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Confederation Cup: Gelson fills in for Ronaldo against Mexico

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Portugal’s forward Gelson Martins stretches ahead of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup third place football match between Portugal and Mexico at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow on July 2, 2017. Alexander NEMENOV / AFP

Gelson Martins replaced Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo for Sunday’s Confederations Cup third-place play-off against Mexico after the Real Madrid star was released from the squad.

Ronaldo was allowed to return home to meet his newborn twins following Wednesday’s penalty shootout defeat to Chile in the semi-finals.

Gelson will line up alongside Nani, who skippers the European champions in Ronaldo’s absence, and Andre Silva in a three-man Portugal attack in Moscow.

Veteran defender Pepe returned to the team after missing the Chile clash through suspension, while Zenit St Petersburg centre-back Neto makes his first appearance of the tournament.

Mexico manager Juan Carlos Osorio restored Andres Guardado to his side after the PSV Eindhoven midfielder was banned for the 4-1 loss to Germany on Thursday.

Oribe Peralta will partner Bayer Leverkusen’s Javier Hernandez up front, while 38-year-old Rafael Marquez captains Mexico in his first start of the competition.

Teams:

Portugal (4-3-3)

Rui Patricio; Pepe, Luis Neto, Nelson Semedo, Eliseu; Joao Moutinho, Danilo Pereira, Pizzi; Andre Silva, Nani (capt), Gelson Martins

Coach: Fernando Santos (POR)

Mexico (4-4-2)

Guillermo Ochoa; Nestor Araujo, Rafael Marquez (capt), Hector Moreno, Luis Reyes; Miguel Layun, Andres Guardado, Carlos Vela, Hector Herrera; Javier Hernandez, Oribe Peralta

Coach: Juan Carlos Osorio (COL)

Referee: Fahad Al Mirdasi (KSA)


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