June 18th saw Group A’s final two teams who han’t played a match–Portugal, and Mexico–, faceoff against each other.
The favorite for this match was Portugal. The reason being, Portugal according to Fifa’s rankings is the 8th best national team in the world. Mexico is at the spot of 17th, which is still means they are a world-class team. On top of this, you will have a hard time arguing that Chicharito or Herrera–as skilled as they are–, truly match the skill of Ronaldo. Mexico never looked like they didn’t have a good chance of taking the game however.
Mexico got the ball to begin the first half. The 19th minute saw Ronaldo’s shot come off the crossbar, and to Pepe. Pepe took the chance, and struck it in the back of the net. The goal was over turned by the video assistant referees after they saw a player caught off-sides during the play. 32nd minute sees a corner conceded by Mexican Keeper, Guillermo Ochoa, after he had to make a last ditch effort to save a header from his teammate from becoming an own goal. By the 33rd minute, Ronaldo was attacking with the ball into the box. After getting pressure he passed it to Ricardo Quaresma–Portuguese midfielder–. Ricardo then faked out Ochoa, and then followed it up by shooting the ball into the back of the net. Portugal lead 1-0. Mexico wasn’t going to let themselves trail going into halftime. So, in the 42nd minute off a cross from inside the box Chicharito heads the ball into the back of the net. Mexico, and Portugal are tied at 1 goal each. While there were other events that took place in between these goals, and even after going into halftime these were the highlights.
Portugal kicked it off to begin the second half. By the 57th minute Mexico was looking for a boost of energy to hopefully help them edge out Portugal, Mexico decided to sub in Giovani dos Santos for Carlos Vela in hopes that this would be achieved. A mere minute later Portugal followed suit subbing in Gelson Martins for Nani, and Adrien Silva for João Moutinho. The 85th minute sees Portugal really put Mexico in a tough place. As off a deflection, Cédric Soares’–One of Portugal’s midfielders– shot finds the back of the net. Portugal now had a 2-1 lead. By the 90th minute hopes off Mexico tying the game up seemed unlikely. Though, that is just what happened. In the 90th minute, Mexico had a corner. They took it, and Héctor Moreno–a Mexican defender–was able to win the header. His header ricochet off the post, and found the back-netting. The 90th minute came, and the match was over.
As these two teams were the favorites to make it out of the group, this game was pretty big. Especially since if for example if Portugal had held out for the win, then Russia just maybe would end up getting the points needed to get the 2nd place finish.With this tie, the competition for who will win the group is still wide open. Group A will likely come to the last game.
The Confederations Cup still has a lot of matches to look forward to. We will be covering all the other matches, so if you are interested in what happens for each match but can’t watch them live, then we have got you covered. Big matches will be covered live with play-by-play–our play-by-play focuses on key moments, though a lot is covered–.
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