With all the news buzzing about his possible departure from Real Madrid and his tax charges, could the maelstrom surrounding Ronaldo be getting to him? Actually, both sides have met already 6 times and Portugal has won 3 times while Russian Federation has won twice.
"We played against a team playing at home, with a home crowd, a team that pressured us but we were better", Ronaldo said. Defender Pepe also spoke about Ronaldo and said all they are thinking about is winning. "But I would have been much happier if my goal had won us the match and the three points".
Osorio was overconfident against a New Zealand side whose own manager, Anthony Hudson, had devised a game plan that, rather than involving sitting back and hoping to hit Mexico on the counterattack, saw the All Whites surge forward and pressure the North Americans.
"We weren't European champions by accident", Ronaldo, Portugal's all-time leading scorer, told reporters after taking his worldwide tally to 74 goals.
The seventh-minute goal from Portugal captain made all the difference for the European champions who were happy to calmly carry the lead into the second half of the game. The temperamental Real Madrid defender tried to follow up with a blow of his own, but the Russian worldwide just pushes him to the ground and makes sure to kick him on the way down, which was enough for a booking.
The first half had been all Portugal and had they been a little more clinical, they would have had a fairly comfortable lead.
But Portugal then lost Guerreiro to injury, with coach Fernando Santos conceding the Borussia Dortmund player had been taken to hospital with a suspected broken leg.
In the second half, the team still rarely observed attacking actions.
They started to shade the midfield battle after the break as Alexander Yerokhin was introduced in place of defender Roman Shishkin.
Krasnodar striker Fedor Smolov maintains Russian Federation must not let themselves get fixated on how to nullify Ronaldo as they look to deliver the required performance in front of their own demanding fans at the home of Spartak Moscow.
"We're all working in the systems the coach wants", Peralta told reporters after the match.