Mexico faced off against New Zealand to defeat them in a crushing comeback during Wednesday's second Group A matchup in Sochi, Russia.
MEXICO'S first victory in the Confederations Cup was marred as their game against New Zelanad descended into chaos in injury time. It's been a problem for Mexico in major tournaments, as they will raise their game against a big nation but struggle to match those levels when facing lesser opposition. New Zealand are a very different team to Portugal, but they are a hard team to beat. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. Moscow Standard Time at Otkrytiye Arena in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, June 21.
However, we should not rush to judgement considering that VARs are new for players, coaches and referees alike.
"We don't have a guy who could compete with Messi or Cristiano for the Ballon D'Or, but I don't think we need a guy like that", Smolov said. "I know the talent and ability of my players and we have the ability to face them".
"We will be courageous and ultimately we want to make sure the country is proud of what we do".
Midfielder Marco Rojas, who had a fine game the last time these two teams met in Nashville last October, said the team has dusted themselves off after the opening game and are up for the challenge of trying to contain a world-class team. For 95th-ranked NZ's sake, one must hope things are not too one-sided and they compete with their much-vaunted opposition, despite the clear gulf in class and rankings.
"We need to be positive, we need to be courageous".
Russian Federation go into their last group game against Mexico on Saturday in Kazan knowing that most likely nothing less than a win will be enough to claim a semifinal spot, with the Gold Cup winners widely expected to beat New Zealand in Wednesday's second Group A game. "People are very sad in Portugal and the players are thinking of all those who are suffering from what's happened".
VARs were used to great effect in a recent friendly between France and Spain but that was because the team of German officials all had "offline" training before the game. That became the genesis of the team which took Russian Federation to the semifinals of the 2008 European championship, its greatest post-Soviet success. While Denis Glushakov will be a key man in front of defence, Aleksandr Erokhin could miss out after he came off injured in the second half against New Zealand.
Federation Internationale de Football Association said before the tournament began that referees will have the power to abandon games in the face of discrimination from the stands.
But incredibly, after the referee had refereed the decision, only one player was shown a yellow card, Diego Reyes for Mexico.
The All Whites led at the break 1-0 over their stunned rivals.
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