Wild finish leaves Mexico and Portugal to split the points

Published Sunday, June 18, 2017 12:22 PM by Shane Barrow
Wild finish leaves Mexico and Portugal to split the points

Mexico went toe to toe with the European Champions Portugal in a highly entertaining game Sunday as both teams opened play at the Russia Confederations Cup.  The event marks one year until the 2018 Russia World Cup and if the games are as entertaining as this we have a lot to look forward to.

Portugal were slow to work their way into the match as Mexico bossed possession over the opening twenty minutes of play.  The Europeans finally got going and looked to have scored the opening goal, but after review it was disallowed offside.  Cristiano Ronaldo was at the centre of the action in the first half, and provided an assist for the opener in the 34th minute. He broke down the left wing before pulling the Mexico defence out of shape and passing across goal for Ricardo Quaresma to round goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa and score.

Mexico were level in the 42nd minute thanks to a well-timed close-range header from their all-time record goalscorer Javier Hernandez, who took advantage of disarray in the Portugal defense.  The teams went back and forth most of the second half before things heated up after the substitutions were made.

Just after a fine save from El Tri's Ochoa, Portugal looked to have won it in the 86th minute when Cedric Soares fired a deflected ball past the keeper for the 2-1 lead.  

El Tri went right back at Portugal looking for the tying goal as Chicharito almost tied it up moments after.  End to end they went with both teams creating good chances.  Deep into injury time Mexico would find the important tying goal.  A well placed corner kick was headed home by Hector Moreno who rose and flicked off the post past Rui Patricio. Probably nobody was happier than fellow Group A squad and tournament host Russia who took care of New Zealand yesterday and top the group. 

Portugal faces Russia on Wednesday in a huge match while Mexico will need to get three points against group minnows New Zealand.