Full-time: New Zealand 0-4 Portugal / Russia 1-2 Mexico
The European champions win Group A and will be joined in the semi-final by Mexico. Russia are going to bed while their guests continue to party in their gaff.
GOAL! New Zealand 0-4 Portugal (Nani 90+1)
The substitute gets the ball at the edge of the area, wrongfoots Ingham with a stepover and then sweeps a low shot into the net!
90 min: There will be at least three more minutes. And probably one more goal.
88 min: Moments after play resumes, Rui Patricio bashes into Alves again! This time he was trying to catch a looping cross, but he spilled it. Wood twisted and tried to hoik it into the net byt Rui Patricio recovered well and made the save.
86 min: A Kiwi corner causes discomfort in the Portuguese box, as Rui Patricio comes for the ball but crashes into Alves. Portugal manage to get the ball away but the keeper apparently needs treatment. A good slap, perhaps.
84 min: Andre Silva fails to add a fourth after being teed up by Gelson. Smith got a good block on the striker’s shot from eight yards.
Portugal substitution: Gelson Martins on, Quaresma off.
83 min: Rojas sends a half-volleyed snapshot over the bar from 25 yards.
GOAL! New Zealand 0-3 Portugal (Andre Silva 81)
Nice finish. Quaresma won the ball in midfield and fed Silva, who scurried 20 yards forward and into the box before spanking a shot past Marinovic.
79 min: Nanai slaloms down the left after being sent clear thanks to a fine piece of skill by Pizzi. Nani glides into the box and tries to guide a curler into the far corner of the net, but he doesn’t get enough bend on it and misses by several yards.
77 min: Pepe produces a party trick to skip past two players in midfield … but then gets carried away and mislays his pass.
76 min: Wood tries to lash one into the net from 30 yards. He’s good, but he’s no Tony Yeboah.
74 min: A wayward pass flies into the stands, where a lad of about six makes a superb catch and then turns out around to milk the acclaim of an impressed crowd. Akinfeev’s days as Russia’s No1 are surely over.
73 min: Marinovic does well again, rushing off his line to punch away a dangerous cross from a freekick by Quaresma.
71 min: Nani wails in fury after Smith shunts him to the ground with a shoulder as the Portugese tried to get on the end of yet another cross. That’s just tough, reckons the ref.
69 min: Semedo flies down the right and delivers a low cross. Nani runs on to it and smashes the ball towards goal from 10 yards. It gets a nick off a defender … but that doesn’t fool Marinovic, who spreads well and make a splendid save.
RED CARD! Zhirkov has been sent off
Russia down to 10 men and trail 2-1 to Mexico in a game they need to win to stay in the tournament.
Portugal substitution: Nani on, Ronaldo off. His work is done.
65 min: New Zealand haven’t given up here, not by a long shot. They’re outclassed but unbowed and they’re doing their utmost to get a goal, at least. They might have done so a moment ago after another 3 v 3 break, but Pepe foiled them.
63 min: Moutinho splits the Kiwi defence with a nice ball for Andre Silva, who runs into the box and eliminates Boxall by feinting one way and then the other. But he finishes weakly, shooting straight at Marinovic.
60 min: Semedo curls over a cross from the right and Ronaldo turns a decent cross into a brilliant one, excelling to get on the end of it before Boxall and power a downward header towards goal from 10 yards. The keeper is grateful that it’s straight at him!
58 min: Great break by New Zealand. They burst forward and create a 3 v 3 opportunity. Doyle passes low across the six-yard box for Wood, who slides in near the back post and tries to divert the ball into the net. But Rui Patricio and Alves save on the line!
56 min: Pepe charges into a 50/50 challenge, then realises it’s not actually a 50/50 challenge and he has no change of getting the ball before Doyle, so he just sticks a foot towards his opponent’s shin. It’s not a full-blooded connection but is definitely on the malicious side of maladroit. He gets away with a yellow card. Other refs might have shown a red.
GOAL! Russia 1-2 Mexico (Lozano 62)
What a ludicrous goal! Herrera, at the edge of the Mexican area, hoofed a ball high into the sky. It comes down just outside the Russian box, where the goalkeeper, Akinfeev, is waiting to meet it. But Lozano has the run on him and outjumps him, heading into the net from 20 yards! No sense trying to analyse that, just see it and laugh!
53 min: Quaresma sends in an out-swinging corner. Duarante heads clear just as Danilo seemed likely to nod in.
