European champs cruise into Confed Cup semifinals

The New Zealand men's football team have been beaten four-nil by Portugal in their final match of the Confederations Cup, making it three losses from three matches in pool play.

A 34th-minute Cristiano Ronaldo penalty opened the scoring for Portugal against the Kiwis, who had already been knocked out but were eager to go out on a high note, before Bernardo Silva doubled the European champions' advantage three minutes later.

Portugal still looked determined to make sure of their position as group winners by adding more goals and new AC Milan signing Andre Silva effectively clinched it in the 80th minute with a fine solo effort.

A clever defender with a mean streak, Portugal's defense is anchored on Pepe, the Real Madrid central defender who has been at the heart of the team's back line for the past decade.

Mexico also progressed to the semi-finals as they knocked hosts Russian Federation out of the tournament with a 2-1 victory.

However, Mexico brought the match back to level terms within five minutes of the goal when Nestor Araujo headed the ball past Igor Akinfeev.

The Russians had plenty of chances, but poor finishing kept them from earning a better result. Several players missed clear opportunities throughout the match played in front of 41,585 at Kazan Arena.

Portugal swiftly doubled their lead when Eliseu's risky low cross from the left was forced home by Silva, although there was brief concern for the new Manchester City signing as he landed awkwardly on his ankle.

Portugal coach Fernando Santos gave New Zealand a boost by withdrawing Ronaldo 23 minutes from the end, but substitute Nani almost made a swift impact, latching on to Quaresma's cross and slamming a powerful shot at Marinovic from 10 yards.

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Just before half-time, Portugal forward Andre Silva lashed out at Michael Boxall after a tussle with the New Zealand defender, which left him with a torn shirt - but could easily have also resulted in a red card.

The hosts of the 2018 World cup crashed out after a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Mexico.

"We started very well and were probably the stronger of the two teams, we could have potentially have gone 1-0 up".

Marinovic made impressive saves to deny Ronaldo, Andre Silva and Nani, but was powerless to stop Andre Silva or Nani late in the game.

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

Ronaldo twice threatened the New Zealand goal in quick succession, nodding straight at goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic on 24 minutes and then clattering the crossbar shortly after with another header from a Ricardo Quaresma cross.

Mexico also had a second-half goal by defender Hector Moreno, but was ruled offside after video review.

Akinfeev failed to clear a bouncing ball, allowing Lozano to sneak in and score the victor seven minutes into the second half.

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