Don't you just love a group stage finale for a major international tournament? The only thing to rival that level of global tensions is a high school mock United Nations afterparty—French Guiana is hooking up with Indonesia; Norway just picked a fight with the Vatican.
Well, Mexico isn't trying to slang wood with Russia, per-se, but their Group A Confederations Cup showdown has been spicy. Mired with Video Assistant Referee controversy and a surprisingly early goal from the less-dominant Russia, things have not been as boring as the Portugal-New Zealand and Mexico-Russia fixtures seemed destined toward.
After Russia capitalized on a diffuse Mexico back line with a slow-roller past Ochoa, Mexico wasn't going to let their reputations tarnish. So an Andrés Guardado free kick and a save got cleaned up by a cheeky header by Néstor Araujo that floated over the keeper.
Meanwhile—just to give your remote control finger some carpal tunnel—Portugal was making easy work of New Zealand. Ronaldo was placed on the spot after a penalty, and of course you want Ronaldo taking it.
It feels a bit weird to celebrate Ronaldo for a PK being his 75th goal for Portugal—and it's a stark reminder that goals beget goals; good player will have more easy PKs handed to them than anyone—but here we are. Seventy-five. That's a fuck-ton of goals.
Bernardo Silva went on to score a second goal after Portugal ran lines through New Zealand's defense like a molten-hot knife through butter:
Seems like your safest bet to watch a better game is Mexico vs. Russia right now. Especially because Mexico just got another chip over the Russia keeper with this tidy little header after a long bomb clearance from Hector Herrera.
Whew, this is fun. Stick around for updates.
Portugal netted another for a final score of 3-0 and Mexico maintained their 2-1 lead for a win. Both teams advance to the semifinal round of the Confederations Cup. Now, the second (and only other) group of Chile, Germany, Australia, and Cameroon are up for their simultaneous games tomorrow.