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June 6, 2014
• Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts
Referee: J. Solis
• Attendance: 56292
Bruno Alves 90'+
That's all we have time for from the Gillette Stadium, as Portugal netted a stoppage time winner to beat Mexico and take additional momentum into the World Cup. El Tri fought valiantly, but a delightful header was enough to separate the two. I've been Simon Harrison and I hope to see you again next time.
There wasn't much between the two sides, but Portugal's pace on the break was just enough to swing the contest in Bento's side's favour in the late stages. Plenty of positives for Mexico, but Portugal grab the result.
FULL TIME! Portugal beat Mexico 1-0 courtesy of a stoppage time header from captain Bruno Alves, in a game which was deserving of far more goalscoring terms. El Tri give a good account of themselves, but are left ruing a late chance missed by Pulido.
90' + 3'
Assist Joao Moutinho
90' + 3'
Goal Bruno Alves
GOOOOOOOOOOAL! PORTUGAL TAKE THE LEAD THROUGH BRUNO ALVES! The captain comes up big at the right time, rising highest to steer Moutinho's free-kick delivery majestically past the outstretched hand of Ochoa! What a header!
90' + 2'
End-to-end stuff, with both teams committing plenty of players on the break in the search for the game's first elusive goal. A few niggling fouls slow things down slightly.
There are three minutes of stoppage time.
PULIDO! Mexico break, with Hernandez racing to the edge of the box and unselfishly squaring the ball back into the path of his strike partner. Eduardo is quick off his line to narrow the angle and make a great save.
Mexico are looking happy to try and retain possession in the dying embers of the game, but are playing too many inaccurate passes. Varela beats his man down the left flank with a lovely piece of skill, before hanging up a cross which is too close to Ochoa.
Portugal captain Bruno Alves goes down holding his stomach in the centre circle, after seemingly overstretching. The physio isn't required, however, despite the Zenit defender going down without any contact with any other player.
Herrera's second-half substitutes haven't had the desired effect, with the likes of Pulido and Fabian not able to get into the game. The direct play from Rafa Silva and Varela is causing El Tri come problems, with the Iberian side looking perhaps the more likely to take a late lead.
Yellow Card H. Herrera
Herrera picks up a yellow card for bringing down Rafa Silva as the young substitute raced through on goal. Mexico were in trouble after surrendering possession there, with the Porto man choosing to make a cynical foul.
We're into the final ten minutes of the contest, with those in attendance hoping for a goal. This game has had plenty of intensity, commitment and drama, but we're still yet to see the net bulge. Bruno Alves heads away a Mexico corner to ensure this theme continues.
Yellow Card Neto
Fabian and Pulido are thrown on as El Tri look for a goal, but the stalemate is beginning to look as though it could last the full 90 minutes. Neto is booked for a very high challenge on Fabian, with the Zenit defender perhaps seeing red if this was a competitive fixture.
Half chance for Peralta, as the Mexico frontman is nearly fed a cut-back, but a combination of Neto and Bruno Alves denies El Tri another half chance. A couple more substitutes strip off and prepare to come on for Herrera's men.
Rafa Silva comes into the fray for Fabio Coentrao, with the latter giving his absolute all for his country yet again. Around a quarter of an hour left to play, with mistakes in possession suddenly becoming common. Some tired legs out there, perhaps.
Mexico pick up a free-kick on the edge of the penalty box, courtesy of a scrappy foul by Pereira. Marquez can only fire his dead ball effort into the wall, before Herrera sends the rebound high and wide. Disappointing stuff!
Yellow Card João Pereira
VARELA! An early cross towards the near post picks out the substitute, but he can only guide his header tamely towards goal! Ochoa gathers and immediately looks to launch a counter-attack.
Postiga tries to steer a back post cross into the path of the advancing Coentrao, but Ochoa rises early to claim above the tenacious defender. Around 20 minutes remain for either side to grab the win and take some additional momentum and belief into the World Cup.
There's a stoppage in play, as Coentrao receives treatment for cramp. The Portugal full-back has popped up everywhere this evening, both in defence and attack - a very complete performance. This time, while shaping to shoot from the edge of the box, he was stopped in his tracks by a strong tackle from Rodriguez.
