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CONFEDERATIONS CUP

Blanco Gets Four Goals in Mexico Win

July 26, 1999|From Times Wire Services

Cuauhtemoc Blanco scored four goals as Mexico overwhelmed Saudi Arabia, 5-1, Sunday in front of a sellout crowd of 100,000 at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.

The victory in the fourth FIFA Confederations Cup left Mexico in first place in Group A, ahead of Bolivia and Egypt, who played to a 2-2 tie in Sunday's other game.

Despite the lopsided result, Mexico Coach Manuel Lapuente was not pleased.

"Our crowd deserved satisfaction," he said. "We did not play a good game, but we played to win. It was a hard-fought game, but we knew how to handle it."

Blanco had promised at least one goal to his son, Cuauhtemoc Jr, who celebrated his birthday on Sunday. Instead, the Saudis' poor defending allowed him four.

Blanco opened his account in the 10th minute, deflecting a Pavel Pardo free kick past Saudi goalkeeper Mohammed Al Deayea.

Eight minutes later, he made it 2-0 with a header off a corner kick. Jose Manuel Abundis then scored to give Mexico a 3-0 lead by halftime.

Saudi Arabia cut the deficit to 3-1 when Nawaf Al Temyat netted a penalty kick after a clumsy foul by Claudio Suarez, but Blanco then took charge again.

He completed his hat-trick in the 68th minute, heading in another free kick by Pardo, and closed out the scoring in the 77th minute when he headed in a cross from Jesus Arellano.

It was the first time in his career that Blanco had scored four goals in a game.

The eight-nation tournament resumes Wednesday when the U.S. plays Brazil and Germany plays New Zealand at Jalisco Stadium in Guadalajara.

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