Confederations Cup | Russia 1 – Mexico 2

Russia are out of the Confederations Cup after suffering a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Mexico.

Warren Zammit
24 June 2017, 7:00pm
The Mexican players celebrating their equalising goal against Russia
The Mexican players celebrating their equalising goal against Russia
Mexico created the first chance of the match after five minutes. Hirving Lozano went past two players and hit a low shot from the edge of the penalty area that was neutralised by Igor Akinfeev.

The Russians protested for a penalty a minute later. Yury Zhirkov went down after making contact with Hecor Horeno; however, the referee decided to play on without any consultation with the video assistant referee.

The hosts threatened again on the 13th minute. Zhirkov went inside the penalty area and fired a shot that went centimetres wide.

Cherchesov’s side asked for another penalty on the 17th minute. Fedor Smolov went inside the penalty area and was brought down by Nestor Araujo. The Saudi referee first signalled play on once more, but later decided to consult the VAR. After looking at the replay of the situation, he decided to stick to his decision and play was restarted at the centre of the pitch.

On the 24th minute, Smolov was unlucky not to score as his powerful drive from distance rattled the post.

However, the Russians went ahead a minute later. Following some good work by Aleksandr Golovin, Alexandr Erokhon served Alexander Samedov, and the latter saw his effort ending up behind Guillermo Ochoa to the joy of the home supporters.

Mexico responded by equalising on the half hour mark. First, it was Andres Guardado whose shot from a free-kick forced a good save from Igor Akinfeev. From the follow up, Hector Herrera delivered an excellent long ball towards Araujo and the Mexican defender headed inside the net.

Three minutes into the second half, Samedov finished inside the net again, but the assistant referee raised his flag for an offside.

The Mexicans went ahead on the 52nd minute following a horrific mistake by Akinfeev. Herrera sent the ball forward and the Russian goalkeeper came out of his area to meet it. He completely mistimed his run though, allowing Lozano to head the ball inside the net from the edge of the penalty area.

Russia hit back on the 58th minute. Erokhin’s shot from outside the penalty area ended up slightly off target.

Two minutes later, it was Mexico who had a goal disallowed. The ball was played towards Hector Moreno who finished past Akinfeev. The referee wasn’t sure about the goal and consulted the VAR. His final decision was to disallow the goal for an offside.

Russia’s hopes took another setback on the 68th minute when Zhirkov was sent off by the referee after being shown his second yellow card.

The Russians missed a golden opportunity to draw level on the 72nd minute. Dmitry Poloz’s cross was met by the unmarked Igor Smolnikov who fired high.

Following this result, hosts Russia are out of the Confederations cup. Portugal and Mexico go through.

Russia starting line-up: Igor Akinfeev, Viktor Vasin, Georgy Dzhikya, Denis Glushakov, Fedor Smolov, Alexksandr Bukharov, Fedor Kudriashov, Aleksandr Golovin, Yury Zhirkov, Alexander Samedov, Alexandr Erokhin

Mexico starting line-up: Guillermo Ochoa, Nestor Araujo, Diego Reyes, Jonathan Dos Santos, Miguel Layun, Carlos Vela, Javier Hernandez, Hector Moreno, Hector Herrera, Andres Guardado, Hirving Lozano.

Referee: Fahad Al Mirdasi (Saudi Arabia)