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:
Selección Nacional @miseleccionmx
🚨 ALINEACIÓN LISTA 🚨 XI Inicial presentado por @MovistarMX: #PasiónQueConecta | #SomosMéxico https://t.co/ln7ZgMLaR22017-6-24 13:42:58
Сборная России @TeamRussia
Squad of @TeamRussia #MEXRUS https://t.co/MLFiSUsTll2017-6-24 13:54:28
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:
Gabriele Marcotti @Marcotti
Mexican nightmare continues... Russia hit post, then Samedov puts host nation ahead. Russia 1, Mexico 0.2017-6-24 15:25:29
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:
Lars Pollmann @LarsPollmann
What's Akinfeev even trying to do there2017-6-24 15:32:14
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:
Gabriele Marcotti @Marcotti
Uh-oh Akinfeev! Mexico 2-1 up... more questionable goalkeeping but plenty of bravery from Hirving Lozano...2017-6-24 16:10:30
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:
Toke Theilade @TokeTheilade
And now the embarrassment is total as Yuri Zhirkov, the oldest player in the squad, is sent off. Horrible. Another Russian disaster.2017-6-24 16:26:03
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.