51 min: Nice play by New Zealand, who build tidily down the right and then release Smith behind Eliseu. But his cross is cleared at the near post.
49 min: Quaresma, who has been brilliant for most of the game, skitters in from the right wing towards the box. Space opens up for him to shot from 20 yards but he decides to roll a pass to Ronaldo instead. But New Zealand manage to scramble it away because Ronaldo wasn’t expecting the pass: there’s no way he would have passed in such a position.
48 min: Portugal remain dominant.
46 min: Portugal have made one change, Pizzi coming on for Bernardo Silva, who limped down the tunnel at half-time after that bang he got while scoring the second goal.
Half-time: New Zealand 0-2 Portugal
New Zealand are doing about as well as they can, full of energy and ambition. But they’re out of their depth and there’s no way they’ll get back into this match. It’ll finish 4-0, at least. That’ll put Portugal into the semi-final. Mexico will join them there if the full-time score in the group’s other game is the same as it is at half-time, namely: Russia 1-1 Mexico.
44 min: Doyle does well to finagle the ball through to Wood, who snatches at his shot from the corner of the box, mis-hitting wildly.
42 min: Andre Silva goes down under a fair challenge by Boxall. He then throws a tantrum on the ground, demanding a freekick. Boxall berates him and tries to pick up hp, ripping his shirt in the process. Silva lashes out angrily and weakly. The ref sees no need to get involved. Silva is on the verge of tears.
40 min: A gorgeous cross by Quaresma from the left with the outside of his boot sails just beyond Andre Silva.
39 min: It’s all over for the All Whites. Portugal are toying with them now and look in the mood to inflict more damage.
GOAL! New Zealand 0-2 Portugal (Bernardo Silva 37)
Sharp and deadly! Quaresma does well down the left before releasing Eliseu, who dashes to the byline and cuts the ball back for Bernardo, who clattered by Doyle as he finishes from seven yards.
New Zealand substitution: Tuiloma on, McGlinchy off.
35 min: New Zealand are reeling now. Andre Silva scampers down the right and tries to fizz a low cross over to Ronaldo, who’s waiting for a ta-in. But Boxall stretches out a leg to intercept.
GOAL! Russia 1-1 Mexico (Araujo 30)
Mexico draw level thanks to a looping header at the back post. Suddenly they’re back in the tournament and it’s Russia who will leave if the scores stay the same. Portugal will win the group.
GOAL! New Zealand 0-1 Portugal (Ronaldo pen 33)
Ronaldo sends the keeper the wrong way and sidefoots the ball high into the net. Naturally.
PENALTY TO PORTUGAL
Doyle and Smith have hands on Danilo as he runs to try to get on the end of another corner – and when he goes down, the ref rules he was unfairly interfered with.
32 min: Portugal deliver an out-swinging corner from the right. Danilo gets his nut to it and his header is deflected inches wide!
30 min: Third time lucky? No. Quaresma digs out another teasing cross, again from the left, but this time Ronaldo mis-times his jump and fails to connect with the ball.
Russia 1-0 Mexico (Samedov 25)
A shambles in the Mexican box is punished by Samedov, who shoots low past the keeper from 10 yards. As things stand, Russia are top of the group and Mexico are on their bike!
26 min: Another cross by Quaresma – this time from the left – leads to another towering header by Ronaldo. And it bounces back off the underside crossbar, bounces of the keeper and out to safety !
25 min: Wood causes havoc in the Portuguese box as he competes for a long ball. Ingham’s shoots over.
24 min: After neat interplay on the right, Quaresma curls in a good cross. Ronaldo soars in that imperious way of his and, as ever, gets tremendous power on his header from eight yards out. But it’s straight at Marinovic, who gathers it at the second attempt.
22 min: That’s more like it! Bernardo Silva conjures a little trick to beat Doyle before feeding Ronaldo. The superstar’s shot from the edge of the area is blocked.
21 min: Semedo becomes the second name in the ref’s book after sliding late into Doyle’s ankles. Proceedings are becoming increasingly scrappy. And decreasingly interesting.
19 min: Eliseu curls a deep cross from the left into the area. Andre Silva jumps to meet it near the penalty spot and guides a header on to the target, but with negligible power. Easy pickings for Marinovic.
17 min: Lewis booked for cleaning out Eliseu as the Portuguese went on a dash down the left.
14 min: Quaresma introduces a bit of urgency into the Portuguese play, darting in-field and nipping the ball into Ronaldo at the edge of the area and dashing into the box to receive the return. But Doyle was wise to his scheming.
