Portugal coach Fernando Santos will have been disappointed to concede a 91st-minute equaliser against Mexico in his side’s opening Confederations Cup game on Sunday, but he insists that a draw was a fair result.
Hector Moreno’s header ensured Mexico got the point they deserved from an entertaining encounter in Kazan.
“We played a team that has very good, technical players,” Santos said, per Goal. “At the beginning we couldn’t enjoy good control of the ball, but then we managed to balance things out and could have won it in the end.
“The result was fair as Mexico also played well.”
Captain Cristiano Ronaldo, meanwhile, remains optimistic about Portugal’s hopes of qualifying from Group A.
“It was not the result we wanted, the team had almost won and we suffered in the last minute, but this is football,” the 32-year-old said, per the Mirror.
“We still believe in qualification, we have great possibilities, because there are still two games left.
“We are calm and we have to think about the next game.
“We have to win, because if we win the next game we will be one step away from qualifying.”
Mexico never gave up
Portugal led twice through goals from Ricardo Quaresma – from Ronaldo’s beautiful assist – and Cedric Soares, who made it 2-1 with four minutes remaining.
But both times they were pegged back by a resilient Mexico side.
A video of Ronaldo speaking to Pepe after the players returned to the field for the second half appears to show the forward delivering a rather ambiguous message to his teammate.
The footage is captured by GOL. They claim that Ronaldo said to Pepe: “They’re really bad, really bad!,” although it’s not clear who the skipper was referring to.
Watch: Ronaldo’s message to Pepe
The Mexican team? The referees? The video assistants who disallowed Nani’s goal in the first half? Or even the press, who have linked Ronaldo with a move away from the Bernabeu in recent days?
VAR left Santos confused
The use of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) left Santos confused.
“Those are the rules and if [the VAR] benefits football, very well,” he added. “No one has understood it very well yet.
“It was in the previous move after Cristiano’s shot hit the crossbar. It’s very confusing.
“There was a stoppage for [Cedric Soares’] other goal, too. It is always our goals. Let’s accept it.”