SEATTLE- Without much improvement the Mexican National Team was able to beat Canada 2-0 in the second game of Group A in this Gold Cup. El Tri manager Jose Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre will be able to shake off the “Fuera Chepo” chants from the Mexican fans and media, for now.
With this win the Mexicans now have three points and sit in second place of Group A behind Panama who has six points. The Caribbean side Martinique is tied in point s with Mexico, but has a less goal difference and are now in third place; and the Canadians are at the bottom of the group with no points.
Mexico started the game with an intense rhythm. True to the “Chepo” style the team looked to attack down the wings of the field. The left back Adrain Aldrete joined in the attack often, while right back Miguel Layun took a while to build the confidence to go up.
The entire Mexican squad put in an extreme effort to win the ball back and start the attack as quickly as possible. But the same problems that we have seen Mexico struggle with in World Cup Qualifiers, Confederations Cup, and the first game of this Gold Cup were still present; Mexico can move the ball up the field, but in the final third they get stuck. They seem to run out of ideas on this part of the field.
Mexico was able to open up the scoring just before halftime through Raul Jimenez. From a Marco Fabian corner kick, Jorge Enriquez was able to prolong the ball from the near post into the center of the box. The young Mexican striker was left completely open and with a decisive header sent the ball into the back of the net.
The goal took the pressure off of the Mexican players, and they were able to navigate through the rest of the game with ease. El Tri controlled the ball put were still lacking depth in their attacks.
The second goal came through a Marco Fabian penalty. It was a rather soft penalty; after a good combination play between Jimenez and Rafael Marquez-Lugo the ball was played to Fabian in the center of the box. Fabian seemed to trip with the floor and/or the defender’s foot. The referee did not hesitate to point to the spot.
Canada did not pressure the Mexican defense too much. In the final minutes of the game the Canadians had a free kick just outside of the box, the ball was shot with a lot of power and it slammed off of the cross bar.
The Mexican National Team will now face Martinique in the final group game of the Gold Cup. A draw for the Mexicans will be good enough to secure second place in the group. If Mexico want to win the group they must beat the Caribbean side and hope that Canada beats Panama.