Jonathan dos Santos has long lingered on the fringes of the Mexico picture, but the time may have come for the Villarreal midfielder to officially lock down a starting spot.
Mexico twice came from behind to open its Confederations Cup campaign with a 2-2 draw against Portugal on Sunday, with goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa and striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez among the standouts.But it was Dos Santos who led El Tri with industry on both sides of the ball before setting up Hector Moreno's last-gasp equalizer, capping an impressive all-around performance.
Here are Goal's full player ratings from Mexico's draw with Portugal in Kazan, Russia:
GK GUILLERMO OCHOA, 7: Made a couple of key interventions to limit Portugal before halftime, including an athletic denial of a deflected long-range strike. Had a brilliant lunging save on Andre Silva moments before Cedric's go-ahead goal.
D CARLOS SALCEDO, 4: Saw his poor decision-making punished in the buildup to Ricardo Quaresma's opener, as his misjudged attempt at a header freed Cristiano Ronaldo down the flank. Increasingly looks like a liability at right back.
D HECTOR MORENO, 5: Was caught ball-watching on the opener, drifting toward Ronaldo — who was well contained — while completely losing track of Quaresma. Redeemed himself by heading home a gritty 91st-minute equalizer.
D DIEGO REYES, 6: Offered a sturdy defensive presence, winning his battles in central defense before seamlessly shifting to right back once Salcedo got the hook.
D MIGUEL LAYUN, 5: Put in a steady shift at left back, largely limiting Portuguese attacks down his flank. Wasn't overly influential going forward, though, and failed to close down Gelson Martins in the buildup to Cedric's strike.
M JONATHAN DOS SANTOS, 8: Was key to Mexico's dominance in possession, looking sharp on the ball while offering vigorous pressure defensively. Also played in a perfect corner to tee up Moreno's dramatic equalizer.
M HECTOR HERRERA, 5: Played tidy one-touch balls and also threaded the needle with some more ambitious passes, though his failed clearance did lead to Cedric's strike.
M ANDRES GUARDADO, 6: Provided an elegant presence in possession, serving as the catalyst for many Mexico buildups. Saw yellow for an ill-advised foul on Ronaldo.
F RAUL JIMENEZ, 6: Picked out Chicharito with a brilliant service across the box just before halftime, only to see the striker sky his effort over the bar. Worked hard on the flank, even if the end product wasn't there.
F JAVIER HERNANDEZ, 7: Popped up when he needed to, bravely nodding home the equalizer with a diving header. Also offered some clean hold-up play and tracked back at opportune moments.
F CARLOS VELA, 7: Showed impressive composure to bring the ball down and find Chicharito's head for Mexico's first equalizer. Was El Tri's most dangerous attacking presence before curiously coming off in the 57th minute.
F GIOVANI DOS SANTOS, 4: Never really found a rhythm after replacing Vela early in the second half.
D NESTOR ARAUJO, 6: Looked confident enough once he came on to help stabilize the back line.
F ORIBE PERALTA, 5: Entered the fray as Mexico searched for a late strike.