12 min: Portugal try to build up a bit of pressure, pushing New Zealand back into their own third. But they still haven’t created any semblance of danger. Semedo tries to change that by whipping over a cross from the right. But it fails to beat the first man.
10 min: That bright Portuguese start that I mentioned lasted about one minute. They’ve sagged since then and the credit for that must go to New Zealand, who are really getting into them.
9 min: Boxall hurls over a long throw-in from the left. Smith back-heads further into the danger zone, but Pepe cleans up.
7 min: New Zealand ping over a cross from the right. Wood retrieves it beyond the back post and then brings it on to his right foot and fires off a respectable low shot from 12 yards. But it’s straight at Rui Patricio, who collects it easily. Encouraging for New Zealand, though!
5 min: Nice work at the breakdown by McGlinchy (yeah, I was watching the Lions match earlier), as he outfights two opponents before nudging a pass to Lewis, who, for a tantalising moment, thinks he might be able to get off a shot from 25 yards. But Portugal converge on him quickly to snuff out that threat.
3 min: No surprises so far, as Portugal hog possession. But the Kiwis are pestering them valiantly at the moment, refusing to give any easy openings.
1 min: Portugal kick off and they immediately look much brighter than they did in their opening game. But when Andre Silva is caught offside, New Zealand get a chance to punt a long freekick towards Wood up front. Pepe cuts it out.
Time for a singsong. New Zealand go first, Portugal follow but their anthem is drowned out when Ronaldo’s face appears on the big screen to trigger squeals of delight from the crowd.
So murmurs before this game suggested that Portugal might give Cristiano Ronaldo a rest so as to preserve him for the semi-final. But the European champions are not that presumptuous: they’ve included Ronaldo to ensure they get the draw they need. Or maybe Ronaldo just didn’t want time off: he’s a man dead set on making the most of his talent while he’s young so why not seize this chance to rack up another international goal or ten? His tally so far is preposterous: 74 goals from 141 matches for his country. Who’d dare bet against him reaching a century?
Portugal have made some changes today, however, with Semedo, Eliseu, Moutinho, Danilo all coming in. That hardly weakens them, which shows their depth.
TEAMS: New Zealand v Portugal
New Zealand: Marinovic; Boxall, Durante, Smith; Ingham, Doyle, McGlinchey, Rojas, Thomas, Lewis, Wood.
Subs: Subs: Moss, Williams, Brotherton, Wynne, Tzimpulos, Tuiloma, Barbarouses, Smeltz, Patterson, Colvey, Rufer, Roux
Portugal: Patrício, Semedo, Pepe, Bruno Alves, Eliseu, Danilo, Moutinho, Bernardo, Quaresma, André Silva, Ronaldo
Subs: Jose Sa, Beto, Neto, Raphael, Fonte, William, Andre Gomes, Pizzi, Nani, Gelson, Cedric, Adrien
Referee: M Geiger (USA)
TEAMS: Mexico v Russia
Mexico: Ochoa, Araujo, Diego Reyes, Layun, Herrera, Jonathan,
Lozano, Moreno, Guardado, Vela, Hernandez.
Subs: Cota Robles, Talavera, Salcedo, Marquez, Fabian, Jimenez, Giovani, Damm, Peralta, Aquino, Luis Reyes, Alanis.
Russia: Akinfeev, Vasin, Dzhikija, Zhirkov, Kudryashov,
Golovin, Glushakov, Samedov, Erokhin, Smolov, Bukharov.
Subs: Gabulov, Guilherme, Smolnikov, Shishkin, Gazinsky, Poloz,
Kambolov, Kutepov, Miranchuk, Kanunnikov, Tarasov, Kombarov.
Referee: Fahad Al Mirdasi (Saudi Arabia)
Hello and welcome to the last pair of matches in Group A. We’ll be concentrating on New Zealand’s attempt to produce a sensation by sabotaging Portugal’s progress to the semi-final but we’ll also keep you up to speed on events in the other game, in which Russia and Mexico go head-to-head for a place in the last four: Mexico are a point above the hosts so a draw in that game would be enough to secure their spot and, um, send the Russians home. As for our main game, Portugal only require a point to reach the semi-finals, where, most likely, they will face either Germany or Chile. It would be an almighty shock if they faild to get there. New Zealand are already eliminated but performed pretty well in their last match, a 2-1 defeat to Mexico, and will be driven by a desire to make history: the country has never won a match at a senior Fifa tournament and who better to do it against than the European champions?
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