Hirving Lozano was MIA for the first two matches of Mexico's Confederations Cup run, not seeing a minute of playing time while sealing a switch from Pachuca to PSV. As El Tri advanced to the semifinals with a 2-1 win over Russia on Saturday, he showed exactly what the squad had been missing.
While Mexico got standout performances from center backs Nestor Araujo and Hector Moreno, and another fine outing in central midfield from Hector Herrera, it was Lozano who decided the match with an opportunistic 52nd-minute winner.
Here are Goal's full player ratings from Mexico's triumph over Russia:
GK GUILLERMO OCHOA, 6: Wasn't asked to do much but offered command of his penalty area when called upon.
D DIEGO REYES, 5: Capably filled in at right back, though he could have done better in the buildup to Aleksandr Samedov's opener. Exited late in the first half with a hamstring injury.
D NESTOR ARAUJO, 7: Drew Mexico level with a looping header and was solid enough defensively, even if he got away with a first-half challenge that should have been a penalty.
D HECTOR MORENO, 7: Offered a commanding presence in central defense, making several confident interventions. Thought he scored an insurance goal but was just a hair offside.
D MIGUEL LAYUN, 6: Had his moments getting forward at left back, even if he lacked some sharpness. Showcased his versatility with a solid second half at right back.
M JONATHAN DOS SANTOS, 6: It wasn't his most influential performance but he did play with a tireless work rate over the full 90 minutes.
M HECTOR HERRERA, 7: Picked out an array of useful passes from his deep-lying midfield role, including a perfect service to set up Araujo's equalizer.
M ANDRES GUARDADO, 5: Brought his usual calm on the ball, though it's tough to excuse the careless slide tackle that drew a yellow card — and a semifinal suspension.
F CARLOS VELA, 4: Didn't have much of an impact on the right flank before getting the hook from Juan Carlos Osorio at halftime.
F JAVIER HERNANDEZ, 6: Was a nuisance making runs up top and battling for the ball, even if the end product wasn't there.
F HIRVING LOZANO, 7: Played with pace and energy cutting in from the left flank. Gave Mexico the lead by never giving up on Herrera's hopeful ball forward and punishing a Russian defensive blunder.
D LUIS REYES, 6: Got the job done on both sides of the ball at left back and central midfield after coming on for Reyes just before halftime.
F JAVIER AQUINO, 5: Caused problems with his speed out wide but completely lost track of his man on what could have been a Russia equalizer.
D OSWALDO ALANIS, 5: Came on at left back to help Mexico close out the three points. Did see yellow in stoppage time.