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Portugal and Mexico draw 2-2 in Confederations Cup

18 June 2017

Portugal's Ricardo Quaresma celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during the Confederations Cup, Group A soccer match between Portugal and Mexico, at the Kazan Arena, Russia, Sunday, June 18, 2017.

But the Portugal captain created another shooting opportunity for Quaresma with 10 minutes remaining and, although Ochoa saved comfortably, they continued to pile late pressure on Mexico.

For Mexico, a shock upset or even a draw can prove to be crucial as they are likely to be competing with host Russian Federation for second place in their group and if they can pick up anything from their opener, progressing to the knockouts will suddenly become easier.

According to Spanish paper Marca on Sunday, Real Madrid's coach Zinedine Zidane even broke off his holiday to call Ronaldo to try to persuade his star not to quit the club.

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"However, our team is not bad either, and we really think we have a chance of winning. But we're a great side too, and I'm sure we can stop him", striker Raul Jimenez, a Portuguese league and cup double victor with Benfica, told FIFA.com.

Portugal thought they had taken the lead just after 20 minutes when Pepe had the ball in the net after pouncing on a Ronaldo volley that had hit the bar, but it was ruled out for offside by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).

The result puts the sides level on one point each in Group A, behind hosts Russian Federation, who defeated New Zealand 2-0 in their opening game clash in St. Petersburg on Saturday. "It's good that we get to play it right now, in our first game". Portugal will play Mexico in a Confederations Cup, Group A soccer match scheduled for. "We're ready to face a likeable New Zealand team but we expect a hard match (on Saturday)", he told reporters on Friday. Up front, the likes of Carlos Vela and Javier Hernandez aka Chicharito will look to continue their fruitful partnership and on the whole, this Mexico unit has a very well-balanced feel to it. "In the end the result was fair as Mexico also played well".

With the game looking like it may end deadlocked at 1-1 defender Cedric popped up in the box to fire home his first worldwide goal via a deflection.

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The Portuguese sports daily A Bola published a front-page story Friday saying that Ronaldo was upset with the accusations made against him and that his decision to leave Madrid was "irreversible". The team said that he couldn't go because he was receiving post-game treatment, although it said it wasn't anything serious.

Ronaldo carried the ball into the area but was surrounded by three defenders and he passed it to Quaresma, who was free from markers on the far side of the box.

"My conscience is quite clear", Ronaldo said Wednesday as he walked from a Portugal team bus into Lisbon airport on his way to Russian Federation.

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