Saturday, 20 October, 2018


Mexico recovers to beat NZ 2-1 in fiery Confed Cup game

Mexican coach Juan Carlos Osorio has to be restrained as he launches a verbal spray towards the New Zealand dugout GETTY IMAGES Mexican coach Juan Carlos Osorio has to be restrained as he launches a verbal spray towards the New Zealand dugout
Noah Ferguson | 24 June, 2017, 08:19

The All Whites coach had just watched his team beaten 2-1 by Mexico at the Confederations Cup, ending New Zealand's chances of advancing to the knockout stages after an opening 2-0 defeat to Russian Federation.

Both teams had chances to add to their totals in what was a pulsating second period.

And the former Newport County and Bahrain manager is hoping to get some points on the board when they face the European champions in St Petersburg.

"They went toe-to-toe with a top team in the world".

"Games have the possibility of 120 minutes, that's different from a 90-minute game".

Defender Luis Neto said the objective is to finish top of the group.

Stay tuned to playcaper for latest updates on match day!

"The game against Mexico feels like a final", Cherchesov said. We have a great team spirit.

"There wasn't a lot in it tonight, it was very close", New Zealand coach Anthony Hudson said.

He would like at least two more matches to watch that development, and to see further encouraging signs of global pedigree shown by, say, the Krosnador striker, Fyodor Smolov, the leading scorer in both the last two seasons in the Russian Premier League, the league from which all the squad are drawn.

The 25-year-old did well to create space for himself throughout the match but muffed two good chances in each half, either through a poor first touch or a mis-timed shot.

But Ronaldo passed up a glorious opportunity to extend his side's lead just past the hour when he headed wide from Andre Gomes' cross as Portugal broke at pace. "Even I want to watch Cristiano Ronaldo".

"It was intense, it was competitive", Hudson said.

Ryan Thomas may have been disappointed but could be extremely proud of yet another superb display in midfield.

With that in mind, Russian Federation manager Stanislav Cherchesov may ditch the defensive 5-4-1 approach that proved ineffective versus Portugal and revert to the 4-4-2 formation that brought victory against New Zealand, where Dmitry Poloz partnered Fedor Smolov in attack. Also, if they do bring a few fringe players in, we're still dealing with exceptional talents such as Gelson Martins and Bernardo Silva.

After the break Portugal, who should have been out of sight, maintained pressure early on and the hosts, firmly supported by their fans at a packed Spartak stadium, were grateful to their veteran goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev for keeping them in the game.

"But the way we played the other night against Mexico [a hard-fought 2-1 defeat], we knew we had that in us". He is the best player in the world.

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