Host Russia exits Confederations Cup after loss to Mexico
28 June, 2017, 02:43 | Author: Felix Jensen
The hosts of the 2018 World cup crashed out after a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Mexico.
The lead was short-lived, however, with Mexico swiftly equalising through a Nestor Araujo header, the centre-back directing a header past Russia's goalkeeper Akinfeev, although he did not seem to be going for goal.
Akinfeev made a mistake that led to Mexico's second goal after a long clearance by Herrera from near the Mexican area.
Making it worse, in the 68th minute of the game, Yury Zhirkov was sent off for elbowing his opponent.
The great Ronaldo has scored twice in his three matches at the Confederations Cup, continuing his run with the national team and helping Portugal advance to the semifinals of the World Cup warm-up tournament as the Group A victor.
During the early stages of the second half, Portugal were dealt a blow when Pepe picked up a booking which will sideline him for the semi-finals, and they were given a reminder that New Zealand were still active in the game when Wood saw a goalbound effort cleared off the line. Andre Silva dribbled deep into the New Zealand penalty area to score with a rising shot in the 80th, and a substitute, Nani, shot low past goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic in stoppage time.
The win, however, came at a cost as Manchester City-bound midfielder Bernardo Silva was substituted because of an ankle injury.
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The Netherlands were in impressive form as they followed Argentina and Malaysia into the semi-finals by thrashing China 7-0. A defeat on Saturday will definitely raise question marks over the team's and chief coach Oltmans' progress over the years.
Portugal dominated all aspects of play early on Sunday (AEST), firing in 22 attempts on goal with 12 on target and earning 12 corners to New Zealand's one. New Zealand finished bottom of the group after losing all three games.
Portugal finish top of Group A on goal difference ahead of Mexico, which also advanced by beating host Russian Federation 2-1 in Kazan.
Stanislav Cherchesov's side needed to win to qualify for the knockout rounds from Group A but despite scoring the opening goal Russian Federation self-destructed by conceding two bad goals that gifted Mexico victory. They have a club in common, you know...
Mexico were soon back on terms, though, with Araujo looping his close-range header over Igor Akinfeev in the 30th minute.
Mexico also had a second-half goal by defender Hector Moreno, but was ruled offside after video review. With both teams finishing group play on seven points, Portugal advances as the victor of Group A due to its superior goal advantage.
Some talented youngsters have also been important for Portugal recently, giving hope that the team can continue to succeed even after the most experienced players begin being replaced in the not-so-distant future.
Akinfeev failed to clear a bouncing ball, allowing Lozano to sneak in and score the victor seven minutes into the second half.
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