Portuguese team manager, Fernando Santos says: "I warned my players not let them win balls in the air, and the team reacted very well".

"The team played their hearts out and I don't think anyone watching in the stadium or on their TV screens can say otherwise".

All White coach Anthony Hudson was pleased with the way his team had worked, and said there were plenty of positive to take from the game.

"It was a hard pitch where the grass was somewhat too long and it was nearly impossible to play better than we did", he told Portuguese media after picking up his third successive man-of-the-match award. "We never stopped. We created chances, we put them under pressure, so we could have got a little more out of this tournament", he told reporters. "They proved on the field that they're a team with a great spirit and real determination".

Portugal and Mexico were level on four points each coming into the final group game while New Zealand took the lead against Mexico in their last match but eventually fell to a 2-1 defeat and the Kiwis were out to play for pride against the reigning European Champions having also lost 2-0 to hosts Russian Federation in the opening match of the tournament.

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.

Ronaldo's 33rd-minute goal was followed by strikes from Manchester City-bound Bernardo Silva, Andre Silva and Nani.

Ronaldo was denied three times with headers by New Zealand's impressive goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic, who made eight saves and used his big body to block second-half shots by Andre Silva and substitute Nani. You have to try to reach the goal and prevent them from scoring.

Hosts Russia have been eliminated from the FIFA Confederations Cup after losing 2-1 to Mexico at the Kazan Arena in Group A today.

Cristiano Ronaldo's 75th worldwide goal helped lift Portugal to the semifinals.

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

A keenly contested encounter in Kazan saw Mexico prevail 2-1 and progress at the expense of hosts Russian Federation, while the focus now turns to Chile, Germany, Australia and Cameroon, who went through their final preparations for the Group B finale.

Hector Moreno had the ball in the net in the 61st minute but the Video Assistan Referees ruled the goal out for an offside.

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

Mexico faces Germany in the other semi in Sochi on Thursday.

"I'm very proud to make 100 appearances, I hope to do even more", said Moutinho.

"Passions are running high so it's not the time to come to any conclusions", he added.


COMMENTS