FIFA Confederations Cup : Ronaldo’s header sinks Russia

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Portugal claimed their first victory at the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 after defeating Russia 1-0 in front of a crowd of 42,759 in Moscow yesterday.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s early header was enough to give the European champions all three points at the Spartak Stadium.
Despite their best efforts, particularly in the second half, the tournament hosts could not find a way past Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio in this Group A encounter.
Russia were poor before half-time and although they improved after it, they were repeatedly hit on the break as they committed men to the search for an equaliser.
Ronaldo, making his 141st appearance for his country, needed just eight minutes to make his mark, although the opening goal was far from all his own work.
With the Russians attempting to sit in and deny Portugal space in the middle of the field, Raphael Guerreiro was given just that wide on the left to deliver an inviting cross to the far post, where the Real Madrid striker made the most of defender Fedor Kudryashov’s misjudgement to head home.
Ronaldo proved the main threat throughout the first half as the hosts offered little going forward, and he tested Akinfeev with a 25th-minute free-kick before forcing the keeper to block with his legs seven minutes later.
Russia might have been level as the half-time whistle approached, but striker Fedor Smolov could not adjust his feet in time to steer Aleksandr Golovin’s cross on target.

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