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All Whites deserved to score: Santos

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 24/06/2017

Portugal coach Fernando Santos believes the All Whites were unlucky not to score in his team's 4-0 defeat of New Zealand at the Confederations Cup in Russia.

The world No.8 side were a class above the hard-working Kiwis, nailing two goals in each half in an emphatic display which leaves them top of Group A ahead of Mexico.

New Zealand, beaten 2-0 by Russia and 2-1 by Mexico earlier in the week, finished bottom.

Santos said Portugal had been wary heading into the game early on Sunday (NZT), despite New Zealand's lowly 95th world ranking.

"We knew it could be complicated because we had seen New Zealand play Mexico and the problems they caused the Mexicans. So we were forewarned," he said.

"I thought we played well in many parts of the game; in others, not so well. Overall though, it was a fair victory.

"But I think the New Zealand team should have scored a goal - they deserved one. They proved on the field that they're a team with a great spirit and real determination."

All White coach Anthony Hudson was pleased with the way his team had worked, and said there were plenty of positive to take from the game.

"We started the game really well, and were the stronger of the two teams. But we had a period in that first half when we allowed them to come into the game and gave ourselves too much to do to get back into it.

"But the biggest positive for me today was that we never, ever accepted the result - every player went right to the end."

Portugal dominated all aspects of play, firing in 22 attempts on goal with 12 on target and earning 12 corners to New Zealand's one.

But they were slow to start, and the match remained goalless until the 33rd minute, when Tommy Smith was judged to have brought down Danilo and Cristiano Ronaldo duly converted from the penalty spot.

Bernardo Silva doubled the score four minutes later to give Portugal a 2-0 halftime lead.

Andre Silva and Nani completed the All Whites' misery with two goals inside the last 10 minutes.

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