Thursday, 22 June, 2017

Mexico snatch draw with Portugal in Confederations Cup

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during the Confederations Cup Group A soccer match between Portugal and Mexico at the Kazan Arena Russia Sunday Portugal goal against Mexico annulled after video review
Kristopher Love | 20 June, 2017, 02:23

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during the Confederations Cup, Group A soccer match between Portugal and Mexico, at the Kazan Arena, Russia, Sunday, June 18, 2017.

Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino on Monday strongly defended the use of video assistant referees (VAR) during the first round of group-stage matches at the Confederations Cup in Russia.

KAZAN, Russia (AP) - Portugal had a first-half goal against Mexico chalked off in the Confederations Cup after the action was reviewed on video.

Portugal and Mexico began their FIFA Confederations Cup campaign with a closely-fought contest, with El Tri grabbing a late equaliser to snatch a 2-2 draw. "But we are not anxious, there are two games left, we still have chances". Now we have to think about the next match because we must win.

The result leaves both sides tied for second place in Group A, behind hosts Russian Federation who top the group after beating New Zealand 2-0 on Saturday in St. Petersburg.

Ronaldo was also involved in one of the game's biggest talking points, a "goal" that was disallowed after consultation with the Video Assistant Referees. They scored in the last few minutes and now we think of the next game. "It was a great result for Mexican football". And they (Portugal) are the current European champions.

There was huge focus on Ronaldo after news broke on Friday of his desire to leave Real Madrid and quit Spain for good because of his unhappiness at a tax investigation against him, but he frequently cut an isolated figure up front due to Portugal coach Fernando Santos' cautious tactics.

"We know we didn't play well", he said. We played without confidence, couldn't connect two or three passes. "In the end the result was fair as Mexico also played well".

The FIFA Player of the Year, who had scored 11 goals in seven games coming into Sunday's encounter, was perhaps not as influential as usual but was still named man-of-the-match. Mexico midfielder Carlos Vela got to the ball near the far post and sent it to the middle of the area for Chicharito's goal.

"I first of all thank the fans for voting for me, but it's not the result that we wanted".

Portugal looked to have won when Cedric fired home a deflected shot but Moreno headed home a corner in added time to give Mexico a share of the points.

Portugal defender Pepe thought he had opened the scoring in the 21st minute when he turned in a cross-shot after Ronaldo had smashed a shot against the crossbar, having blasted his initial free kick into the defensive wall.