Our football match prediction:
El Tri came from behind to beat New Zealand 2-1 in a heated Confederations Cup Group A clash on Wednesday and will have to go strong against the host nation in order to maintain their top spot and secure a place in the semi-finals. Second-half goals from Raul Jimenez and Oribe Peralta helped Mexico overturn the first-half deficit against resilient New Zealand side and Juan Carlos Osorio will be heading into a vital group-stage clash against Russia with a restored confidence. El Tri cannot afford to repeat the same defensive mistakes that were visible in both matches thus far if they want to win.
Russia, on the other side, made no use of the opening victory as Stanislav Cherchesov’s men suffered a morale-blowing defeat at the hands of European champions Portugal during the week. Cristiano Ronaldo’s seventh-minute goal made all the difference in a match where Confederations Cup and World Cup hosts failed to produce a single shot on goal.
Highlighted Player (Hernandez):
Javier Hernandez or Chicharito is a 27-year-old striker who plays for German Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen. He began his professional career in 2006 playing for the Mexican club Guadalajara. His first break came in 2010, ahead of the FIFA World Cup, when he became the first Mexican player to join the English Premier League side Manchester United. He was very effective at United endearing himself to the fans with some crucial goals. Chicharito played for Real Madrid in 2014-15 season on loan and had limited success with them. But he revived his career with a move to Leverkusen in 2015 with whom he has regained his prolific scoring record. Hernandez carries his prolific form to national colors too. Having made his senior national debut in 2009, Chicharito has 43 goals from 80 games for the national team. He is the second highest goal scorer of all-time for the Mexico national team.
Highlighted Team (Russia):
While they won the 1960 European Championship, while losing in the final in 1964, 1972 and 1988 as Soviet Union, Russia have enjoyed little success since starting to compete as an independent country in 1992. Their best result up to date is the third-placed finish at the Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland, while the team failed to get past the group stage at the World Cup finals in three attempts. However, with Russian Premier League getting stronger by the day, the national team have started to improve as well, and they now finally seem capable of matching the world’s top sides. The new generation includes high-quality footballers such as Alan Dzagoev, Aleksandr Kokorin, Artyom Dzyuba and Oleg Shatov, while the likes of Igor Akinfeev, Sergei Ignashevich, Roman Shirokov and Yuri Zhirkov are nearing the closing stages of their careers. But, with plenty of exciting talent coming through the ranks, future definitely looks bright for the Russia national team.