Portugal and Mexico draw 2-2 in Confederations Cup
Jun 23 2017
Mexico's second half resistance was broken four minutes from time when HectorHerrera let the ball bounce off his foot and Cedric pounced, with the Southampton player's shot taking a deflection off Herrera on the way in.
The late drama took much of the focus away from Cristiano Ronaldo who, apart from the assist for Ricardo Quaresma's opener, failed to inspire his team. Pepe scored a rebound after Ronaldo hit the crossbar in the 20th minute, but VAR determined that Pepe was offside on the initial shot. The strike was ruled out following advice to referee Nestor Pitana from the video replay team.
Surrounded by officials FIFA President Gianni Infantino, third from left, seen during his visit to Media centre prior the Group A soccer match between Portugal and Mexico, at the Kazan Arena, Russia, Sunday, June 18, 2017.
And such was the impact of the change that his compatriot Fonte admitted Ronaldo's new hairdo took a few of his Portugal teammates aback when he joined up with Fernando Santos' squad in Russian Federation ahead of the Confederations Cup.
"Nothing is going to change", Portugalgoalkeeper Rui Patricio said Saturday, a day before Portugal's Confederations Cup debut against Mexico in Kazan.
After seeing Russian Federation defeat New Zealand on Saturday's Confederations Cup opener, Portugal and Mexico will be confident of securing six points from their remaining two games and being involved in the semifinals.
Mexico wasted no time finding an equalizer as Javier "Chicharito" Hernández scored from close range with a diving header in the 42nd minute.
The Europeans appeared to have grabbed the opener only for the decision to be reversed by the Video Assistant Referee.
'We also managed to keep Cristiano Ronaldo in check. Raphael Guerreiro miskicked a cross into the box, allowing Carlos Vela to play the ball back in for Hernandez to score.
With that, the result now gives both of the teams one point, a fair result. We know we still have lots of opportunities, there are two games remaining and that's why we're calm.
Whether it was the right flank in the first half or the left in the second half, Quaresma was quite easily the most menacing of attacking players for Portugal ahead of the much fancied Ronaldo.
The Champions of Europe met their counterparts from North America on Sunday in Kazan as Portugal faced off against Mexico. They were second-best on the ball here, although they enjoyed the bulk of the chances and, on the balance of the second half, possibly deserved to win the game.