Javier Hernandez wants Mexico to make their dramatic late comeback against Portugal count when they face New Zealand in the Confederations Cup in Sochi on Wednesday.
New Roma recruit Hector Moreno pounced in stoppage time to snatch a 2-2 draw in Kazan, where Cedric Soares appeared to have sealed the points for the European champions.
It was the second time Juan Carlos Osorio’s men came from behind in an undulating match, with Hernandez heading home in the 42nd minute after Ricardo Quaresma opened the scoring.
The Gold Cup holders are heavy favourites heading into their next Group A assignment at Fisht Stadium, with New Zealand nursing a 2-0 defeat to Russia last Friday – a match that saw the All Whites tick past 500 minutes without a goal at the Confederations Cup
“Coming from behind leaves you with a different feeling,” Hernandez said.
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“We want to look at it with tranquillity as we don’t know if this point will be good or not until we play the remaining two group stage matches and we know if we qualify for the semi-finals.
“If we don’t then this point will mean nothing because all we want is qualifying for the next stage and to end up winning the tournament.”
Upsetting the hosts on the opening night was widely viewed as the best chance for tournament outsiders New Zealand to get some points on the board with a famous scalp, their overall ambitions lying somewhat more modestly.
However, goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic has sought to rally his team-mates and insists any negativity in the camp will not be tolerated.
— New Zealand Football (@NZ_Football) June 19, 2017
“Of course belief is still there,” said the 25-year-old, who plays for third-tier German side Unterhaching. “No one in this team is negative and never has been.
“That is one thing that if you want to be in the All Whites, you need to have that belief.
“You need to always be positive… you want to be here. If you have got a negative attitude then you don’t deserve to be here.”
New Zealand boss Andrew Hudson could seek to rebalance his team after the inclusion of attack-minded duo Kosta Barbarouses and Marco Rojas left them lacking midfield numbers against Russia’s early onslaught.
Opposite number Osorio has a long-established commitment to rotating his line-up, often to the chagrin of Mexican fans and pundits, and the combination of a swift turnaround in playing time, alongside the relative weakness of the opposition, means he should be expected to ring the changes once more.
Key Opta stats:
– These sides have met six times previously with Mexico winning on five occasions and New Zealand just once.
– Five of the six meetings between the two have come since the beginning of 2010, with Mexico winning all five. New Zealand’s solitary win over Mexico came in their first clash, a 4-0 win in August 1980.
– There have been 24 goals in the six matches between Mexico and New Zealand, an average of four per game.
– Mexico have lost just one of their last 14 games in all competitions, losing only to Croatia in May this year (W9 D4 L1).
– New Zealand are now winless in 10 Confederations Cup games (D1 L9), failing to find the net in any of their last five games in the competition.
– Mexico’s two goals in their opening game came against Portugal came from just three shots on target.
– Mexico’s top goal scorer Javier Hernandez scored his side’s opening goal of this year’s Confederations Cup and is now just two goals away from his 50th in international football; four of Mexico’s last five goals at the Confederations Cup have been scored by Hernandez.
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