Mexico Come from Behind to Beat Russia 2-1 in 2017 Confederations Cup

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJune 24, 2017

KAZAN, RUSSIA - JUNE 24: Hector Moreno of Mexico and Fedor Smolov of Russia battle for possession during the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 Group A match between Mexico and Russia at Kazan Arena on June 24, 2017 in Kazan, Russia.  (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
Francois Nel/Getty Images

Mexico turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 win and a spot in the next round of the 2017 Confederations Cup against hosts Russia on Saturday.

Aleksandr Samedov gave his side a deserved lead after 25 minutes, but Nestor Araujo and Hirving Lozano took advantage of some sloppy goalkeeping to turn the situation around. Yuri Zhirkov was sent off for the Russians.

The two teams' Twitter accounts announced the lineups for the game at the Kazan Arena:

Russia needed a win to advance and made the brighter start to the match, although the first chance fell to El Tri, with Lozano putting goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev to work, albeit with a tame shot.

Fedor Smolov wanted a penalty after a rash challenge from Hector Moreno and perhaps should have earned the spot-kick, and the FC Krasnodar man didn't have any more luck when a Mexican defender impeded his shot.

Smolov hit the post after 24 minutes, blasting a shot through a crowd and past Mexico 'keeper Guillermo Ochoa, but Samedov finally broke the deadlock a minute later.

Per ESPN FC's Gabriele Marcotti, the lead was well-deserved:

Russia's advantage didn't last long, however. Just five minutes after the opener, Akinfeev didn't respond in time to a floating cross into the box, and he was caught in no-man's land as Araujo lobbed a header into the far corner.

Lars Pollmann of Bleacher Report UK didn't understand the goalkeeper's thought process:

Aleksandr Erokhin missed a golden opportunity to restore the lead from close range, and he ended the half with another poor miss, sending a header high and wide.

Russia started the second half well and Samedov even had a goal correctly ruled out for offside, but the hosts were undone by another Akinfeev blunder. The goalkeeper came off his line to clear a poor pass but got his timing completely wrong, allowing Lozano to nip in and head home.

Marcotti gave the scorer some credit:

Erokhin fired a curling shot wide before the video review system robbed Moreno of a goal, with the defender judged to be in an offside position.

Russia needed some momentum badly, but Zhirkov had other plans, striking Miguel Layun with an elbow and getting himself sent off in the 68th minute. Toke Theilade of Russian Football News thought it was almost fitting:

Diego Reyes came within inches of adding to the lead, just missing a great cross, before Igor Smolnikov could have tied things up but sent his volley high over the crossbar.

Russia tried to put together a late offensive but could barely threaten, with El Tri exploiting their one-man advantage. Mexico held on for the win to book their spot in the next round alongside Portugal, who beat New Zealand 4-0.

Related

    Mendy Gets #SharkTeam Boots from Adidas

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Mendy Gets #SharkTeam Boots from Adidas

    SoccerBible
    via SoccerBible

    Ex-Russia Coach Slutsky Sacked from TV Role for Mentioning Putin's Nemesis

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Ex-Russia Coach Slutsky Sacked from TV Role for Mentioning Putin's Nemesis

    via mirror

    Leaked: England Dropping Sterling for Rashford

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Leaked: England Dropping Sterling for Rashford

    Matt Law,
    via The Telegraph

    Neymar: My Foot's Fine

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Neymar: My Foot's Fine

    via mirror