Wednesday 26 July 2017

Portugal denied by Moreno's late leveller

Hector Moreno. Photo: Reuters/Darren Staples
Hector Moreno. Photo: Reuters/Darren Staples

Jamie Holland

Hector Moreno snatched a stoppage-time equaliser as Mexico hit back to draw 2-2 with Portugal in their opening Confederations Cup match in Kazan yesterday.

Substitute Cedric Soares looked like being the European champions' hero with his 86th-minute deflected shot, but Moreno's header from a corner spoiled the Southampton defender's celebration of his first international goal.

The late drama took much of the focus away from Cristiano Ronaldo who, apart from the assist for Ricardo Quaresma's opener, failed to inspire his team.

Focus

Ronaldo - the subject of huge focus after news broke last Friday of his desire to leave Real Madrid - frequently cut an isolated figure up front due to Portugal's caution.

Portugal defender Pepe thought he had opened the scoring in the 21st minute when he turned in a cross-shot after Ronaldo had smashed a shot against the crossbar, having blasted his initial free-kick into the wall.

However, Argentinian referee Nestor Pitana called for a review from the video assistant referee and it was eventually ruled that Pepe was one of four players who were offside.

Ronaldo squared for Quaresma to fire Portugal ahead on 42 minutes but a defensive error allowed Javier Hernandez to draw Mexico to draw level with a fine diving header three minutes before the break.

Russia beat New Zealand 2-0 in the other Group A fixture, while Chile beat Cameroon 2-0 in the opening Group B tie.

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