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Cristiano Ronaldo: Portugal shouldn't panic after Mexico draw

21 June 2017

Ronaldo ignored swirling speculation over his Real Madrid future to provide an assist for Ricardo Quaresma's first-half opener in Kazan in a man-of-the-match display.

The Pedrogao Grande forest fire, which killed at least 62 people Saturday and Sunday, looms over the game.

Portugal defender Pepe thought he had opened the scoring in the 21st minute when he turned in a cross-shot after Ronaldo had smashed a shot against the crossbar, having blasted his initial free-kick into the defensive wall.

Russian Federation began their Confederations Cup campaign in ideal fashion with a 2-0 win over New Zealand on Saturday night.

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Marinovic kept his team in the match early in the second half with back-to-back saves, diving to punch away a header by Dmitry Poloz before scrambling to his left to smother a rebound attempt by Aleksandr Erokhin.

Cristiano Ronaldo is finally getting an attacking partner he can count on. Javier Hernandez and Carlos Vela will be two Mexican players in focus. It was perfectly placed for Chicharito to get a head on the ball, and Mexico's all-time leading scorer converted.

Smolov, who netted Russia's second against the All Whites at the weekend, is hoping the home fans can drive Cherchesov's side on to a morale-boosting victory at the Spartak Stadium.

But Portugal's celebrations were premature as Moreno popped up with the equaliser.

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"It wasn't the result that we wanted", said Ronaldo. We want to improve from the last game and believe we will show that in our game tomorrow. Now we need to think of the next game, which we have to win. Mexico has been sanctioned eight times over the same gay slurs by fans in the current World Cup qualifying campaign by worldwide soccer's governing body.

"We also managed to keep Cristiano Ronaldo in check". Young manager Anthony Hudson will once again look to Chris Wood to finish off any half-chances as New Zealand will try to frustrate Mexico and hit them on the break and from set pieces.

The first VAR assisted call at the tournament was made during the match between Portugal and Mexico. At the beginning 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. It's an honour to play against the best teams in the world and that's what Mexico really needs. If you bring benefits to football, fine.

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