Portugal 0-0 Chile (0-3 on pens): Cristiano Ronaldo criticised for shirking responsibility in Confederation Cup semis

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Chile beat Portugal 3-0 in a penalty shoot-out in Wednesday’s Confederations Cup semi-finals, after the match finished goalless after extra-time, to book their place in Sunday’s final in Saint Petersburg.

Cristiano Ronaldo was criticised on social media for not taking one of the first penalties with the skipper eventually denied an opportunity thanks to Claudio Bravo’s brilliance.

The Manchester City goalkeeper was Chile’s hero saving all three penalties from Portugal’s Ricardo Quaresma, Joao Moutinho and Nani, while Arturo Vidal, Charles Aranguiz and Alexis Sanchez nailed their spot-kicks for the South Americans.

Chile will now face either Germany or Mexico in Sunday’s final.

The general consensus is that Ronaldo should be taking the first penalty instead of seeking the decisive kick seeing as he is the team’s first choice from 12 yards out.

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England U21 2-2 Germany U21 (3-4 on pens): Player ratings, moment and star man as Redmond miss sends Lions out

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England Under-21s suffered more penalty semi-final heartbreak against Germany after Nathan Redmond’s miss sent them out of Euro 2017.

Julian Pollersbeck saved the Southampton winger’s spot kick as Germany won 4-3 on penalties following a 2-2 draw after extra time.

It was hard on the Young Lions who battled hard but it is Germany who will face Spain or Italy in Friday’s final in Krakow.

Alfie Mawson said England were left “gutted” by their semi-final defeat.

Swansea defender Mawson told Sky Sports after the game: “There are a lot of down heads in there. A lot of people are genuinely gutted, which I think shows what this meant to us.

“It’s one of those things you’ve got to man up and deal with. I think tonight they were the better team and I think we did brilliantly well to hang in there.

“They should have had a few more goals but credit to us, we kept going and penalty shoot-outs are pot luck. But fair play to them, let’s see how they get on in the final.”

ENGLAND U-21S

Jordan Pickford : 7
Mason Holgate : 6
Calum Chambers : 8
Alfie Mawson : 7
Ben Chilwell : 6
Nathaniel Chalobah: 7
Will Hughes : 8
James Ward-Prowse : 7
Lewis Baker : 7
Demarai Gray: 8
Tammy Abraham : 8

SUBS

Jacob Murphy (for Chalobah): 7
Nathan Redmond (for Gray): 6
John Swift (for Hughes): 6
Dominic Iorfa (for Holgate): 6

GERMANY U-21S

Julian Pollersbeck: 6
Jeremy Toljan : 8
Marc-Oliver Kempf : 7
Gideon Jung : 7
Yannick Gerhardt : 6
Janik Haberer : 6
Max Philipp : 7
Max Meyer : 7
Max Arnold : 7
Serge Gnabry: 7
David Selke : 7

SUBS

Felix Platte (for Selke): 6
Thilo Kehrer (for Jung): 6
Nadiem Amiri (for Gnabry): 7
Dominik Kohr (for Haberer) 6

TWEET/SOCIAL

Former England striker Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker): England’s lads gave their all but the better team won.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

Nathan Redmond’s England Under-21 career ended with a semi-final penalty shoot-out miss.

Julian Pollersbeck dived to his right to stop the Southampton man’s spot kick and send England out 4-3 on penalties.

It was cruel on England who had battled hard even if Germany were the better side over all – bar a lightning first 20 minutes from the Young Lions.

England were left to rue their misses as Germany boss Stefan Kuntz broke their hearts again having been part of the senior side which beat the Three Lions on penalties at Euro 96.

WHAT NOW?

Many of the group will be too old for Euro 2019 and boss Aidy Boothroyd will have a new crop of youngsters to work with.

Redmond, captain James Ward-Prowse, Alfie Mawson and Jordan Pickford all age out now with new faces needing to step into their shoes.

It will be difficult to get over the penalty defeat immediately but England are stronger than they were in 2015, when they exited at the group stages, and will recover.

