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Mexico stage late comeback to grab an emphatic 2-2 draw vs. Portugal

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Portugal v Mexico: Group A - FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images

Hector Moreno scored a last-minute header as Mexico twice fought back from a goal down to secure a draw over European Champions Portugal in their 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup debut.

From the start, in playing direct with Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal looked like a team willing to remain deep and attack on the counter. Mexico, on the other hand, played with an intensity that gave El Tri more of the ball.

But it was the European Champions who had the better opening chances and it looked like they had taken the lead when Pepe scored following a set-piece situation, only for the virtual assistant referee (VAR) to call the goal back for an apparent offside.

However, moments later, Cristiano Ronaldo took advantage of a Carlos Salcedo error to lay the ball off to Ricardo Quaresma, who pounced from close range to give Portugal the lead.

Unlike so often in recent times, Mexico’s confidence did not suffer, and in the 42nd minute, Carlos Vela received a cross inside the box for Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez. Chicharito then anticipated his marker to power in a header for the 1-1.

After a first half largely built on Mexico having more of the ball, the second half was a bit more even, with Portugal continuing to have the better chances off misplaced Mexican passes.

The game was 82 minutes old when new AC Milan forward Andre Silva was introduced in place of Quaresma. Silva had almost an immediate impact when he forced Guillermo Ochoa to an acrobatic save.

In total, Ochoa was one of Mexico’s key players, making three key interventions for El Tri.

By the time the clock reached the 86th minute, Portugal had taken the lead. Gelson Martins stretched the field down the left-hand side before forcing Hector Herrera to a failed desperate clearance. Cedric Soares was there to pick up the ball and fire in the go-ahead goal.

Mexico did not lose belief, and in the 91st minuted, Hector Moreno rose above his defender to head in a Jonathan dos Santos corner to give Mexico an emphatic point over the European champions.

Mexico next take the field on Wednesday when they take on New Zealand at Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi, while Portugal take on hosts Russia in Moscow.