June 2017

"We will play a hard opponent whoever that will be, Chile or Germany, two great teams".

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.

Portugal also advanced from Group A after beating last-place New Zealand 4-0 in St. Petersburg.

Mexico will meet the winners of Group B - which will nearly certainly be Chile or Germany - in their last-four encounter in Sochi on Thursday, but Hernandez is not concerned about which team they face.

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.

"One of the things we probably learned in this tournament is you get punished for your mistakes", New Zealand coach Hudson said after the result.

Portugal's all-time leading scorer swept the ball home in the 33rd minute, his 75th goal for his country, and Bernardo Silva added the second four minutes later. Russian players gathered in the centre of the pitch to salute fans after the final whistle and were applauded by the crowd.

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His sharp headers could have turned a comfortable win into a rout.

With Ronaldo dominating All Whites defenders in the air midway through the first half, the next aerial challenge saw two leave him in a heap with rugby-style physical skills.

CRISTIANO RONALDO scored a penalty as Euro 2016 winners Portugal romped to the top of group A at the Confederations Cup in Russian Federation. The defender headed the ball into the opposite corner, over goalkeeper Akinfeev. Ronaldo shot high to Marinovic's left as the goalkeeper dived right.

The lead was quickly doubled when Bernardo Silva slotted home on 37 minutes after getting on the end of Eliseu's low driven cross, although the winger was injured in the process and later replaced.

A typically robust New Zealand team was outclassed at times and extended its winless Confederations Cup run to 12 games across four editions.

Late in the game, a tired-looking defense failed to close down Andre Silva and then Nani who both made space to shoot and score.

However, it was the minnows who created the first clear-cut opportunity of the match with Leeds United forward Chris Wood forcing a decent save out of Rui Patricio, who got down well to his left.

Ronaldo sets Portugal on way to Confederations Cup semis