HERRERA! The Porto midfielder tries his luck yet again from 25 yards, but the strike is at a comfortable height for Eduardo to deal with. Both goalkeepers have been very busy, but the breakthrough just isn't forthcoming.
Chicharito has been a worthwhile substitute thus far, showing on the left hand side and finding the likes of Herrera on the opposite flank well. The Man United man might be renowned for his poaching abilities, but is showing that he can contribute to build up play too.
Less than half an hour remains, with both managers starting to lift their cards from their chests somewhat. We're still deadlocked at 0-0, with a lull in the atmosphere, but either team could go on to win this contest.
A couple of substitutes are being readied on the sideline, with Postiga the goalscorer that Bento is turning to for the evening. Moutinho receives some treatment after taking a blow to the jaw, but the Monaco man should be okay to continue.
HERRERA! Chicharito delivers another wonderful ball to the back post, with his teammate taking the cross down with his instep and firing a second-time volley towards goal! Eduardo is quick to get across to his near post and deny the Porto man.
Poor effort from Veloso, as the Ukraine-based midfielder can't keep the ball straight whatsoever, skewing his shot well wide from 30 yards. Still, this game remains a stalemate, but all of the signs are pointing towards a goal before we reach full time.
GUARDADO! Hernandez hangs up a good cross to the back post, with the former Valencia midfielder trying his luck with an acrobatic volley. It clunks into the side netting with Eduardo having his angles covered.
Giovani dos Santos
Dos Santos is replaced by Javier Hernandez, with the Little Pea certainly having an eye for goal and an international goalscoring record to watch. Varela takes the place of Vieirinha, who gets more minutes under his belt after returning from long-term injury at the business end of the Bundesliga season.
Excellent tackle from Rodriguez, who throws himself into Eder to halt the run of the Braga forward. The Portuguese striker rolls around holding his ankle, but that was a very clean and well-timed challenge. Both defences continue to hold firm.
Ten minutes into the second period and this tempo doesn't look like slowing down. While some of the international friendlies during the past week have been sluggish, this has been anything but. Guardardo shoots from range on his left foot once again, but can only shave the far post!
Yellow Card Bruno Alves
Bruno Alves picks up a yellow card for a poorly timed challenge on Dos Santos, leaving the Villarreal man in a heap. He gets back to his feet gingerly, but should be okay to continue - he needs to stay on and prove his starting credentials!
The second half has started in the same vein as the first finished, with real intensity! Mexico have had the better of the chances, but the bullish figure of Eder continues to be a thorn in the side of Rodriguez in the El Tri backline.
Portugal earn themselves a corner, as a Coentrao cross can't be stopped from going behind by Ochoa. The Real Madrid left-back meets the set piece, firing a low drive towards the near post, but Ochoa gets down fantastically to deny him!
Good save from Eduardo and a top clearance from Alves! End-to-end stuff from the very start! Portugal then break up the other end, but Nani's cross-cum-shot is beaten away in acrobatic fashion by Ochoa!
One change at the break for Mexico, with Ochoa coming in between the sticks in place of Corona. It's widely believed that these two goalkeepers are vying for the starting berth in this El Tri side, meaning that the former Ajaccio man will have to turn in quite a performance.
Francisco Guillermo Ochoa
The second half is underway! The opening 45 minutes was full of end-to-end action, so we can only hope for more of the same this side of the interval! Both sides' finishing touches have escaped them thus far, but as players tire, exploitable gaps are sure to appear.
Be sure to rejoin us in ten minutes time for all of the second half action, as Mexico and Portugal try to break the deadlock. The likes of Postiga, Hugo Almeida and Javier Hernandez are on the bench for both sides, meaning that we should have some goals yet!
Eder has had the vast majority of chances for El Tri, though both Vieirinha and Nani have been exciting on either flank. Mexico's pressure has been more sustained, but Portugal's defence line, even without Pepe, are holding Herrera's men at bay with relative ease.
HALF TIME! It's still goalless at the Gillette Stadium at the break, but don't let the scoreline fool you! This has been an entertaining and intense game, with plenty of chances for both sides. The lack of finishing touch might worry both managers, but plenty of attacking options lie in wait on the bench.
Yellow Card Paul Nicolás Aguilar
Portugal move the ball around patiently and look to stage a final attack of the half. Aguilar is booked for a poor challenge on Vieirinha, though the Mexico man is rather incredulous about it.
