Confederations Cup 2017: Day 4 Wrap Up

Highlights:

  • Portugal defeat Russia 1-0
  • The defeat leaves hosts Russia in danger of an early exit
  • Mexico come from behind to defeat New Zealand 2-1
  • Mexico are now on top of Group A

Day 3 of the Confederations Cup in Russia saw Portugal take on hosts Russia and Mexico clash against New Zeeland in the second match of the day. An early header from Cristiano Ronaldo gave Portugal the win against Russia, who started poorly but attacked with intent in the second half. Mexico edged past in an enthralling match to win their first match of the tournament 2-1.

 

Russia took on Portugal in the first match of the day in front of a capacity crowd at the Spartak Stadium. Cristiano Ronaldo continued his blistering form and was declared the man of the match for the second match in a row as his 74th international goal was enough to earn Portugal victory over hosts Russia. Russia was poor before half-time and although they improved after it, they were repeatedly forced back on the break as Portugal counterattacked with venom. Only goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, winning his 100th cap, denied Russia’s the blushes as he made vital saves from Ronaldo and André Silva either side of half-time to limit the score to 1-0. It was Russia who finished strongly with Aleksandr Bukharov appealing in vain for a last-gasp penalty after going down in the box before defender Georgy Dzhikya heading inches over Rui Patricio’s crossbar but Portugal dug in to ensure they finished on top.

 

In the day’s other Group A game, Mexico came back from a half-time deficit to beat New Zealand 2-1 to go top of the group and end their opponent’s hopes of reaching the semi-finals. El Tri overcame a terrible first half to dominate in the second. After Chris Wood scored late in the first half for the Kiwis in what was a physical match, Mexico scored twice in under 20 minutes in the second half to earn their first victory of the cup. The match was marred by a huge brawl towards the end but failed to take away from what as a thoroughly entertaining match.

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