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KAZAN, June 24. /TASS, Yevgeny Ionov/. Team Mexico cruised past Russia with 2-1 win in the third and final group stage match of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, knocking the hosts out from further battle for the trophy.
The Russian and Mexican football teams faced each other previously 23 years ago in a friendly match in Oakland, the United States, where team Russia rocketed past the squad from Mexico with 4-1 win.
In all, both teams met each other 12 times, including the matches of Mexico against the ex-Soviet team finishing seven of them with a draw, while the Russian side won four and lost one.
Spectators' stands at the over 42,500-seat capacity stadium in Kazan, mostly occupied with Russian fans, burst with applause into 25th minute of the first half, when Russia’s midfielder Alexander Samedov opened the score putting the ball into the Mexican net.
However, five minutes later Mexican defender Nestor Araujo’s header found its way past Russia’s goaltender Igor Akinfeev and ended up in the net of the hosts, drawing the score to 1-1.
Four minutes into the 2nd half Samedov emerged again putting another ball in the goal of the Mexican team, but it was annulled since it was scored from the off-side position.
Less than three minutes after that, Mexican striker Hirving Lozano rushed out into the goal zone one on one with Russia’s goaltender Akinfeev and scored a header to bring up the advantage of his team over the hosts to 2-1.
The Russian side played rough in the second half of the match and it did not go unnoticed by referees as Fedor Kudriashov was handed a yellow card and then Russia’s midfielder Yury Zhirkov was ordered to leave the pitch getting a red card for elbowing a Mexican player in the face.
Shortly after Zhirkov’s red card Russian defender Viktor Vasin collected another yellow card for his team and with minutes remaining before the final whistle Alexander Golovin was penalized with a yellow card.
No matter how hard the Russian team sought to mend the score and grab the win, the scoreboard flashed 2-1 in favor of Mexico with the final whistle of the match.
According to organizers, a total of over 41,500 people attended tonight’s match at Kazan Arena.
This year’s FIFA Confederations Cup is 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.