Mexico survive New Zealand scare, as Ronaldo’s header sinks host Russia

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Mexico came from behind to beat New Zealand (Photo Credit: Getty Images.)

Two second half goals helped Mexico overcome a scare from a stubborn New Zealand team, who nearly snatched a draw, at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, in Russia.

The Kiwis took a shock lead, few minutes before half time, after Chris Wood calmly slotted home a Clayton Lewis weighted pass, becoming the fifth player to score 20+ goals for the champions of Oceania.

After the break, Mexico were back to level terms. Javier Aquino broke down on the left flank, finding Marco Fabian, who found Jimenez to score the equalizer, six minutes before the hour mark.

Eighteen minutes after drawing level,  for the first time in the game, El Tri were in front,  as Oribe Peralta found the back of the net, with the brilliant Aquino involved yet again.

 

Mexico’s forward, Oribe Peralta, scored the decisive second goal against New Zealand. (Photo Credit: Getty Images.)

Mexico held on for the win, though not without a final scare as the Kiwis came ever so close to an equalizer, five minutes from time, following a Thomas effort which rattled the crossbar.

Moments after the match, coach of the Mexican side, Juan Carlos Osorio was a proud man.
“I am proud of what my team did,” Osorio said.
“It’s normal to have to suffer at this level, but we deserved to win.
“We know how to adapt to different opponents,” he added.

For New Zealand’s manager, Anthony Hudson, it was a disappointing end given how the Kiwis performed.
“Everyone is disappointed in the dressing room,” Hudson opined.
“We feel we should have got more [out the match,” he added.

With their latest loss, New Zealand continue to search for a first win at the FIFA Confederations Cup after playing eleven matches.

Meanwhile, earlier on, Cristiano Ronaldo put aside off-field distractions to score the winner as Portugal defeated host, Russia, 0-1 at the Spartak stadium, in Moscow, Russia.

Cristiano Ronaldo heads home the only goal in the match between Portugal and Russia. (Photo Credit: Getty Images.)

Ronaldo scored in the 8th minute through a header, after a superb cross from left back, Raphael Guerreiro, who left the pitch just after the hour mark with a suspected broken leg, to hand Portugal their first win in the competition, following the 2-2 draw with Mexico in the opener.

The results see both Mexico and Portugal on four points, but El tri top the group courtesy of a superior goal advantage.

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