June 24th saw another Group A match. This time between Mexico vs Russia.
The favorite for this match was Mexico. The reason being, Mexico according to Fifa’s rankings is the 17th best national team in the world. Russia is at the spot of 63rd, so this match was expected to one sided. Though a lot was on the line. As if Russia had won, then they would of had enough points to advance through the group stage. Though, a draw or win would advance Mexico.
The action started after only 9 minutes in this match. As by this time Russia’s Yuri Zhirkov had received the matches first yellow card. After only 6 more minutes, Mexico reveived there first yellow card via Andrés Guardado. By the 25th minute, Russia had taken the lead after their midfielder, Aleksandr Samedov, scored. They seemed to have the momentum needed to pull off the win. Russia held a 1-0 led. This lead only lasted 5 minutes. By the 30th minute, Mexico tied the game after Néstor Araújo–a Mexican defender–struck in a top corner goal. The game’s first substitution was made by Mexico in the 39th minute. They subbed out Diego Reyes for Luis Reyes. While there were other events that took place in between these goals, and even after going into halftime these were the highlights.
Russia now had 45 minutes to take back the match. In the half’s first minute Mexico subbed in Javier Aquino to replace Carlos Vela. The 52nd minute saw Russia’s hopes diminish as Mexico’s forward, Hirving Lozano, scored the take the lead goal for Mexico. Russia now only had 28 minutes to score 2 goals. Mexico had a 2-1 lead. Russia’s Fyodor Kudryashov received a yellow card due to a foul in the 63rd minute. A minute later, Russia subbed on Dmitriy Poloz to replace Aleksandr Bukharov. By the 68th minute, Yuri Zhirkov received a second yellow card reducing Russia down to 10 men. At this point, Russia now had 22 minutes to score 2 goals while a man down. It looked certain at this point that Russia would be eliminated. The 70th minute saw both teams make a substitution. Mexico subbed out Andrés Guardado for Oswaldo Alanís, while Russia subbed out Aleksandr Erokhin for Igor Smolnikov. A minute later, Russia’s Viktor Vasin received a yellow card. The 78th minute saw Maksim Kanunnikov subbed in to replace Fedor Smolov. Another player for Russia–this time Aleksandr Golovin–receive a yellow card. In added time, Oswaldo Alanís–a player for Mexico–received a yellow card. The 90th minute came, and the match was over.
As this match was for advancement through the group stage, a lot was on the line. While Russia seemed to be in control early on, Mexico was able to pull off the win. As such, Mexico has advanced while Russia has been eliminated. The home country would not see there team win the competition, or the group for that matter, this year.
The Confederations Cup still some more 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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