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June 20, 2017

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No need for alarm bells over draw, says Ronaldo

PORTUGAL twice surrendered the lead against Mexico in their Confederations Cup opener on Sunday but the 2-2 draw was no cause for alarm, according to captain Cristiano Ronaldo.

Hector Moreno scored in added time to earn a point for the Mexicans five minutes after Cedric put Portugal in front.

“It wasn’t the result that we wanted,” said Ronaldo. “There’s no need to set off any alarms, the team was good. It was a good result at 2-1 but that’s football. They scored in the last few minutes and now we think of the next game.”

Portugal play hosts Russia in Moscow tomorrow, while Mexico takes on New Zealand in Sochi. The Russians top Group A after beating the All Whites 2-0 on Saturday.

The FIFA Player of the Year, who had scored 11 goals in seven games coming into Sunday’s encounter, was perhaps not as influential as usual but was still named man-of-the-match.

The Real Madrid striker set up Portugal’s opener. His pass split the Mexican defense and gave Ricardo Quaresma a golden opportunity to open the scoring.

Ronaldo was also involved in one of the game’s biggest talking points, a ‘goal’ that was disallowed after consultation with the Video Assistant Referees.

His 30-meter strike bounced off the bar and Nani hammered the ball home but the referees disallowed the effort for an offside infringement earlier in the move.

Javier Hernandez cancelled out Quaresma’s opener shortly before halftime and the two goals in the last six minutes ensured the teams shared the points.

The result preserves an important run for the Mexicans. Mexico’s last competitive loss came nine games and exactly one year ago when Chile hammered it 7-0 in the Centenary Copa America.

In Group B, Chile blanked Cameroon 2-0 in Moscow


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