Portugal weighs resting Ronaldo for New Zealand game

by Steven Clarke June 26, 2017, 1:42
Portugal weighs resting Ronaldo for New Zealand game

Advancing from the group with European champion Portugal and Gold Cup victor 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 semifinals despite a loss to Portugal in the second match. He's the best player in the world.

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

During the early stages of the second half, Portugal were dealt a blow when Pepe picked up a booking which will sideline him for the semi-finals, and they were given a reminder that New Zealand were still active in the game when Wood saw a goalbound effort cleared off the line.

European champions Portugal have done their homework on football minnows New Zealand with coach Fernando Santos predicting an all-out attack against their Confederations Cup rivals at Krestovsky Stadium today.

The 23-year-old left back will miss the rest of the Confederations Cup after revealing yesterday that he has been playing with a fractured leg for months.

Goals from Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo ensured Wales were dispatched 2-0 in Lyon before a goalless final against hosts France went into an additional period, where substitute Eder was the unlikely hero.

After a third straight defeat, New Zealand coach Anthony Hudson said he was disappointed that his team allowed two late goals as they pushed forward.

"Games have the possibility of 120 minutes, that's different from a 90-minute game".

Portugal coach Santos said at a press conference: "I will analyse the opponents and prepare the game regardless of who we will play".

All Whites keeper Stefan Marinovic was kept busy with a string of fine saves, including a superb reflex stop off a Ronaldo header.

"We have a gameplan that we're going to stick to".

A day after the superstar was summoned to court in Spain over allegations relating to a complex tax fraud, Ronaldo's goal was simple. "We've changed a lot in terms of lineup and attitude and fans have seen that".

"We know what we need to do and we don't think that far ahead".

Pushes, punches and pokes were traded but more controversy followed afterward when Bakary Gassama, the Gambian referee, reviewed the incident using VAR but chose to issue just a yellow card to the three players involved in the initial stages.

"A more general analysis takes more time and we have to drill down into every detail", added Cherchesov, looking remarkably relaxed and with his tie loose and top shirt button undone as usual.

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