STAR MAN – WILL HUGHES

Watford look to have bagged a bargain after paying Derby £8million for the midfielder, who completed a switch at the weekend.

Hughes may not have started the tournament but cemented himself in the side against Germany after a fine showing against Poland last week.

On Tuesday he was at the centre of England’s good work and skilfully set up Tammy Abraham’s goal which, briefly, looked to have put England in the final.

He did not shirk his defensive responsibilities, providing an extra screen for the back four when Germany threatened to win in normal time.

Provided by Press Association

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Stopping Cristiano Ronaldo is key, says Chile midfielder Marcelo Diaz ahead of Confederation Cup clash with Portugal

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Copa America champions Chile will try to curb Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo in Wednesday’s Confederations Cup semi-final with the goal-ace in rich form despite a tax storm brewing in Spain.

The 32-year-old converted a penalty in Saturday’s 4-0 thrashing of New Zealand to claim his 75th international goal.

The Real Madrid forward has now scored 16 times in his last 10 games for club and country.

The Portugal captain will face tax evasion charges in a Madrid court next month, but has dazzled on the pitch in Russia, claiming man-of-the-match awards in all three group games, netting two goals and providing an assist.

After helping steer Portugal to the Euro 2016 title in Paris a year ago, Ronaldo is aiming to win a second international title when the Confederations Cup final concludes on Sunday in Saint Petersburg.

Mexico or Germany, who meet in the other semi-final, will face the winners of Wednesday’s clash in Kazan.
Ronaldo is closing in on the legendary Ferenc Puskas’ European record of 84 international goals, despite the off-field turmoil and constant speculation about his future — he has reportedly threatened to quit Real.

“We all know he’s an amazing player, he’s very dangerous and can decide a game alone,” said Chile midfielder Marcelo Diaz, who has come up against Ronaldo with his Spanish club Celta Vigo, in Tuesday’s press conference.

“He has had an amazing season in Spain, he’s playing here with the same strength, which is why Portugal are in the semi-final.

“The main thing is trying to stop him getting the ball and scoring.”

Chile, who won the Copa America in both 2015 and 2016, will present Portugal with their toughest test so far in Russia, although the South Americans have yet to beat Portugal in three attempts with two defeats and a draw.

PORTUGAL WAIT ON SILVA 

Fatigue could well be an issue in Portugal’s ranks.

Head coach Fernando Santos opted to rest none of his forward line against the Kiwis and it has been a long season for the likes of Ronaldo, Joao Moutinho, Andre Gomes and Bernardo Silva.

Manchester City new boy Silva, 22, went down clutching his right foot after scoring in Saturday’s win over New Zealand.

“We still have 24 hours to decide if he plays or not, he has reacted well to his injury and we’ll take the decision tomorrow,” said Santos when asked about the former Monaco winger.

Left-back Raphael Guerreiro is struggling with a badly bruised foot and will not feature.

With defender Pepe suspended, either Jose Fonte or Luis Neto will partner Bruno Alves at centre-back as Santos expects a tricky tie against Chile.

“They have a good team, they’re aggressive with a fighting, combative spirit, but we are also warriors, we have a great capability to suffer and we don’t fear anyone,” said Santos.

“They are a very dynamic team with a lot of movement and are not an easy team to analyse. Their strengths are many, but like any team they have weaknesses. We will look to exploit those tomorrow.”

Chile coach Juan Antonio Pizzi has all 23 players fit after midfielder Charles Aranguiz recovered from a knock in Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Australia.

Despite doubts about Alexis Sanchez’s Arsenal future, the Chile camp says their star striker is in high spirits.

They hope his good performances will showcase his skills to potential future employers.

With a year left on his Gunners’ contract, Sanchez is stalling on signing an extension amid rumours of a switch to German giants Bayern Munich.

“He’s giving his best here and I think most players would like to be in a similar situation, because the best squads in the world want to have him, even if he is already at a good club,” said Pizzi.

“He’s a responsible person, he knows what he has to do and he’s fully focused on Chile.”

Provided by AFP

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