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Mexico Advance To Confederations Cup Semifinals At The Expense Of Sorry Hosts

Mexico defeated Russia 2-1 to setup a likely semifinal match against either Germany or Chile.

Goals from Nestor Araujo and Hirving Lozano were enough to see Mexico through to the semifinals of the FIFA Confederations Cup. Russia took an early lead through Aleksandr Samedov, but Yuri Zhirkov’s red card in the 68th minute extinguished any hopes of a Russian comeback.

Portugal’s 4-0 victory over New Zealand consigned Mexico to a runners-up finish in Group A, setting up a semifinal match against, most likely, either Germany or Chile. 

Things looked bleak for El Tri in the 25th minute after Samedov’s opening goal gave Russia their ticket through to the semifinals to the delight of 40,000+ within Kazan Arena.

But Mexico found the equalizer only five minutes later. A sensational ball from Hector Herrera found Araujo in the box, and the defender sent a looping header over Igor Akinfeev.

Seven minutes into the second half, El Tri took a deserved lead through PSV Eindhoven’s latest acquisition, Hirving Lozano. Herrera was again the provider as his hopeful lump forward showcased the blistering pace of Chucky.

Staring group stage elimination in the face, the hosts promptly complicated matters when Zhirkov was shown a straight red in the 68th minute. It’s difficult to foresee Russia getting out of the group stage next summer, and, on the basis of their performance here, they’ll likely take South Africa’s mantle as the worst World Cup hosting side of all-time.