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Mexico hit out at NZ sportsmanship

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/06/2017

Mexico's coach has questioned the sportsmanship of the All Whites following their testy clash at the Confederations Cup.

A 2-1 win to Mexico ended on a spiteful note, with several players from both teams involved in a scuffle after New Zealand defender Michael Boxall was held back by his shirt.

A physical affair featured 37 free kicks in total and several skirmishes.

A flashpoint came midway through the first half when Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio swore at the New Zealand coaching staff.

The spark was Chris Wood shooting at goal while Mexico defender Carlos Salcedo was down injured after his left shoulder was hurt in an off-the-ball tangle with the striker.

Osorio says the All Whites should have stopped playing at that point so the injury could be assessed. Salcedo was subsequently stretchered off.

"I apologise, my words were wrong," Osorio said through a translator.

"Our players and myself were shouting to stop the game but there was no reaction on the side."

Osorio was keen to share the blame.

"The game was really rough and violent. That's unacceptable and why I lost my temper.

"I felt very offended and I had some insults in my direction in Spanish.

"It's true that the camera shows some things I said but (New Zealand's) assistant coach is responsible for what happened."

All Whites counterpart Anthony Hudson conceded the game was physical but suggested the competitive display of his little-fancied team was behind the Mexicans' angry response to some incidents.

"If I was a big team in world football and we were taken right to the edge by a smaller team like New Zealand there's a certain amount of discomfort there and big pressure," he said.

"So I would imagine that's part of it."

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