Shortly after Zhirkov's red card Russian defender Viktor Vasin collected another yellow card for his team and with minutes remaining before the final whistle Alexander Golovin was penalized with a yellow card.
New Zealand goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic, who helped Unterhaching win promotion from the German fourth division last season, kept the score down with a superb second-half display.
"Overall, there were some really positive signs in the game", he said.
New Zealand head home pointless, but Anthony Hudson and his young team can be proud of some spirited performances against some of the world's best teams.
Mexico couldn't afford to not get the job done here and the manager picked the strongest possible team, with Javier Hernandez, Carlos Vela, Jonathan dos Santos, Andres Guardado and Miguel Layun all fully rested.
"We could have scored more goals if we had been able to circulate the ball better but we understand that our lads maybe had too much adrenaline".
"This team are on the right path, they have got great character, great belief and it's a young team moving in the right direction".
Shaka Hislop is not fully convinced Portugal are favourites to win the Confederations Cup despite topping Group A.
In St Petersburg, Portugal coasted to a 4-0 win over New Zealand but it came at a cost as the Manchester City-bound Bernardo Silva was substituted because of an ankle injury.
Four minutes later, Bernardo Silva slipped a shot into an unguarded goal.
Host nation Russian Federation fought valiantly but could not avoid early elimination at the Confederations Cup after a 2-1 loss to Mexico on Saturday, a result that secured the Mexicans a place in the semifinals of the World Cup warm-up tournament.
The type of challenge that made Pepe's reputation was exactly what he curbed when being central to Portugal's 2016 European Championship title.
Seven minutes into the second half, El Tri took a deserved lead through PSV Eindhoven's latest acquisition, Hirving Lozano.
Hector Moreno then appeared to give Mexico an insurance goal in the 61st minute, but it was disallowed when the video assistant referee ruled he was offside.
Ronaldo's second goal of the tournament was a penalty that opened the scoring in the 33rd minute. Araujo headed the ball into the opposite corner, over goalkeeper Akinfeev.
Mexico equalised five minutes later after Héctor Herrera's long cross into the area found Araujo near the far post.
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) - Cristiano Ronaldo's 75th global goal helped lift Portugal to an easy 4-0 win over New Zealand on Saturday and into the Confederations Cup semifinals.
"Three games in eight days was the biggest ask for us and when you're playing against the top teams in the world as minimum you need to be able to physically cope".