Favorites Portugal, Mexico meet early in Confederations Cup

Guliya Kerlin  TASS

Guliya Kerlin TASS

Russian Federation leads Group A with three, while New Zealand has zero. Eduardo Vargas seemed to have a small heart attack when it seemed like his frantic rebounding goal off a Cameroon goalkeeper might have been off side in extra time, but was vindicated by the refs to bring the W home for Chile.

The news of his possible departure attracted the attention of global media covering Portugal at the eight-nation competition that serves as a warm-up for next year's World Cup. "It's good that we get to play it right now, in our first game".

France 2016 may have quenched Ronaldo's thirst for worldwide success, but Russian Federation gives him the opportunity to claim yet another trophy and further embellish his status as one of the world's greatest players.

Germany is the top-ranked team in the eight-nation Confederations Cup, at No 3, but it came to Russian Federation with a second-string squad that has only three players from the team that won the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. It is played by the continental champions plus the host nation and the World Cup victor.

"Ronaldo is motivated", young Portugal forward Andre Silva said Friday.

"He takes this tournament very seriously and is focussed".

Two weeks ago, he had also scored twice in the Champions League final to lead Madrid to its second consecutive title in the European club competition.

- Cristiano Ronaldo scored two goals in that 7-1 win against Russian Federation, his fifth and sixth goals for Portugal and his first brace for his country.

The 26-year-old told the official website of the Confederations Cup: "It goes without saying that he's a great player".

Portugal has won six of its last seven games, with the only setback coming in a 3-2 loss against Sweden in a friendly in March.

"In the end it was a well-deserved result after how we played today", Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio said. Even with Marquez here this time for this tournament (Marquez was off the teamsheet for the Chile game as he left the Mexico camp for the birth of his son), if Mexico is to make a run in the Confederations Cup, the responsibility of success will fall on Mexico's big names and stars.

Portugal looked set for a late win when Cedric Soares scored with a deflected shot in the 86th minute, but Hector Moreno equalized for Mexico with a header in stoppage time. But it was once again Mexico's attacking players Chicharito and Carlos Vela who were the spark while Jonathan Dos Santos was their best in the middle of the park.

A regular of Portugal's youth teams, Silva began attracting headlines when he joined Porto's senior squad and played well from the start, finishing the season with 21 goals. Ten of its players are with Portuguese teams.

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