Portugal edged out host Russia, after Cristiano Ronaldo scored the winner for his team, and Portugal sped past, 1-0. Ronaldo's eight-minute header in Moscow gave Portugal their first win in the tournament. A victory over New Zealand on Saturday clinched the semi-final spot for them.
Ronaldo brushed aside personal issues and let his football tactics on field do the talking. The recent tax-evasion accusations have left his position in Real madrid doubtful. Ronaldo has asked to be relieved from the club. Spanish authorities have accused the ace footballer of evading 14.7 million euros in tax, and have summoned him to appear in court in Madrid next month. But Ronaldo was all smiles even as he escorted a young mascot in a wheelchair onto the pitch in Moscow.
Despite facing a second-half fightback from Russia, Portugal held well. "We're very happy. It's the first time Portugal has won in Russia. The team has played very well against a home side which had the support of their fans. But we were better, we had more chances," added Ronaldo.
Ronaldo proved the main threat as the hosts went through the first half offering little forward. Ronaldo found space on the right flank as he crept in behind Russian defender, Fyodor Kudryashov, and headed in Raphael Guerreiro's lofted cross at the far post.