Cristiano Ronaldo ’s first half header was enough to hand Portugal their first win in Moscow after they registered a norrow victory aganist hosts Russia in a Confederations Cup group A match played on Wednesday night.
Portugal were quickest off the blocks as their skipper Ronaldo was fouled by a clearly over charged up Dzhikya just outside the box and he was awarded a free kick. He tried to chip it over to Adrien but the ball had too much pace on it and rolled out for a goalkick.
Portugal finally got their goal in the eighth minute when Raphael Guerrero delivered a wonderful cross that laded on Ronaldo who headed home at far post past Akinfeev.
Russia were presented the best chance to level the matter in the 20th minute after a very good Samedov run saw the tall midfieldrr crossing the ball but his shot went of target.
Selecao had a chance to extend their lead in the 32nd minute, but again Akinfeev was called to the task and produced a good stop to deny Ronlado from close range.
The half time found the scores at 1-0 in favour of European champions.
The second half started off with Russia again on the front foot but with little penentration.
Ronaldo was again on it and was about to extend the lead in the 62nd minute, but his header went off target.
In the last 20 minutes Russia took control of the match and the nearly got an equalizer in the 75 th minutes when Kadriashov shot nearly got Portuguese keeper napping but his defenders were equal to task and cleared the ball out of target.
Portugal held on for the victory and have temporarily moved top of Group A.
Portugal had previously lost all three of their previous games aganist Russia. The Soviet Union beat Portugal 5-0 in a European championships qualifying match in the Russian capital in 1983.
Then in 2012 Russia won a World Cup qualifier 1-0 against Portugal and ran out winners by the same slender scoreline in a friendly in 2015.
Russia XI: Akinfeev; Shishkin, Dzhikya, Vasin, Kudriashov, Kombarov; Glushakov, Golovin, Samedov, Zhirkov; Smolov
Portugal XI: Rui Patrício; Cédric, Pepe, Alves, Guerreiro; William, Adrien, B Silva, Gomes; A Silva, Ronaldo