Mexico force Cristiano Ronaldo captained Portugal to epic draw

A late header from Hector Moreno salvaged a 2-2 draw for Mexico in their opening FIFA Confederations Cup match against Portugal.

Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino on Monday strongly defended the use of video assistant referees (VAR) during the first round of group-stage matches at the Confederations Cup in Russia.

For his part, Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio was satisfied with his team's performance and particularly the way they kept Portugal's star man Ronaldo quiet - even if he did somewhat strangely still win man of the match for his only two pieces of positive intervention: hitting the crossbar and providing the assist for Ricardo Quaresma's opening goal.

- Mexico's top goal scorer Javier Hernandez scored his side's opening goal of this year's Confederations Cup and is now just two goals away from his 50th in global football; four of Mexico's last five goals at the Confederations Cup have been scored by Hernandez.

Alexis Nunes and Janusz Michallik break down Mexico's draw with Portugal and the use of VAR at the Confederations Cup.

Both teams are trailing hosts Russian Federation in Group A, who beat New Zealand 2-0 in the tournament opener on Saturday.

Mexico will now turn their attention to New Zealand for their match on Wednesday in Sochi.

Portugal and Chile both had goals disallowed for offside.

El Tri controlled possession without really challenging a resolute Portuguese defense anchored by Pepe and Jose Fonte in the back and with William Carvalho providing the midfield cover.

Mexico: Ochoa 6, Salcedo 5, Moreno 7, Diego Reyes 6, Layún 6, Guardado 6, Herrera 6, J. Dos Santos 6, Vela 7, Chicharito 7, Jiménez 6.

A frantic end to the first half gave way to a boring second as both sides were found wanting with their final ball, with Ronaldo - isolated after Nani's withdrawal - unable to influence the game.

Southampton full-back Cedric Soares restored the Portugal advantage with four minutes left when his drilled effort looped in off Moreno.

But Mexico responded with Hernandez testing Portugal 'keeper Rui Patricio, before putting his side level.

"It's going to be a very complicated game so we have to be alert".

Vargas, who missed a host of earlier chances, added a second in added time after another video review.

The FIFA Confederations Cup is viewed by experts as a rehearsal for the organizers, with only one year to go to the FIFA World Cup.

"It's the new rule, and if it brings benefits to football, that's fine", Portugal coach Fernando Santos said.

  • Julie Sanders