Portugal ease into Confederations Cup semi-finals with win over New Zealand

Portugal 4 New Zealand 0 Ronaldo scores but win comes at a cost as Bernardo Silva injures ankle

Saturday 24 June 2017 18:23
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Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo

Portugal coasted to a 4-0 win over New Zealand in St Petersburg and secured their place in the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup.

The win, however, came at a cost as Manchester City-bound midfielder Bernardo Silva substituted because of an ankle injury.

With hosts Russia losing against Mexico in Kazan, Portugal progressed as Group A winners, while the All Whites finished bottom following a third straight defeat.

Captain Cristiano Ronaldo put Portugal ahead from the penalty spot on 33 minutes.

Bernard Silva - set to leave Monaco in a £43million deal - swiftly doubled the lead with a close-range finish, but in doing so landed awkwardly on his ankle and was taken off at half-time.

Forward Andre Silva wrapped up the comfortable victory with a fierce angled finish on 80 minutes and Nani added a fourth in stoppage time.

New Zealand, the OFC Nations Cup winners, had made a positive opening with Leeds forward Chris Wood seeing his shot saved.

Ronaldo rattled the crossbar before Ipswich defender Tommy Smith bundled over Danilo Pereira following a corner and the Real Madrid forward scored the resulting penalty.

It was soon 2-0 when Bernardo Silva converted a low cross from Pereira Eliseu after 37 minutes.

However, the attacking midfielder turned his ankle as he landed ahead of a sliding challenge from Tom Doyle, which saw him replaced by Luis Pizzi after the break.

Just before half-time, Portugal forward Andre Silva lashed out at Michael Boxall after a tussle with the New Zealand defender, which left him with a torn shirt - but could easily have also resulted in a red card.

New Zealand almost pulled a goal back on the hour when Doyle's ball across the face of goal from the left found Wood at the far post, but Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio recovered to make a sliding block on the line.

Marinovic had produced a string of decent saves at the other end during the second half.

However, the All Whites keeper could do little when Silva, who cost AC Milan some £33million from Porto, darted into the right of the penalty area before crashing the ball into the top corner.

Nani drilled in a fourth goal for Portugal during stoppage time.

PA

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