Confederations Cup: Hosts Russia out as Portugal and Mexico reach last four | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 24.06.2017
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Confederations Cup

Confederations Cup: Hosts Russia out as Portugal and Mexico reach last four

Russia have been knocked out of their own Confederations Cup after losing to Mexico in Kazan. Portugal top Group A and join the Mexicans in the semifinal after hammering New Zealand in Saint Petersburg.

Mexico 2-1 Russia
(Araujo 31', Lozano 52' - Samedov 24')

Hosts Russia are out of the Confederations Cup following a 2-1 defeat by Mexico in Kazan.

The hosts took a deserved lead through Alexander Samedov midway through the first half, the midfielder capitalizing on confusion in the Mexican box to fire home and put Russia provisionally top of Group A.

But the celebrations were cut short just five minutes later when defender Nestor Araujo sent a back-post header looping over the flailing Igor Akinfeev in the Russian goal.

If there were questions about Akinfeev's positioning for the equalizer, there was no doubt he was at fault for Mexico's second just after half-time. Hector Herrera cleared on the edge of his box, sending the ball flying high down the pitch where Akinfeev simply had to meet it.

But the Russian goalkeeper hesitated, allowing Hirzing Lozano to out-jump him and nod the ball into the net from 20 yards. Hector Moreno looked like he'd put the game to bed for Mexico but the video assistant referee correctly ruled his strike offside and Russia survived.

Despite being reduced to ten men when Yuriy Zhirkov was dismissed for a second bookable offence, the hosts continued to attack, substitute Igor Smolnikov blazing over from close range as Russia's golden chance went begging.

 

Russland FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 Neuseeland - Portugal (Reuters/C. Recine)

Ronaldo has scored 33 goals in 33 games for club and country in 2017.

New Zealand 0-4 Portugal
(Ronaldo 33', Bernardo Silva 37', André Silva 80', Nani 90+1')

Cristiano Ronaldo notched up his 75th international goal as Portugal turned on the style to beat New Zealand 4-0 and top Group A.

The European champions finish ahead of Mexico to set up a meeting with the runners up of Group B in Kazan on Wednesday.

Portugal needed only a point against the Kiwis in St Petersburg and made no mistake, with Ronaldo converting from the spot, and the impressive Bernardo Silva - a recent recruit at Pep Guardiola's Manchester City - turning the ball in from close range four minutes later.

Andre Silva netted in the 80th minute and substitute Nani completed the rout. The only blot for Portugal was a booking for defender Pepe - his second of the tournament - to leave him suspended for the semifinal.

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