Cristiano Ronaldo breaks silence after Portugal's draw against Mexico in Russian Federation

The June 17 July 2 tournament is effectively a scaled-down warm-up for the 2018 World Cup finals

The June 17 July 2 tournament is effectively a scaled-down warm-up for the 2018 World Cup finals More

SOCHI: Beyond one goal, there's the beach. What is clear is that nobody is any the wiser following this game.

Despite being relatively quiet in the match, Ronaldo won the Man of the Match award, but he declined to attend the post-match press conference that usually accompanies the accolade. "Treatment" was given as the reason, but there was no obvious ailment when he was ushered swiftly through the mixed zone - where the media carry out interviews with players - 10 minutes later.

"It was not the result we wanted, the team had the game nearly won and we conceded a goal in the last minutes, but that's football", said Ronaldo. Portugal and Mexico are on a point each, while New Zealand are rock bottom with no point.

Ronaldo soon had better luck.

El Tri were no pushovers in the match despite Portugal heading into Kazan Arena as the favourites. His goal in the 91st minute was also referred to the video assistant referees - presumably to check on another possible offside - but it stood.

Portugal had a goal disallowed in the first half after the referee consulted with the video assistant referee - and once more it provoked a storm of controversy.

"We are preparing for this game very well, doing our work to win". "But our players aren't machines". Salceio slips, and Ronaldo taps the ball across for Quaresma to cut past the "keeper for an easy finish".

However, Portugal finally broke the deadlock four minutes from time when Cedric turned in from close range to apparently get the UEFA Euro 2016 champions off to a winning start in the group.

And Russia know the key to derailing Portugal is ensuring Ronaldo has a quiet match at Moscow's Spartak Stadium.

MORENO DOES IT AGAIN - André Silva wasn't the only new Serie A player who did well. We have to win, because if we win the next game we will be one step away from qualifying.

Chile's successor to Marcelo Bielsa and Jorge Sampaoli was justified in his decision to keep Alexis wrapped in cotton wool as the Arsenal star perfectly assisted the opener with nine minutes left.

For now it remains Ronaldo who rules the roost.

Without a firecracker like Tecatito available for Mexico, Vela will now have more responsibility on the wings.

FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, has described VAR as "the future of modern football", despite mixed reactions during this year's Confederations Cup.

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