Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Mexico hold Portugal to 2-2 draw in Confederations Cup 2017

Portugal thought they had taken the lead just after 20 minutes when Pepe had the ball in the net after pouncing on a Ronaldo volley that had hit the bar, but it was ruled out for offside by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).

Ricardo Quaresma opened the scoring for Portugal just after the half-hour mark before Javier Hernandez headed in the equaliser to restore parity.

The Euro 2016 winners kicked on again in the game's closing stages and Cedric netted with the help of a Hector Herrera deflection, but Moreno responded to earn a share of the spoils, with further talk of Ronaldo's uncertain club future sure to follow Portugal to their next match against Group A leaders Russian Federation.

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo failed to inspire his side in the 2-2 Confederations Cup draw with Mexico.

Portugal take on tournament hosts Russian Federation in their next group-stage outing on Wednesday afternoon, before then facing outsiders New Zealand three days later.

New Zealand are at the bottom of the group with no points. Osorio's team stayed true to its modern and attractive style - as well parading the boldness to take the game to Portugal - and the character to bounce back twice from going a goal down.

His second half display was far quieter although it was his ball for substitute Gelson Martins that led to what should have been the 86th-minute match-winner from Cedric Soares.

"It wasn't the result that we wanted", he said.

And on the video referral system (Portugal had a goal ruled out for offside by the video assistant referee): "It's the new rule". - There have been 24 goals in the six matches between Mexico and New Zealand, an average of four per game.

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"We have to win, because if we win the next game we will be one step away from qualifying".

Mexicans have the hump with the Real Madrid star as he was caught mouthing "they are very bad" to Pepe during Sunday's Confederations Cup match.

His success might be coming well overdue but just in time to help his team through what is likely to be Portugal's biggest test ahead of crucial qualifying stage and before a much-desired return to Russian Federation for a competition that could easily be the last challenge of his well-travelled career. Once a player who appeared fairly ambivalent towards the national team, and soccer in general, the winger is now much more mature and dedicated than ever before. The Chilean striker became the first player in football history with a goal denied and confirmed by the VAR.

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