Hector Moreno saves Mexico with a 90′ goal against Portugal
Defending looked optional at times during an entertaining 2-2 draw between Mexico and Portugal at the Confederations Cup on Sunday. Cristiano Ronaldo and “Chicharito” Javier Hernandez were the stars of the first half, but the second half’s two goals were scored by a pair of defenders.
The referee made use of the new Video Assistant Referee technology in the first half, as a Portugal goal was disallowed. Pepe scored a rebound after Ronaldo hit the crossbar in the 20th minute, but VAR determined that Pepe was offside on the initial shot.
Portugal still went on to take the lead shortly afterwards, with Ronaldo setting up Ricardo Quaresma. The goal was possible thanks to an error by Carlos Salcedo, who badly misjudged a header, whiffing as the ball fell to Ronaldo. He drew three defenders to him, then squared to a wide open Quaresma, who juked Guillermo Ochoa before scoring.
El Tri found an equalizer before halftime though, thanks to Chicharito. Miguel Layún started the attack with a switch to Carlos Vela, who created enough space for himself to play a cross. It was perfectly placed for Chicharito to get a head on the ball, and Mexico’s all-time leading scorer converted.
The game was changed considerably by both managers’ use of substitutions. Gelson Martins and Andre Silva made big positive impacts off the bench, while Juan Carlos Osorio’s decisions to take off Vela and switch to a back three put Portugal well in control of the match.
In the 86th minute, Portugal broke through, scoring what they thought would be a winner. A cross by Martins was parried away by Ochoa, but right to the feet of right back Cedric, who scored from close range to put Portugal ahead.
But despite their bad tactical choices, Mexico fought back, winning a corner and converting from it in stoppage time. Hector Moreno — who lost Quaresma on the first goal of the match — made amends for his error by beating José Fonte and powering a header into the back of the net to secure a draw for El Tri.