Portugal coach Fernando Santos has revealed his team’s special dedication in the opening match against Mexico at the Confederations Cup on Sunday (18/06/17).
Mexico claimed a 2-2 draw with Portugal with a last-gasp equaliser by Hector Moreno
Santos’s team wore black armbands in honour of the victims of a deadly forest fire back home.
“I would like to say something on behalf of my players. People are very sad in Portugal and the players are thinking of all those who are suffering from what’s happened,” he said.
According to AFP, Ronaldo provided an assist to Ricardo Quaresma to fire Portugal ahead in the first half in Kazan, but the goal was cancelled out before the break by Mexico striker Javier Hernandez’s bullet header.
Cedric Soares restored Portugal’s lead on 86 minutes, but Hector Moreno’s stoppage-time header salvaged a point for Mexico in their Group A opener.
Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio said his team deserved their point but admitted there was work to be done going forward.
“Hector Moreno’s goal handed Mexican football a huge result. We still need to work on our finishing, we’re not efficient enough in the final third of the pitch. The next match will be very tough because New Zealand will give it their all,” he said.
On Saturday, hosts Russia beat New Zealand 2-0 in the other Group A fixture, where Russian president Vladimir Putin and legendary Brazil footballer Pele were also in attendance.
The FIFA Confederations Cup is an international association football tournament for national teams, currently held every four years by FIFA.
It is contested by the holders of each of the six (UEFA, CONMEBOL, CONCACAF, CAF, AFC, OFC) regional championships, along with the FIFA World Cup holder and the host nation, to bring the number of teams up to eight.