Portugal rue slip-up, Chile grind out victory

KAZAN (Russia) • Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo lamented his side's failure to close out victory against Mexico, after conceding a stoppage-time equaliser in Sunday's 2-2 draw at the Confederations Cup.

Star forward Ronaldo ignored swirling speculation over his Real Madrid future to provide an assist for winger Ricardo Quaresma's first-half opener in Kazan.

Striker Javier Hernandez levelled for Mexico shortly before half-time, and although right-back Cedric Soares looked to have earned Portugal victory four minutes from time, Hector Moreno's late header denied Portugal the win in their first match in Group A.

Ronaldo said on Fifa TV: "It's not the result that we wanted. Our team practically had the match won and we conceded a goal in the final minutes. That's football though.

" We know we still have lots of opportunities, there are two games remaining and that's why we're calm.

"Now we have to think about the next match because we must win.

"If we win, we'll be close to qualifying, so now is not the time to sound the alarm."

In Group B, Copa America champions Chile had to wait until the 81st minute to find a breakthrough against Cameroon, which was provided by a flying header from midfielder Arturo Vidal.

Striker Eduardo Vargas, who missed several earlier chances, added an extra-time second in a hard-fought 2-0 win.

"It was very important to start in the right way with our goal to become champions," said Vidal, who also dedicated the triumph to the victims of a fierce storm in Chile that has claimed several lives.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 20, 2017, with the headline 'Portugal rue slip-up, Chile grind out victory'. Print Edition | Subscribe