Published: Thu, June 22, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

FIFA warns Mexico over discriminatory chants at Confed Cup

We must also understand that, despite the victory over New Zealand, Russia lags many miles behind Portugal in terms of quality and play and status. Brazilian President Michel Temer expressed his confidence on Wednesday that Russia would successfully prepare for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and wished Russian President Vladimir Putin success in hosting the world football tournament.

"We recognise New Zealand are a strong team, with a good aerial game, very physical".

After going down to New Zealand 1-0 in the first half of their second group stage match, Mexico turned it around in a sensational second half to win 2-1.

On the ensuing set piece, Spartak Moscow's Georgi Dzhikiya, playing in his home stadium, had a free header, but he failed to put it on target. The European champions struggled to kill off the game despite several chances and could have conceded when Georgy Dzhikiya headed narrowly over in stoppage time.

Prior to the start of the tournament, Portugal's star player and captain Ronaldo was accused of tax fraud, and despite not being at his best in the opener against Mexico, Coach Fernando Santos insisted Ronaldo remains "extremely concentrated".

"We are sad about that, but let's see what the exam results tell us".

Asked how Ronaldo had given his defence the slip in the game's eighth minute, he said: 'We missed Ronaldo and it wasn't just us, judging by the number of golden balls he's received'.

After Russia turned up the pressure in the attacking half, it was almost caught on the defensive end, where Ronaldo should have given Portugal a 2-0 lead.

Akinfeev had kept his team in the match early in the second half when he tipped a powerful header by Andre Silva round the post.

One man is happy to talk about Ronaldo - Russia forward Fyodor Smolov. Thus, this should force New Zealand to expand more out of their defensive shell than they'd want, and create gaps in the middle for the Mexican attacks.

While on paper there Russian Federation are no match for their fellow Europeans, no games are won on paper and should they nick an early goal, there will be vast pressure on Portugal, who can not afford to drop any more points. "We have a clear understanding of what we need to do".

The Krasnodar striker said: "It's very hard to build a team when you have such an individual among you as everything revolves around him".

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