Mexico again came from a goal down to claim a vital 2-1 win over Russia and Juan Carlos Osorio was thrilled with their fighting spirit.
Mexico head coach Juan Carlos Osorio hailed his side’s willingness to fight “until the bitter end” following their 2-1 Confederations Cup victory over Russia.
Goals from Nestor Araujo and Hirving Lozano overturned Alexander Samedov’s opener at Kazan Arena and secured El Tri’s place in the semi-finals along with Group A winners Portugal.
Osorio’s side fought from a goal down to draw with the European champions on matchday one and beat New Zealand in Sochi after Chris Wood had put them behind.
And the 56-year-old felt his players’ redoubtable spirit at these finals was underlined by Lozano’s winner, after the 21-year-old charged down a long clearance and beat Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev to the ball to score.
“We knew it would be a very hard game against a very strong opponent,” Osorio told a news conference. “They are the hosts and they really needed to win this game. They had everything to win and nothing to lose.
“I think we played very well. We are still building a team that is able to show that they have the skills and determination to play against anybody.
“We could have scored more goals if we had been able to circulate the ball better but we understand that our lads maybe had too much adrenaline. We deserved this victory and we’re really happy.
“I think, in some cases, the opponents scored very quickly [in other matches] even if they maybe didn’t deserve it. But our squad has shown again how resistant we are. We fight very hard, until the end, as we’ve seen in all the games we’ve played.
“This is something Mexican players really care about. We really care about giving everything until the bitter end. We play with strength, virility and spirit. Hirving fought for everything against the goalkeeper and really deserved that goal.
“Mexico are getting more and more used to playing against teams in different settings. We played in a stadium of more than 40,000 and against the hosts. Winning is very important for Mexican football.”
¿Cómo se dice “Estamos en semis” en Ruso?
— Selección Nacional (@miseleccionmx) June 24, 2017