Saint Petersburg - Australia captain Mark Milligan converted a second-half penalty in Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Cameroon in Saint Petersburg that left both teams heading for an early Confederations Cup exit.

Cameroon midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa scored with a superb flick on the stroke of half-time, but Milligan slotted home a spot-kick on 60 minutes as both sides picked up their first point in Group B. The draw left both sides trailing Germany and Chile, who meet later in Kazan, and needing to win their final match to have any hope of reaching the semi-finals. 

Cameroon play world champions Germany in Sochi on Sunday, while the Socceroos play Copa America holders Chile in Moscow. “I am quite disappointed because we had the means to win the match,” said Zambo Anguissa, who was named man of the match. “But nothing is over, we still have a match to go against Germany. There’ll be pressure but that is why we do this job.”

Before Zambo Anguissa’s magical flick, there were few clear chances for both sides in an intense opening 45 minutes. Hugo Broos’ Cameroon relied on long balls down the flanks, a tactic that led to the opening goal, while Australia’s brightest moments resulted in Robbie Kruse firing straight at Cameroon goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa.

Matt Ryan then held a shot from Cameroon skipper Benjamin Moukandjo following a deft back-heel from Vincent Aboubakar, but the opening goal was worth the wait. A beautifully weighted pass down the right from centre-back Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui was brilliantly scooped by Zambo Anguissa over the advancing Ryan and into the net.

It was the fourth match in a row the Socceroos had conceded a goal either in the first or final minute of a half. It should have been 2-0 to Cameroon on 57 minutes when Aboubakar fired a great chance wide, leaving Broos with his head in his hands on the sidelines, just before Australia equalised.

With an hour gone, Milligan tucked away a penalty after Alex Gersbach was brought down in the area by Cameroon right-back Ernest Mabouka. The video assistant referee was consulted and confirmed the decision, with Milligan making no mistake with the spot-kick. Australia coach Ange Postecoglou threw on Tim Cahill, the country’s all-time leading scorer with 48 goals, but the 37-year-old could not break the deadlock on his 99th international appearance.

MEXICO RECOVER TO BEAT NEW ZEALAND IN FIERY CONFEDERATIONS CUP GAME: Mexico asserted their superiority in the second half against New Zealand to avoid a Confederations Cup embarrassment on Wednesday, coming from behind to win a fiery Group A encounter 2-1 that ended in a brawl.

The on-pitch fracas involved so many players that the referee had to go to touchline to assess the skirmishes on a screen, rather than just relying on video replay assistants. “It was intense, it was competitive,” New Zealand coach Anthony Hudson said after the game that was settled by Oribe Peralta’s 72nd-minute strike for Mexico. “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. So I would imagine that’s part of (the incident).”

Three players were eventually booked for their involvement in the second flashpoint of the game in the south Russian resort city of Sochi where Mexico made eight changes from the side that drew with Portugal. Tensions erupted in the first half when Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio swore at the New Zealand coaching staff over an injury to Carlos Salcedo that medics later determined would rule the defender out of the rest of the tournament.

Salcedo injured his shoulder while falling in an off-the-ball tangle with Chris Wood, who angered the Mexicans by shooting while his opponent was incapacitated on the turf. “I apologize, my words were wrong,” Osorio said through a translator of the incident captured on the official broadcast feed. “Our players and myself were shouting to stop the game but there was no reaction on the side.

“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.”

After Salcedo was carried off on a stretcher, Wood went on to put New Zealand into a surprise lead in the 42nd minute. New Zealand’s hopes of a first-ever victory in its fourth appearance at the World Cup warm-up tournament were thwarted nine minutes into the second half. Javier Aquino and Marco Fabian combined to set up Raul Jimenez to strike on the turn into the top corner.

Peralta completed Mexico’s comeback in the Fisht Stadium by meeting Javier Aquino’s cutback and sweeping a shot past goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic. “We took them to the very limit,” Hudson said after his team was eliminated with a game remaining in Group A, “and at times they couldn’t handle that.”