Mexico fall asleep at the back, as Nani is allowed to streak through on goal, but the winger can't take his opportunity! El Tri come back upfield, with Guardado dragging a shot narrowly wide of the target from 20 yards. This is still a very entertaining game, regardless of the scoreline!
We're into the dying stages of the first half, with neither side able to find the side's breakthrough goal. Given that Eder has usurped Postiga as Portugal's main focal point, he'll be wanting to prove to Bento that he deserves to remain first choice.
EDER! The target man connects aerially with an excellent ball from the right flank by Pereira, but the 26-year-old can only flash his header across the face of goal! He's had all of Portugal's best opportunities, but can't find his goalscoring touch.
Less than ten minutes until the interval, with Mexico bound to be the happier of the two sides thus far. Though Eder and Vieirinha have had the odd half chance for Portugal, they haven't asserted their dominance. The Braga man tries his luck on the edge of the box, releasing a volley on the turn, but Corona is happy to watch it wide.
Aguilar tries to float yet another direct delivery into the box, but Veloso is able to bring the ball out from the back for Bento's side. It's all getting a bit predictable from El Tri, with Portugal knowing that the vast majority of their opponent's attacks result in a cross from one of their wing-backs.
Vieirinha rises at the back post to try and nod a Nani delivery towards goal, but the diminutive winger can't quite jump high enough to get over it. The ball spirals into the air harmlessly and El Tri clear.
Herrera whips a wonderful corner delivery into the area, but nobody gets on the end of it, allowing for Layun to pick up the pieces on the far side. He lets fly, looking to test Eduardo from range on his near post, but gets his angles all wrong.
Vieirinha tries to break to the byeline, but the Wolfsburg man is stopped in his tracks, with Mexico clearing their lines once again. Peralta manages to wriggle beyond the tackle of Neto, but Portugal have plenty of numbers behind the ball to frustrate El Tri. Eduardo is forced to palm a Layun cross over his own crossbar under no pressure.
Mexico rally once again, building their patterns of play slowly and patiently. It appears that without their key players, Bento's men are happy to play on the break, with the likes of Nani and Vieirinha vibrant and electric when running into space on the counter.
The Mexico fans will be pleased with what they've seen thus far. Supposed wonderkid Dos Santos is living up to his past given potential, with Guardado combining well with his La Liga-based teammate. El Tri haven't controlled the game, but they've certainly posed Portugal questions.
As we approach the half hour mark, this has been a very even contest. Portugal have the cutting edge to create half chances, while Mexico have had plenty of the ball and are using their wing-backs well to create overloads on the flanks.
Eder is once again put through on goal, with Moutinho cutting through Mexico like a knife through butter! The Braga man can't quite get his footing, stalling his acceleration, which allows for Corona to rush out and make the clearance.
EDER! Good save from Corona! Almeida threads his teammate through on goal, but Eder can only steer the ball within the Mexican goalkeeper's grasp! He gets across well to his left to beat the Portuguese effort away, despite it being at a comfortable height.
EDER! The physical frontman powers a header over the crossbar from ten yards, as Andre Almeida delivered a well-weighted ball into the box. Met with conviction, but not the right direction by the Portuguese target man.
Moutinho clips a crossfield ball in behind Aguilar for Nani to chase, but once again Corona is alert to the danger and races out to collect. El Tri's goalkeeper hasn't had a bad start to the game, dealing with routine tasks solidly.
DOS SANTOS! He attempts an audacious clip to the back post, but the quality of delivery just isn't there once again. Mexico are pressing forward and reaching the final third at speed, but they're lacking a cutting edge.
Dos Santos whips in a cross from the left, but this time Veloso is on hand to make the block. Mexico are using their width, but thus far aren't able to deliver any balls in which the capable Portuguese defensive lines can't handle.
AGUILAR! Neto slides in to make an important interception! The Zenit man importantly gets in ahead of Peralta, to deny Mexico's wing-back from delivering a beautiful ball in. End to end stuff at the moment!
VIEIRINHA! The Wolfsburg man goes on a mazy run, which results in Portugal winning a corner. He cuts in onto his left foot, before forcing Corona to get down smartly to his left to cover his near post. Rafa Marquez heads away at the near post, as El Tri keep it tight early on.
