Russian Federation face decisive match against Mexico at Confed Cup


Igor Akinfeev's mistake proved costly as Mexico came from behind to beat 10-man Russian Federation 2-1 to book a place in the Confederations Cup semi-finals and send the hosts crashing out. Besides Quaresma, Santos will also have Nani, who will be available to play as a striker, should he wish to rest their Captain.

As for Saturday's victory, Santos suggested the scoreline might have been a bit unfair to a New Zealand.

Play had continued for about 30 seconds before the game was stopped for the review.

"For me Ronaldo is the best player in the world but if you take him out you still have world class players in there", Hudson said.

There was then huge controversy as New Zealand squandered a brilliant opportunity.

However, the win was bittersweet as Portugal left-back Raphael Guerreiro was hospitalized with a suspected leg fracture. "We never stopped. We created chances, we put them under pressure, so we could have got a little more out of this tournament", he told reporters.

Things remain tight in Group A before Saturday s final round.

But Ronaldo soon rattled the crossbar before Ipswich defender Tommy Smith bundled over Danilo Pereira following a corner and the Real Madrid forward scored the penalty.

"It's just passion. We had to get something out of that game and so did they".

New Zealand were not to be denied, though, taking the lead three minutes before the break.

Like he did before the Mexico game, Hudson called on the Kiwis to be "brave" against the European champions.

With a match against New Zealand to close out the group, though, Cristiano Ronaldo and company should feel fairly confident of their ability to advance. It lost to Brazil in the 2013 Confederations Cup, and to Germany in the 2005 Confederations Cup.

The 56-year-old had a heated argument with one of New Zealand's assistant coaches after Mexico's Carlos Salcedo went down with a shoulder injury in the first half.

The lead was short-lived, however, with Mexico swiftly equalising through a Nestor Araujo header, the centre-back directing a header past Russia's goalkeeper Akinfeev, although he did not seem to be going for goal.

Russian Federation need to beat Mexico in Kazan to avoid their prospects hinging on a Portugal loss, while a point would be enough for the Mexicans to advance.

On the other side, Portugal takes on New Zealand with a chance to win the group still intact.

Coach Juan Carlos Osorio says it will be the ideal opportunity to show that Mexican soccer has matured and reached a level at which it can succeed under the most hard circumstances. I'm happy we played the football we know that we can play.



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