Host Russia exits Confederations Cup after loss to Mexico

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Host Russia exits Confederations Cup after loss to Mexico
Host Russia exits Confederations Cup after loss to Mexico

KAZAN, Russia (AP) – Host nation Russia fought valiantly effort but could not avoid early elimination at the Confederations Cup after a 2-1 loss to Mexico on Saturday, a result that secured the Mexicans in the semifinals of the World Cup warm-up tournament.

Portugal also advanced from Group A after beating last-place New Zealand in St. Petersburg.

Needing a victory to advance from its difficult group, the hosts played well and took the lead with a goal by Alexander Samedov in the first half, but the experienced Mexicans equalized with Nestor Araujo before halftime and secured the victory early in the second with a goal by Hirving Lozano after a blunder by Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.

The Russians had plenty of chances, but poor finishing kept them from earning a better result. Several players missed clear scoring opportunities throughout the match in front of 41,585 fans at Kazan Arena.

Mexico had a second-half goal by defender Hector Moreno disallowed for offside after video review.

Russia was the lowest-ranked team in the eight-nation competition among continental champions plus the World Cup winner and the host nation.

Mexico’s Hirving Lozano celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal during the Confederations Cup, Group A soccer match between Mexico and Russia, at the Kazan Arena, Russia, Saturday, June 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Mexico’s Hector Herrera, top, and his teammates celebrate their side’s first goal during the Confederations Cup, Group A soccer match between Mexico and Russia, at the Kazan Arena, Russia, Saturday, June 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Mexico’s Nestor Araujo, inseen in the fram, scores during the Confederations Cup, Group A soccer match between Mexico and Russia, at the Kazan Arena, Russia, Saturday, June 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Russia’s Alexander Samedov, left, celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Confederations Cup, Group A soccer match between Mexico and Russia, at the Kazan Arena, Russia, Saturday, June 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Russia’s Alexander Samedov , left, scores during the Confederations Cup, Group A soccer match between Mexico and Russia, at the Kazan Arena, Russia, Saturday June 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Russia’s Alexander Samedov and his teammates celebrate the opening goal during the Confederations Cup, Group A soccer match between Mexico and Russia, at the Kazan Arena, Russia, Saturday, June 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Mexico’s Carlos Vela, center, is tackled by Russia’s Yury Zhirkov, left, and Fedor Kudriashov, during the Confederations Cup, Group A soccer match between Mexico and Russia, at the Kazan Arena, Russia, Saturday, June 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Russia’s Alexander Samedov, not in the frame, scores as Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa is trying to stop the ball during the Confederations Cup, Group A soccer match between Mexico and Russia, at the Kazan Arena, Russia, Saturday, June 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Mexico’s Miguel Layun, top, and his teammates celebrate their side’s first goal during the Confederations Cup, Group A soccer match between Mexico and Russia, at the Kazan Arena, Russia, Saturday, June 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Mexico’s Javier Hernandez, front, and Russia’s Georgii Dzhikiia, rear, challenge for the ball during the Confederations Cup, Group A soccer match between Mexico and Russia, at the Kazan Arena, Russia, Saturday, June 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Mexico’s Hirving Lozano celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal during the Confederations Cup, Group A soccer match between Mexico and Russia, at the Kazan Arena, Russia, Saturday, June 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
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