Tue, Jun 20, 2017 - Page 16 News List

No need for alarm bells after draw: Ronaldo

Reuters and AFP, MOSCOW and KAZAN, Russia

Portugal’s Cedric, center, scores against Mexico in their FIFA Confederations Cup Group A match at the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, on Sunday.

Photo: EPA

Portugal on Sunday twice surrendered the lead against Mexico in their FIFA Confederations Cup opener in Kazan, Russia, but the 2-2 draw was no cause for alarm, captain Cristiano Ronaldo said.

Centerback Hector Moreno scored in stoppage-time to earn a point for Mexico five minutes after Cedric put Portugal in front.

“It wasn’t the result that we wanted,” Ronaldo said. “There’s no need to set off any alarms, the team was good. It was a good result at 2-1, but that’s football. They scored in the last few minutes and now we think of the next game. We need to keep believing in ourselves, we know we have a great chance. There are two games to go and that’s why we’re cool, we’re at ease. Now we need to think of the next game, which we have to win. If we win we’re one step away.”

Portugal play hosts Russia in Moscow tomorrow, while Mexico take on New Zealand in Sochi. Russia top Group A after beating New Zealand 2-0 on Saturday.

The FIFA Player of the Year, who had scored 11 goals in seven games going into Sunday’s encounter, was perhaps not as influential as usual, but was still named man of the match.

The Real Madrid striker, whose club future has been the subject of media speculation after he was accused by Spanish prosecutors of committing tax fraud, which Ronaldo denies, set up Portugal’s opening goal.

His pass split the Mexico defense and gave Ricardo Quaresma a golden opportunity to open the scoring.

Ronaldo was also involved in one of the biggest talking points, a “goal” that was disallowed after consultation with the video assistant referee (VAR).

Mexico striker Javier Hernandez canceled out Quaresma’s opener shortly before halftime and the two goals in an exciting final six minutes ensured the teams shared the points.

“We played a team that has very good, technical players,” Portugal coach Fernando Santos said. “At the start we couldn’t enjoy good control of the ball, but then we managed to balance things out and could have won it... In the end the result was fair as Mexico also played well.”

In the late match, Arturo Vidal’s late header helped Chile to a 2-0 win over Cameroon in their Group B opener in Moscow, as the VAR played a prominent role.

Chile dominated an entertaining, but goalless, first half as Eduardo Vargas saw his strike ruled out by the VAR.

The Copa America champions had to wait until the 81st minute to find a breakthrough, which was provided by a flying header from Bayern Munich midfielder Vidal.

Vargas added a second goal in stoppage-time after another video review.

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