Mexico Bounce Back Big With Three Goal Win

After their opening day draw to Trinidad & Tobago, all eyes were on Mexico in match two. Facing Guatemala, who dropped their opening match, Mexico needed to avoid another upset. While the Mexicans did well to open the match up with constant pressure, once again, the opposition was able to sit back and defend. Guatemalan goalkeeper, Nicholas Hagen, put together an incredible first half, making several huge saves to keep it scoreless early.

Mexico Score Three on Guatemala, Bouncing Back Big After Disappointing Draw

However, even with the defense doing as well as they could, it wouldn’t be enough. In the 29th minute, Rogelio Funes Mori scored a screamer after doing well to posses a pass into the box. After cutting back to his right, he put a top corner curler into the back of the net, opening the Gold Cup account for Mexico. While it would be the only goal scored in the half, it wouldn’t be the last.

It take take long into the second half before Mexico doubled their lead. Rogelio Funes Mori netted a brace, finding himself on the end of some picturesque passing in the 55th minute.

The dagger came in the 79th minute, by way of an emphatic header. Orbelín Pineda was on the receiving end of a perfect cross into the box, and was able to get higher than the defense, and slam home the third goal of the night.

Match Takeaways

Tranquilo

While most of the media in Mexico began to panic after the surprising draw to Trinidad & Tobago, the team remained calm. Not overreacting or changing their tactics, they continued to do what they know works for them. Attack, often. Finishing the match with 17 shots, eight on target, and 71% possession throughout the match. While it wasn’t the 30 shots that they put together last match, they did find a lot more success this time around, netting three goals in a comfortable, and much needed win.

Facing Familiar Styles

For the second straight match Mexico faced a stacked defense. Not in terms of talent, but in terms of numbers. Both Trinidad and Guatemala kept a deep defense, often times with eight men playing back. While it isn’t necessarily parking the bus, it is often deployed when a team knows they are up against an attack heavy side. It’s a way to limit clear opportunities, and close down on any space created. That’s why a team can have 30 shots and not score a single goal, it’s a very difficult defense to break down, and when you add talented players, it becomes near impossible. While it remains to be seen if this is how every team will line-up against Mexico, expect to see it a fair few more times should they advance.

The Last Word

As expected, Mexico responded after their disappointing draw to start the tournament. With this win, they now have four points, and sit at second place. The next match against an unbeaten El Salvador side, will be the biggest of the tournament. A loss sees them dependent on the results of the other group stage match, which could leave them eliminated early. A draw, and they will safely advance, albeit as the second-placed team with more difficult seeding. However, a win over El Salvador will see them right the ship, advance as the winners of the group with seven points, and set the stage for a potential meeting with their bitter rivals for Gold Cup glory.

 

 

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