Mexico knock out Confed Cup hosts Russia with 2-1 win

Pauline Gross
June 26, 2017

Russian Federation were beaten 2-1 by Mexico in Kazan on Saturday meaning they finished third in Group A having also lost to Portugal in Moscow on Wednesday, their only victory coming on the opening day versus minnows New Zealand, ranked 95th in the world. Andre Silva made it 3-0 in the 80th minute with a solo strike that put Fernando Santos' men on course to claim top spot on goal difference and Nani added further gloss to the scoreline in stoppage time.

It was a typically efficient performance from Portugal, who never looked in danger despite a sluggish start.

Juan Carlos Osorio's side finished in second position with seven points behind Portugal (due to an inferior goal difference of +2) who also defeated New Zealand 3-0 to set up a semi-final clash with the victor of Group A.

"It was an interesting match for sure, we knew we had to win and did everything to tip the game in our favour", said Cherchesov.

The Oceania champions were far from disgraced but have now competed in the tournament four times without winning a game and have an overall record of 11 defeats and a draw in 12 matches.

The pitch remains an issue, too; Ronaldo said it was "difficult" and "the grass wasn't very good" but Santos expressed a hope that it could be improved in the next week. "They're a team with great spirit and capacity". New Zealand finished bottom of the group after losing all three games.

Ronaldo twice threatened the New Zealand goal in quick succession, nodding straight at goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic on 24 minutes and then clattering the crossbar shortly after with another header from a Ricardo Quaresma cross.

The lead was quickly doubled when Bernardo Silva slotted home on 37 minutes after getting on the end of Eliseu's low driven cross, although the winger was injured in the process and later replaced.

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Marinovic impressed and made eight saves, using his big body to block second-half shots by Andre Silva and Nani.

Mexico's Lozano's sealed the match with a stylish goal.

However, five minutes later Mexican defender Nestor Araujo's header found its way past Russia's goaltender Igor Akinfeev and ended up in the net of the hosts, drawing the score to 1-1.

After Nestor Araujo cancelled out Alexander Samedov's opening goal for the hosts in the first half, Hirving Lozano headed home Mexico's victor early in the second half to ensure the CONCACAF champions advanced as runners-up behind Group A winners Portugal.

Following a 2-0 defeat to Russian Federation and 2-1 loss to Mexico, the result meant Marinovic had been beaten eight times at the tournament.

Mexico thought they had extended their lead in the 60th minute but Hector Moreno's goal was ruled out for offside by the video assistant referee after a review.

The hosts' pressure soon told, though, as the opening goal arrived after 25 minutes.

Making it worse, in the 68th minute of the game, Yury Zhirkov was sent off for elbowing his opponent.

Other reports by GizPress

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