Portugal weighs resting Ronaldo for New Zealand game

Hope Soto
June 25, 2017

Two goals in four first-half minutes set Portugal on their way to a 4-0 win over New Zealand and a place in the Confederations Cup semifinals.

Cristiano Ronaldo expressed his delight at firing Portugal into the Confederations Cup semi-finals after netting his 75th global goal in Saturday's 4-0 thrashing of New Zealand.

New Zealand now can not progress but another match against top-class opposition will help the Oceania champions close the global gap.

Russian Federation fans have boosted attendance figures during these finals and it is expected to be a close-to-capacity crowd at Kazan Arena on Saturday but head coach Cherchesov has no doubt that there renewed backing for his players will continue regardless of the result. "We play away from home, against the host team, with a lot of support from their fans, and fighting for the qualification". We looked at how they played. Should Portugal win and earn a greater goal difference or outscore Mexico by more than one, they would win the group.

Ronaldo had already headed against the crossbar before firing Portugal ahead after Danilo went tumbling under a challenge from two defenders and the referee pointed to the spot without asking for a video replay.

"We have decided what we want to do and we will continue with our posture, our position, objective game by game, but always trusting that we will win".

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After promising to rotate his starting lineup for a third Confederations Cup game in seven days, Santos would not confirm if that means rest for his 32-year-old star. However, they can still cause a huge upset by beating Portugal and giving the hosts an outside chance of qualifying.

"I honestly think that this is a ideal scenario for Mexican football", he said. Heading into the final round of group stage matches, Mexico sit top of their group, and need only a draw to guarantee their safe passage into the next round.

Portugal have four points after they conceded an equaliser in stoppage time to draw their opening match 2-2 against Mexico. "Yes, Portugal is a world class side but we will play for the result", Hudson said.

"On paper they seem better than us".

New Zealand created a few more chances in the second half, their best coming as the hour mark approached.

The European Champions are expected to cruise past New Zealand tonight with a dominating performance and we may very well see the biggest scoreline of the tournament in St.Petersburg.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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