Cristiano Ronaldo header gives Portugal victory
Cristiano Ronaldo headed an early winner as Portugal beat hosts Russia 1-0 in the Confederations Cup on Wednesday to go top of Group A and spoil Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev\'s 100th cap.
London: Cristiano Ronaldo headed an early winner as Portugal beat hosts Russia 1-0 in the Confederations Cup on Wednesday to go top of Group A and spoil Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev's 100th cap.
European champions Portugal took the lead when captain Ronaldo headed a precise cross by Raphael Guerreiro past Akinfeev in the eighth minute and then held on as a re-energised Russia created chances in the second half.
Akinfeev had kept his team in the match early in the second half when he tipped a powerful header by Andre Silva round the post.Russia squandered two scoring chances in stoppage time, with Georgy Dzhikya's header sailing over the bar while a Fedor Smolov drive floated wide.
The win moved Portugal top of the table with four points after they conceded an equaliser in stoppage time to draw their opening match 2-2 against with Mexico. Russia stay on three points while, Mexico (1) take on New Zealand (0) later on
Russia face Mexico on Saturday in their last group game, when Portugal play New Zealand.Mexico scored twice in a busy second-half performance to overcome New Zealand 2-1 on Wednesday and destroy the All Whites dreams of securing their first Confederations Cup victory at the 11th attempt."There wasn't a lot in it tonight, it was very close," New Zealand coach Anthony Hudson said.