Football

Silva lining for Portugal

Ronaldo-less European champions come back from the brink to seal third spot

 

THIRD-PLACE PLAY-OFF
PORTUGAL MEXICO
2 1
(Pepe 90+1, Adrien Silva 104-pen) (Luis Neto 54-og)

An extra-time penalty from Adrien Silva gave Portugal a 2-1 win over Mexico and third place in the 2017 Confederations Cup yesterday.

Portugal, who missed a spot-kick given thanks to the video assistant referee 16 minutes into the match, were awarded a second penalty after 104 minutes when Miguel Layun handled the ball.

Silva converted the kick to give the European champions a hard-fought victory.

The win came after Pepe saved his side with an equaliser in the 91st minute, hurling himself at a cross to knock the ball past Man-of-the-Match Guillermo Ochoa with the sole of his boot.

Mexico, champions of this tournament in 1999, had taken the lead after 54 minutes when goalkeeper Rui Patricio missed a Chicharito cross and the ball bounced in off Luis Neto's leg for an own goal.

Portugal had Nelson Semedo sent off for a second booking after 106 minutes, and Mexico's Raul Jimenez was shown the red card six minutes later as both sides went all out for the win.

Mexico's Colombian coach Juan Carlos Osorio was also sent to the stands in the dying seconds after protesting about a decision not to consult the video referee over a penalty claim.

The result means Portugal are still unbeaten against Mexico in five encounters dating back to 1969.

Portugal coach Fernando Santos said during the post-match press conference: "This wasn't the game we wanted to play but we feel content with the outcome.

"Both teams were good but I think we deserved the win in the end."

Although his team lost yesterday, Mexico's goalkeeper Ochoa was pleased with how they performed at the tournament.

He said: "As a Mexican and a national team player I feel very proud of our performance, and even the fans recognised that we were very good after the matches.

"We will come back and be better next year."

World champions Germany faced South American champions Chile in the final in St Petersburg this morning (Singapore time). - WIRE SERVICES