Mexico advanced to the Confederations Cup semifinals as Group A runners-up by rallying for a 2-1 win over hosts Russia, who were eliminated.
Russia took the lead in the 25th minute when Alexandr Erokhin missed his kick in the centre of the box but still had time to lay the ball off for Aleksandr Samedov to net the opener.
But Mexico got back level five minutes later as Nestor Araujo got on the end of Hector Herrera’s cross into the box to put a looping header over Russia keeper Igor Akinfeev.
Mexico completed their comeback shortly after half-time when Herrera launched a long ball forward from his own third. It took a high bounce just outside the box, and Hirving Lozano beat Akinfeev to the ball to head home.
Moments later, Hector Moreno thought he had a third goal for Mexico — which would have seen them take the group lead over Portugal — but it was ruled out for offside following a video review.
And in the 68th minute, Russia’s hopes of an equaliser were dealt a blow when Yuri Zhirkov was sent off with a second yellow card after elbowing Miguel Layun.
Mexico continued to push for a third goal in pursuit of topping the group, but a late goal in the group’s other game gave Portugal a cushion to top the group on goal difference.
Mexico will next face the winners of Group B in Sochi on Thursday, when Andres Guardado will be suspended because of yellow card accumulation.
– Bowale Odutola