Confed Cup: Ronaldo’s Header Takes Dominant Portugal Past Russia In Group A

Confed Cup: Ronaldo’s Header Takes Dominant Portugal Past Russia In Group A

Cristiano Ronaldo was the match winner for Portugal as the reigning European Champions defeated hosts Russia 1-0 to record their first win of the ongoing 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.

Despite the Russia fans making their feelings known towards the Real Madrid superstar, the 32 year old struck with a vicious header in the ninth minute to ensure the Selecao bounced back from a 2-2 draw against Mexico when Hector Moreno's late equaliser cost them two points in their opening game.

Bruno Alves played in a perfect ball into the box and Ronaldo made no mistake directing his header past Akinfeev from close-range. It was his first goal of the campaign.

After the goal, Portugal kept dominating possession, denying Russia the ball which saw the hosts struggling to get near the opponent's goal area.

Ronaldo almost doubled the lead when he found space  inside the box, but his shot was kept out by Igor Akinfeev in goal in the 16th minute.

Three minutes into the break, Russia had a chance but it was wasted by  Fedor Smolov after he was picked out by Aleksandr Golovin.

In the second half, Russia boss Stanislav Cherchesov  made a changes with Aleksandr Yerokhin replacing Roman Shishkin as the hosts went for a more attacking formation. 

But all to no avail as the European champions held off for a nervy finish.

Russia had Akinfeev to thank as the CSKA Moscow goalkeeper  produced a superb one handed save, diving away to his left to deny the Portugal forward Andre Silva from scoring.

Cedric Soares also was denied a chance on goal as Akinfeev showed his quality once again as he produced another fine save diving away to his right in the 87th minute of the game.

Portugal face New Zealand in their final Group A game while Russia confront Mexico. 
 

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