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What problems? Ronaldo on target in Portugal win

23 June 2017

Head coach of Russia, Stanislav Cherchesov, has defended his team after they allowed Cristiano Ronaldo score the victor, in Wednesday's 1-0 Confederations Cup defeat to Portugal.

As man of the match, he was due to appear in front of the press, but Ronaldo was in no mood to take any questions amid ongoing uncertainty about his future at Madrid and stuck to a few prepared words on Portugal's win.

Portugal weathered a second-half onslaught by Russian Federation as they held on to secure all three points and virtually assure themselves of a place in the knock-out stages of the FIFA Confederations Cup. The team played very well against a side playing at home with the support of their fans.

"Everyone is incredibly disappointed in the changing room and we feel we should have got more", said Hudson.

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero was given a yellow card for diving by referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz against Monaco last season
Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero was given a yellow card for diving by referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz against Monaco last season

Meanwhile, Ronaldo is ready to pay Spain's tax authorities the €14.7 million (Dh60.2m) - the amount he has been accused of defrauding by a prosecutor - ahead of the court hearing, Spanish state TV said last night.

And he was all smiles escorting a young mascot in a wheelchair out onto the pitch in Moscow before he netted his first goal of the tournament inside eight minutes at the home of Spartak Moscow.

Portugal coach Fernando Santos speaks during a news conference in St.Petersburg, Russia, Friday, June 23, 2017.

Only goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, who was winning his 100th cap, denied Portugal victory by a greater margin as he made vital saves from Ronaldo and Andre Silva either side of half-time.

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The hosts were unlucky not to force an equaliser after a string of chances in a strong second-half display.

"Russia pressured us in the second half", Santos admitted, and Cherchesov was also pleased with his team's improvement after the break although it was to no avial.

Portugal beat Russian Federation 1-0 earlier in the day - and Mexico now only need a draw against Russian Federation in Kazan on Saturday to be sure of reaching the semi-finals.

"We lost the ball fairly often when leaving the defensive zone in the first half, we weren't able to attack, let alone to shoot".

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Despite Mexico's captain Diego Reyes being at fault for the foul, it was Hector Herrera who took Boxall's kick and was the first to act by giving him a push in return.

He said: "I see this as another game that we want to approach with the mindset of being organised, having the right mentality and we want to get a result".

"We know how to adapt to different opponents".

Three yellow cards were brandished with the help of VAR, following a clash late on between Mexico and New Zealand.

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What problems? Ronaldo on target in Portugal win