Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Sport | By Ellis Neal

Confederations Cup: Mexico frustrate Portugal


Surrounded by officials FIFA President Gianni Infantino 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.

The Euro 2016 winners kicked on again in the game's closing stages and Cedric netted with the help of a Hector Herrera deflection, but Moreno responded to earn a share of the spoils, with further talk of Ronaldo's uncertain club future sure to follow Portugal to their next match against Group A leaders Russian Federation.

It had seemed as though Cedric had handed all three points to the European champions when he fired Portugal in front in the 85th minute but Mexico and Moreno had other ideas. "It was a fair result for how the teams played".

Mexico continued to dominate as the second half went on, but they were finding it tough to break down the Portugal defence.

Two of the top contenders for the Confederations Cup title are meeting early in the tournament, with Portugal and Mexico making their Group A debut on Sunday in Kazan.

Germany, World Cup winners and joint favourites for the Confederations Cup, warmed up with a 7-0 win over San Marino last weekend. "He is an idol, even for us players", admitted veteran defender Bruno Alves, the 35-year-old who has just signed for Scottish club Rangers.

Australia, the Asian Cup winners in 2015, may have the edge in terms of global experience, but this young, vibrant German side looks very strong and they've won five of their last nine games by three goals or more.

He attracted headlines last week after being accused by a Spanish prosecutor of defrauding the country's tax authorities.

A frantic end to the first half gave way to a tiresome second as both sides were found wanting with their final ball, with Ronaldo - isolated after Nani's withdrawal - unable to influence the game.

Ronaldo carried the ball into the area but was surrounded by three defenders and he passed it to Quaresma, who was free from markers on the far side of the box. Going forward and with numbers, Mexico won a corner and made the reigning Euro champions pay with a lovely header off the post and into the back of the net by Roma newboy Moreno. He also scored important goals in the decisive stages of the Spanish league, a competition Madrid won this season for the first time in five years. The referee sent the decision for video review and after about a long one minute, the goal was disallowed.

Mexico equalised eight minutes later through a Javier Hernandez diving header after poor defending by the Portuguese.

Young stars Bernardo Silva and Andre Silva, both recently making the switch to new clubs, will be hoping to show the world that they can carry the load as the future faces of Portugal.

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