LNTUP

Extra time winner from Adrien Silva helped Portugal seal the 3rd spot in the Confederations Cup

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Portugal won 2-1 over Mexico to claim the 3rd spot, last minute goals from Pepe and extra time winner from Adrien Silva helped their cause.

Fernando Santos’ men came into the match off the back of a shoot-out defeat to Chile in the semi-finals, in which all three of their spot-kick takers saw their efforts saved by Claudio Bravo, and there was to be a similar penalty problem at Spartak Stadium.

In the dying moments of normal time, it seemed like Juan Carlos Osorio’s Mexico will leave Russia with a win but Portugal and Pepe left it late. The Real Madrid man stepped up and snatched an equaliser in stoppage to cancel an own goal from Luis Neto.

Portugal started the match in an attacking fashion and they did had a golden opportunity to go forward as veteran Rafael Marquez was punished for a poor tackle by VAR and Portugal were awarded a spot kick. Andre Silva was given the responsibility in Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence but the youngster saw his shot brilliantly saved by Guillermo Ochoa.

Mexico’s goal continued to lead a charmed life as stand-in skipper Nani, Pizzi, Semedo and Gelson Martins all went close to breaking the deadlock.

Rui Patricio produced a brilliant one-handed stop to prevent Javier Hernandez from giving Mexico the lead against the run of play after 31 minutes.

Portugal had more attacking intent in their play in the opening hour but they conceded a goal when Javier Hernandez’s cross was deflected by Luis Neto and the ball ended at the back of the net.

Portugal went straight in search of an equaliser and missed three clear chances in quick succession. Andre Silva rolled a shot wide from just inside the area before Ochoa produced a brilliant one-handed save to keep out a Martins’ header, and Nani nodded wide when he met the resulting corner completely unchallenged six yards from goal.

Carlos Vela should have doubled the lead and secured Mexico’s first-ever win over Portugal in five attempts.

Hernandez was denied by a good Patricio block on the break as Portugal committed more men to the attack and their pressure told in injury time, when Pepe stretched a leg to prod in Ricardo Quaresma’s cross from the right.

Carlos Vela’s miss proved to be costly for the El Tri as the match went on to extra time and Portugal were up for the task when they got another penalty within 15 minutes of extra time. Adrien Silva stepped up and the midfielder calmly and confidently converted the spot kick to give Portugal the advantage.

Semedo and Jimenez both picked up second yellow cards for high boots in the closing stages but Portugal held firm for the bronze-medal position in their first appearance at this tournament and at the final whistle Portugal claimed the 3rd spot over Mexico at the Confederations Cup.

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