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Portugal, Mexico, Russia tussle for semi berths

Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal has not scored in only 1 game from his previous 8 games for Portugal, netting 13 goals in the remaining 7 combined.

Ronaldo's goal was his 75th with Portugal, taking him level with Sandor Kocsis in second on the list of global goals for European players, and he said he was happy to contribute.

"We faced a rival that needed to win and had nothing to lose, and we competed very well against them", Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio said. "At Euro 2016, we won four games and the fact that it was done in extra time shows our good preparation to play long games", he said.

New Zealand are looking for consolation at this point, since they're not able to advance into the semifinals.

Both nations have four points, with group leaders Chile facing Australia on Sunday while Germany meet Cameroon at the same time.

"[Chile and Germany] are two very strong teams", he said.

"It's another phase, totally different, but the aim is to win".

There were widespread suggestions the Real Madrid star would be rested by coach Fernando Santos but he retained his place and was a constant menace to New Zealand's overworked defence.

"We know what we need to do and we don't think that far ahead".

"I'm confident that all the players who've taken part in the tournament will draw on the experience to develop and mature", he said. Overall though, it was a fair victory. "They're a team with great spirit and capacity".

Mexico continued to push for a third goal in pursuit of topping the group, but two late goals in the group's other game gave Portugal a cushion to finish top on goal difference. "We play away from home, against the host team, with a lot of support from their fans, and fighting for the qualification. We're not just going there to play against Portugal and Ronaldo, we're going there to get a result".

All Whites boss Anthony Hudson was encouraged by his team's performance, especially in the first half, and will likely ask for more of the same from his young team.

"Overall, there were some really positive signs in the game", he said.

"We need to control the game and we need to show to ourselves that we can compete under such hard circumstances and hopefully we will make a step forward". "We have guys who are self-confident and who are only thinking about today's job".

Mexico went on to take the lead in even more freakish circumstances early in the second half, with Akinfeev completely misjudging a long ball and presenting Hirving Lozano with a simple headed finish.



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