Hector Moreno popped up late on to snatch a point for Mexico in their Confederations Cup opener against European champions Portugal.
In an exciting 2-2 draw full of twists, the Portuguese and Mexicans traded blows early in Kazan as Ricardo Quaresma’s opener was cancelled out by Javier Hernandez only eight minutes later.
The Euro 2016 winners thought they had the three points sealed after Southampton right-back Cedric slammed home a goal with four minutes to play.
However, it was AS Roma’s new signing Hector Moreno who was able to bundle one home to salvage a point for Mexico.
VARs used on the international stage
We have been clamouring for greater use of technology on the international stage and now we have got it.
The Video Assistant Referees (VARs) were in full use as Portugal had a goal disallowed due to the VARs. The decisions were corrected by the VARs as Nani was offside when he slammed home what he thought was the opener after Cristiano Ronaldo rocketed his shot onto the woodwork.
The are VARs already making their presence felt early and were effective in ruling out what would have been a decisive goal. The system was also used over in Moscow during the Chile vs Cameroon game.
Mexico struggle but stubbornness proves to be key
Mexico took their chances and were rewarded. However, the key issue for them was that they struggled against arguably the best attack in the whole tournament.
Hector Moreno and Gui Ochoa were solid at the back but lapses in defence almost proved costly on numerous occasions. But it was once again Mexico’s attacking players Chicharito and Carlos Vela who were the spark while Jonathan Dos Santos was their best in the middle of the park.
A must win game is to come now for El Tri against Oceania champions New Zealand.
Ronaldo and co. playing with more positivity
The Portuguese have bucked their negative football trait as of today. After being criticised for playing ‘boring football’ in the Euros last year, the champions proved why they are the most feared side in the Confederations Cup.
The new sense of creativity and freeflowing movement from the likes of Ronaldo, Quaresma, Nani, Andre Gomes and Joao Moutinho was delightful to watch.
With the likes of Gelson Martins, Adrien Silva and Andre Silva coming off the bench, the possibilities are endless for the men from the Iberian Peninsula.