Portugal and Mexico will look to salvage some pride from the Confederations Cup when they feature in the third-place play-off on Sunday afternoon. Portugal bowed out of the final following a penalty shoot-out loss (3-0) to Chile where they failed to convert all three of their attempts. Meanwhile, Mexico were beaten fair and square by an inexperienced German club, who used their club experienced to full effect on the night. Schalke midfielder Leon Goretzka was instrumental towards the triumph as his first-half brace sealed a comfortable 4-1 win for the World Cup champions.
One notable absentee for the play-off will be Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who has left the senior squad to catch up with his newborn twins in the United States. As a result, Nani could be handed the captain’s armband as Portugal look to end the tournament on a high. However, they are unlikely to expect any let-offs from Mexico, who will be angered by the fact that they were outplayed by a young German squad. Mexico probably have the most experienced squad alongside Chile, and a win over Portugal could prove their mettle following the thumping at the hands of Joachim Loew’s side.
Players to watch for:
Bernardo Silva (Portugal): The Manchester City midfielder has not done enough to match his initial hype. Silva has looked far from his best form during the Confederations Cup, and he has one more chance to prove his credentials before switching his allegiance to his new club. Gelson Martins has been waiting in the wings for the past few games, and Silva could probably be subbed early, should he fail to make an impression.
Marco Fabian (Mexico): The 27-year-old gave it his all for Mexico against Germany as he scored a wonderful from long range. Coming as a substitute, Fabian managed to make himself a constant threat on the German side, but his efforts were not enough to help his side into the final. Carlos Vela has lost his mojo during the tournament, and he could be the one to make way for the Eintracht Frankfurt striker.
Image – Getty