Never before has a host nation failed to reach at least the Confed Cup semifinal stage, but anything less than three points at the riverside Kazan Arena in Russia's Republic of Tatarstan will mean Russian Federation will crash out should Portugal likely beat New Zealand in St. Petersburg.
Ronaldo also skipped his media duties after winning the man of the match award following Portugal's 2-2 draw with Mexico, claiming he needed to undergo treatment on a knock instead.
Mexican players celebrating their go-ahead goal against New Zealand. They can, although a draw is good enough so they probably won't, but they can do it as long as they play smart.
Ronaldo is accused by Spanish authorities of having evaded paying 14.7 million euros (US$16.5 million) in taxes and has been summoned to appear in court in Madrid next month.
As long as Portugal avoid defeat against New Zealand on Saturday they will qualify for the semi-finals.
Raphael Guerreiro's towering cross from the left flank hung in the air and found Ronaldo, who rose at the far post to head back across Igor Akinfeev.
Cameroon forward Vincent Aboubakar spurned three clear chances in the second half.
Mexico on the other hand fought hard in an intense game to beat New Zealand after going behind in the first half.
Leeds United striker Chris Wood endured a mixed night as New Zealand loss 2-1 to Mexico.
Mexico gifted them an early goal, and continued to make things hard into the second half.
"If I was a big team in world football and we were taken right to the edge by a smaller team like New Zealand there's a certain amount of discomfort there and big pressure", he said.
"We know how to adapt to different opponents".
Santos made four changes to the team that had to swallow a last-minute 2-2 equalizer against Mexico while Russia's Stanislav Cherchesov brought on two new faces in defender Roman Shishkin and Ruslan Kambolov after an opening 2-0 over New Zealand. As early as the eighth minute a well worked move saw the visitors take the lead.
Javier Aquino dribbled in from the left and after an exchange of passes on the edge of the New Zealand box, Jimenez spun to fire high into the net.
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