Nani slides a good ball in behind Mexico's defence for the overlapping Coentrao to chase, but Corona is quick off his line to smother. Portugal are gaining confidence, with Nani in particularly looking bright and keen to prove that he deserves a place in Bento's set-up.
The opening ten minutes have passed without much in the way of incident, but Nani is looking bright. The Man United winger cuts in from the left, before Rodriguez slides in well to prevent the Portuguese from getting his shot away.
The game is just starting to settle down, with Portugal beginning to see a little more of the ball. Eder and Nani are showing themselves well as a forward two, but Corona remains merely a spectator thus far.
A frantic start, with Mexico in particular looking buoyant in front of so many of their own supporters. Possession is being shared with regularity, as both outfits look for quick transitions. Eder meets a cross deep in the El Tri penalty area, but can't turn it goalwards due to intense pressure from his marker.
The first five minutes have passed with Mexico have the better of the early opportunities. Aguilar and Layun have been able to press upfield, with Eduardo the busier of the two goalkeepers. It appears that El Tri will be fielding a different shot-stopper each half, due to Herrera being unsure of who his preferred man in between the sticks is.
Portugal may be missing the likes of Pepe, Meireles and Cristiano, but there are more than enough quality players on show to test El Tri tonight. For Herrera's men, this is almost like a home game, with a great deal of optimistic Mexican support in attendance.
Mexico have the ball in the net early on via Moreno, but the defender was caught offside! A free-kick is half-cleared before El Tri fire a second delivery into the area, with the loose ball bobbling through. Moreno forces Eduardo into a fantastic save, before poking into an empty net, but it won't count anyhow.
We are underway in the first half! Given the close proximity of the World Cup, there should be intensity on show, but both managers will be hoping that their respective nations don't add another player onto the tournament's ever-growing list of absentees. Mexico are in their customary green, while Portugal are donning white. Plenty of Mexican flags on show in the crowd!
The teams are out on the field, with the respective national anthems ringing out in front of a crowd that is split roughly equally between supporters of the two nations. Though there is nothing at stake in terms of a prize, individuals have hopes of playing in the World Cup and will look to cement their place in their manager's plans tonight.
Portugal substitutes: Postiga, Hugo Almeida, Silva, Costa, Amorim, Patricio, Varela, William.
Mexico substitutes: Fabian, Talavera, Ponce, Brizuela, Jimenez, Pena, Salcido, Reyes, Ochoa, Aquino, Hernandez, Pulido.
Only five minutes until kick-off, so be sure to stick around for all of the action as Portugal look to find their best starting options for the World Cup, while Mexico will simply want to right the wrongs of their recent defeat to Bosnia.
Portugal starting line-up: Eduardo; Pereira, Neto, Alves, Coentrao; Moutinho, Andre Almeida, Veloso; Vieirinha, Eder, Nani.
Mexico starting line-up: Corona; Aguilar, Maza, Marquez, Moreno, Layun; Vazquez, Herrera, Guardado; Dos Santos, Peralta.
TEAM NEWS: Cristiano Ronaldo is still missing for Portugal, with Eder preferred in attack to Helder Postiga. Neto and Bruno Alves make the central defensive partnership, with Vieirinha gets another chance to show what he is capable of - as does neglected Man United winger Nani. Plenty of points to prove within Bento's line-up!
TEAM NEWS: Luis Montes obviously isn't present for El Tri after his tragic injury last time out, with Javier Aquino on the substitutes bench in his place. Peralta and Dos Santos will lead the line for Herrera's side, with the likes of Guardado, Rodriguez, Marquez and Aguilar coming into the eleven. Plenty of rotation for Mexico.
I'm Simon Harrison and I will be keeping you up to date with all of the action from the Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts, as both outfits look to gain some momentum ahead of their approaching group fixtures. Portugal didn't create much in the way of expectation during their 0-0 stalemate with Greece, but several big names aren't currently at Bento's disposal.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of Mexico's international friendly against Portugal, with both teams gearing up for the World Cup in week's time. Paulo Bento's men are unbeaten in their last five games, while El Tri are coming into this game off the back of a 1-0 defeat to Brazil-bound Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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