Portugal end New Zealand's Confederations Cup with 4-0 thumping [GALLERY & HIGHLIGHTS]

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 75 goals for Portugal

In the semifinals, Portugal will play on Wednesday in Kazan against the runner-up in Group B, which is now Germany before the final group games Sunday.

Hosts Russia are out of the Confederations Cup following a 2-1 defeat by Mexico in Kazan.

With Portugal comfortably leading, Fernando Santos opted for a change after 68 minutes as Ronaldo made way for Luis Nani.

The type of challenge that made Pepe's reputation was exactly what he curbed when being central to Portugal's 2016 European Championship title.

Perhaps the biggest damage from Russia's Confederations Cup exit will be to Russian pride. "We are building a team that is showing that it can play against any opponent in any situation. But we are confident", Ronaldo said in Portuguese.

They had dominated the flow of the game, and Ronaldo had hit the crossbar a few minutes earlier with a bullet header, but it wasn't all one way traffic.

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Fifa insists that no players from the 2014 World Cup returned a positive test, while Russia's deputy prime minister Vitaly Mutko, who is also head of the Russian Football Union, dismissed the allegations and said there never was nor will be doping in Russian soccer.

Andre Silva scores - A defensive mistake gives Silva the ball on the halfway line.

Ronaldo helped to put them in control of the contest, after being presented with an opportunity to convert from the penalty spot.

It was 2-0 four minutes later when Bernardo Silva slipped a shot into an unguarded goal after neat play on the left flank between Ricardo Queresma and Eliseu.

Midfielder Bernardo Silva, 22, has just joined Manchester City, while left back Raphael Guerreiro, 23, is already a regular with Borussia Dortmund.

Ronaldo's latest goal sent him level with Hungary great Sandor Kocsis and to within nine of the legendary Ferenc Puskas' European record of 84 at worldwide level.

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In the end, only one achieved their aim, Portugal easing through to the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup while New Zealand's wait for a win at this tournament stretched to a 12th match. Defender Michael Boxall and substitute Kosta Barbarouses also went close.

Even so, coach Anthony Hudson was proud of his side, who refused to shut up shop in the second half.

Federation Internationale de Football Association said that the entire squad underwent pre-competition and post-match doping tests, which were all negative and which were under FIFA's direct control. New Zealand finished bottom of the group after losing all three games.

Mexico and Portugal entered the 2017 Confederations Cup as the favorites to advance out of Group A, and on Saturday, the two sides met those expectations with wins in their respective matches.

The world No.8 side were a class above the hard-working Kiwis, nailing two goals in each half in an emphatic display which leaves them top of Group A ahead of Mexico.

Russian Federation are the first hosts to exit the Confederations Cup at the group stage since South Korea in 2001.

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