El Tri rescues point of life in Confederations Cup debut


By: Jonny Rico
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At the end of the day it could be the difference between advancing to the semifinals and going home early. The 93rd minute Hector Moreno header that tied the game for Mexico at 2-2 allowed El Tri to walk away from its most difficult group stage match with a point. 

Taking a closer look at what happened on the pitch in Kazan, one might say Mexico deserved the point and maybe even more. El Tri controlled the ball and overall rhythm of the match. It had Portugal pitted deep in their own field. But it also left itself very vulnerable to Portuguese counterattacks. 

Despite enjoying the lion-share of the possession Mexico did not look like it was capable of creating any real danger against the Portuguese goal. Mexico pressured high and recuperated the ball quickly after losing possession. But once the ball was at its feet, México did not look capable of penetrating the well organized European defense. 

Portugal fired a warning shot. Pepe sent the ball to the back of the net in a follow up play after a Cristiano Ronaldo free kick. The officials signaled goal but were advised that the new Video Assistant Referee system was being called upon to check for a possible offside. The replay showed that there was indeed an offside position in the play and the goal was waived off. 

Second time was for real. Carlos Salcedo misjudged a ball up in the air in midfield, missed his header and the ball fell to the feet of Ronaldo. The Real Madrid forward sprinted forward, looked like he tripped over himself and when he was surrounded by three Mexican defenders found the killer pass to a wide open Quaresma who easily evaded goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa and tapped the ball into the net.   

El Tri still struggled to create anything going forward. It took another defensive mistake open the door for the goal. Portugal defense had a very sloppy clearness attempt. The ball fell to Carlos Vela who laid the ball perfectly for Javier Hernandez to put in a diving header to tie the game. 

More of the same during the second half. Mexico controlled possession without threatening the goal. A defensive mistake by Hector Herrera allowed Cédric Soares to control the ball inside of the box and shot the ball which deflected again on Herrera to go give Portugal the lead once again.

It took a 93rd minute corner kick for Mexico to once again draw level. 

Next up for El Tri will be against New Zealand and a win by a large margin is expected for Mexico.


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