New Zealand striker Chris Wood reflected with disappointment on a mixed evening in front of goal as Mexico secured a 2-1 comeback win in a feisty clash at Fisht Stadium.
Leeds United striker Wood opened the scoring three minutes before half-time, ending a 555-minute goal drought for the All Whites in the Confederations Cup and putting them on course for a first win in a FIFA tournament.
But the All Whites captain missed a pair of one-on-one chances either side of his goal, the latter immediately preceding Raul Jimenez’s equaliser for El Tri.
Oribe Peralta netted the winner 18 minutes before time and New Zealand pressed hard for an equaliser, with Ryan Thomas rattling the crossbar as the clock ticked down.
“It’s disappointing. We should have got a lot more from that game,” Wood said.
“I knew what this team was capable of, and that is what it is capable of, putting in against these great sides.
“We had our chances, we needed to take them and be more clinical and it would have been a different outcome
“On another day I would have had three. I am disappointed with not putting them away, especially the first one. The keeper has made a good save but I feel I should have done better but that’s football.
“The second one was a bit harder but we also had Ryan’s that hit the crossbar. We’ve had a few chances and on another day we would have won that.”
Wood’s first chance came when he was played onside by Carlos Salcedo, the Mexico defender lying prone on the turf before leaving the action with a shoulder injury.
That incident prompted angry words between the two benches and tensions spilled over on the field during stoppage time, when most players from either side were involved in a mass brawl.
“It’s nothing much, just heat of the moment stuff,” said Wood when asked for his take on the incident.
“It happens in football, it’s life. We stuck up for our players after someone went in a bit hard and heavy and they’re the same. It is what it is.”