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Confederations Cup: Portugal beat New Zealand to enter semi-finals

Ronaldo scores 75th international goal to lead team's 4-0 rout of New Zealand

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring vs New Zealand on Saturday. Pic/AFPPortugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring vs New Zealand on Saturday. Pic/AFP

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 75th international goal as Portugal trounced New Zealand 4-0 in Saint Petersburg on Saturday to advance to the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup.

The Real Madrid star struck from the penalty spot on 33 minutes to fire the European champions in front before Bernardo Silva turned in a second goal four minutes later.

Andre Silva added a third on 80 minutes before Nani completed the rout in stoppage time to ensure Portugal progressed to last four as winners of Group A, finishing above Mexico on goal difference.

Santos fielded an attacking line-up packed with experience and resisted the temptation to rest Ronaldo with Portugal still requiring a point to qualify and vying with Mexico and Russia for top spot.

Threatening Cristiano
Ronaldo twice threatened the New Zealand goal in quick succession, nodding straight at goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic on 24 minutes and then clattering the crossbar shortly after with another header from a Ricardo Quaresma cross. But the Portugal captain made no mistake after Danilo was wrestled to the ground in the area by Tom Doyle and Tommy Smith following a corner.

Mexico eliminate Russia
Mexico eliminated hosts Russia with a 2-1 win in Kazan to join Portugal on seven points, with Fernando Santos' side to face the runners-up of Group B on Wednesday for a place in the July 2 final. Copa America holders Chile lead Germany on goal difference ahead of the final round of matches in Group B, although Australia and Cameroon still harbour outside qualification hopes.

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