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KAZAN, June 14. /TASS/. The national football team of Mexico arrived in the Russian Volga area city of Kazan to take part in the FIFA 2017 Confederations Cup, the international football association said in a statement.
"Reigning CONCACAF Gold Cup champions Mexico arrived in Kazan tonight, where they will kick off their seventh FIFA Confederations Cup campaign on Sunday against European champions Portugal in the Kazan Arena," FIFA said in a statement, released late on Tuesday.
Before heading to Russia, coach Juan Carlos Osorio’s team played two qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, against Honduras (3-0) and the USA (1-1).
Mexico and Brazil are the only teams to have appeared at six of the nine FIFA Confederations Cup editions to date. The Mexicans won the 1999 tournament, which makes them the only contenders taking part in the current edition to have held the trophy aloft.
The FIFA Confederations Cup, dubbed the ‘Tournament of Champions,’ is also viewed by experts as just a rehearsal, with only one year to go to the FIFA World Cup. This year’s tournament will be held between June 17 and July 2 at four stadiums in Russia and they are Spartak Stadium in Moscow, St. Petersburg Stadium, Fisht Stadium in Sochi and the Kazan Arena in Kazan.
Participants in the 2017 Confederations Cup are hosts Russia, 2014 FIFA World Cup Champions Germany, 2015 Copa America Champions Chile, 2015 AFC Asian Cup Champion Australia, 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup winners Mexico, 2016 UEFA Euro Cup champs Portugal, OFC (Oceania Football Confederation) Nations Cup victors New Zealand and 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations Champion Cameroon.
The Draw for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup was held on November 26, 2016 in the Russian city of Kazan. Following the event, hosts Russia was placed in Group A alongside Portugal, Mexico and New Zealand. Group B has brought together Germany, Chile, Australia and Cameroon.
The opening game will be held in St. Petersburg on June 17 between Russia and New Zealand. Russia will face Portugal in Moscow on June 21 and on June 24 it will go head to head with Mexico in Kazan.