Russian Federation face decisive match against Mexico at Confed Cup

The win moved Portugal top of the table with four points after they conceded an equaliser in stoppage time to draw their opening match 2-2 against Mexico.

Reuters picMOSCOW, June 24 ― Hosts Russia are fully focused on staying in the Confederations Cup as they face elimination in their final group game against Mexico, coach Stanislav Cherchesov said yesterday.

"We won, we have four points and you have to congratulate our team", added the 32-year-old, named man of the match for the second time in the tournament.

Portugal: Advances with a win over New Zealand; Can advance with a draw, should Russian Federation not beat Mexico.

Portugal has the luxury to choose because of Ronaldo's decisive header early in a 1-0 win over Russian Federation on Wednesday - his 74th goal in 141 national-team games. If Russia finds a way to earn three points this weekend, the hosts will be able to secure a spot in the semifinals.

Portugal and New Zealand have never faced each other in an worldwide match.

Javier Aquino dribbled in from the left and after an exchange of passes on the edge of the New Zealand box, Jimenez spun to fire high into the net.

All Whites counterpart Anthony Hudson conceded the game was physical but suggested the competitive display of his little-fancied team was behind the Mexicans' angry response to some incidents.

"I thought it was freakish really, it was like we had elbowed the player the way it was going on", he said.

Early physicality and pressing seemed to rattle the Mexicans, who couldn't prevent New Zealand creating several chances through neat build-up play. "We've all been there", said Rojas.

The 23-year-old Mexico worldwide, who will join the Eagles this summer, appeared to pick up a serious shoulder injury after falling badly during his side's 2-1 win over New Zealand on Wednesday.

Mexico made the All Whites pay with two smartly-taken goals in the second spell, denying what Wood said could have been a famous upset. It was a remarkable performance - it's hard to remember the last time an All Whites team created so many opportunities against major worldwide opposition - but they have nothing to show for their efforts.

"I apologise, my words were wrong", Osorio said through a translator.

"I had discussions with my assistant at the time and we waited for the video (replay)". We know very well what we need to do.

Federation Internationale de Football Association has tried to stop the practice of teams kicking the ball out of play to allow treatment to injured opponents after it became routinely abused by players feigning injury to waste time or break up an attack.

  • Julie Sanders