To help Ronaldo get a win against New Zealand is Manchester City new signing Bernardo Silva, who had a wonderful performance against Russian Federation and starts once again to help the reigning European champions advance in this dress rehearsal for next year's World Cup.
Even so, coach Anthony Hudson was proud of his side, who refused to shut up shop in the second half.
Mexico winger Hirving Lozano took advantage of an terrible mix-up in the Russian defence to score an extraordinary goal which gave his side a 2-1 win and knocked the Confederations Cup hosts out of the tournament on Saturday.
"We knew it was going to be tough, we played well against them", said Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio. "So we were forewarned", he said.
Ronaldo then departed but it did not mean the end of the onslaught for New Zealand.
Igor Smolnikov had Russia's best chance to level, smashing over from close range, but the hosts could not produce a comeback and will not participate in the semi-finals, with Mexico progressing alongside Portugal from Group A.
Previously, New Zealand and Portugal did not meet with each other.
The Kiwis, appearing at the Confederations Cup for the fourth time, are still hunting their first win in the tournament after just one draw and 10 defeats.
Hosts Russia took a deserved 25th-minute lead in Kazan through Aleksandr Samedov, but Nestor Araujo equalised for Mexico with a looping header on the half hour.
Portugal will be confident, but would do well not to take the All Whites too lightly.
New Zealand's next competitive game will be in more familiar surroundings against an opponent they ought to beat - the Solomon Islands in a two-legged Oceania final as part of World Cup qualifying.
Mexico dominated possession early on but Russian Federation went ahead fortuitously when Samedov beat goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa just inside the far post after Mexico had failed to clear a header and midfielder Aleksandr Erokhin missed the ball as he was trying to shoot.
New Zealand, meanwhile, come into the clash on the back of a 2-1 loss to Mexico on Wednesday night.