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Late Moreno goal lifts Mexico to draw with Portugal
Mexico's Javier Hernandez (white jersey) is put under pressure from Cedric of Portugal during their FIFA Confederations Cup match on June 18, 2017, in Kazan, Russia. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)

KAZAN, Russia – Hector Moreno struck late to give Mexico a 2-2 draw with Portugal in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup opener for each on Sunday in front of 34,372 fans at Kazan Arena.

The result means that host Russia (1W-0D-0L, 3 points) – a 2-0 winner over New Zealand on Saturday -- will end the weekend atop the Group A table.

From a statistical perspective, the match was evenly played except that the Mexicans owned a significant advantage in possession (59%-41%).

The CONCACAF Gold Cup champion looked like it might suffer a setback, however, until Moreno netted the equalizer in the first minute of second-half stoppage.  Jonathan dos Santos delivered a corner kick from the left that Moreno headed home from five-yards out despite some close marking.

It was the second time Mexico rallied from a one-goal deficit in the encounter.

Portugal went ahead 1-0 in the 34th minute.  Cristiano Ronaldo garnered the attention of three Mexican defenders in the left side of the box, allowing time to find an unmarked Ricardo Quaresma on the edge of the six-yard box.  After easily eluding goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, the 33-year-old winger right-footed into the back of the net.

Eight minutes later, the sides were on level terms as Mexico capitalized on a defensive miscue.  Raul Jimenez sent a left-sided cross into the box that was miskicked by Portugal’s Raphael.  The ball fell to Carlos Vela, who centered quickly for Javier Hernandez to dart a header past goalkeeper Rui Patricio from eight yards.

Second-half substitute Gelson helped restore Portugal’s lead in the 86th minute by bursting into the right side of box and snapping off a pass that Mexico’s Hector Herrera got a foot on, but couldn’t control.  Cedric was there to first-time the loose ball with his right foot into the left-side netting.

Next up for Mexico: Wednesday, June 21, 2017 v New Zealand

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