Confederations Cup | Mexico 2 – New Zealand 1

In a match full of drama, Mexico came from behind to secure a 2-1 win over New Zealand.

Chris Wood of New Zealand
Chris Wood of New Zealand

The first chance of the match was created by New Zealand after four minutes. Ryan Thomas hit a low shot from distance that sailed wide.

The Oceania team went close again on the 10th minute. Michael McGlinchey sent a long ball from a free-kick that was knocked down by Michael Boxall for Smith who was beaten by what would have been a tap-in.

Mexico responded on the 14th minute. Nestor Aruajo went down the left flank and sent a cross towards Giovani Dos Santos who headed off target.

New Zealand threatened again on the 20th minute. Following a corner, Tommy Smith’s header was neutralised by Alfredo Talavera.

On the 27th minute, New Zealand lost a golden chance to open the score. Chris Wood received the ball on the edge of the penalty area and had a clear sight of goal. However, his shot was well saved by Talavera. The The Mexicans protested heavily with the referee as they felt that the referee should have whistled a foul in favour of Carlos Salcado who suffered an injury to his arm during the challenge with the New Zealand captain.

New Zealand broke the deadlock on the 42nd minute. Thomas sent an excellent through ball towards Wood and the latter placed the ball inside the net to score his 20th international goal.

Mexico had a great chance on the 49th minute. Javier Aquino’s shot from the left was blocked by Stefan Marinovic. Seconds later, Dos Santos received the ball on the edge of the penalty area and fired a shot that ended up slightly over.

New Zealand responded on the 52nd minute. Wood went through on goal but Talavera blocked his path in an excellent manner.

Two minutes later, Mexico scored the equalising goal. Raul Jimenez sent a stunning shot from the edge of the area that gave Marinovic no chance.

Mexico kept pushing forward and had another opportunity on the hour mark. Following a cross, Diego Reyes saw his header being neutralised by Marinovic.

Juan Carlos Osorio’s side scored the winning goal on the 72nd minute. Aquino went on an excellent run down the left flank before crossing the ball towards Oribe Peralta whose finish went in in off the woodwork.

Four minutes later, Mexico had a good chance to seal the issue. Jurgen Damm raced into the box from the right but finished high from a good position.

On the 85th minute, Thomas was denied by the post. The New Zealand player curled an impressive shot towards the corner of the net that hit the post.

Mexico hit back immediately on the counter. Damm went on the left side of the penalty area and fired a low shot that was blocked by the goalkeeper.

One minute from time, Jiminez nearly put the result beyond doubt, but Smith went into his way and cleared the ball off the line.

In the additional time given by the referee, a fight broke out between players and officials in which the referees had to intervene. This led the referee to consult with the video assistant referees and thus the additional time went up to eight minutes that weren’t enough for New Zealand as Mexico emerged victorious.

Mexico starting line-up: Alfredo Talavera, Nestor Araujo, Carlos Salcedo, Diego Reyes, Marco Fabian, Raul Jimenez, Giovani Dos Dantos, Jurgen Damm, Oribe Peralta, Javier Aquino, Oswaldo Alanis

New Zealand starting line-up: Stefan Marinovic, Deklan Wynne, Michael Boxall, Michael McGlinchey, Chris Wood, Marco Rojas, Ryan Thomas, Clayton Lewis, Dane Ingham, Tommy Smith, Andrew Durante

Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia)