Mexico wins thriller with late Héctor Herrera goal against the CanMNT

Mexico player Héctor Herrera scores the game-winning goal at NRG Stadium

Mexico wins thriller with a late goal against the CanMNT at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. The Mexico-CanMNT is one of the Gold Cup classics. There was a lot of scuffle and excitement between the two teams. CanMNT performed admirably against the 11th ranked Mexicans (according to FIFA). However, Mexico was slightly the better team, and it played a role in them winning the game.

Mexico wins thriller with a late second-half goal

Three keys to the game

The CanMNT gave up two penalties against Mexico

CanMNT for the most part was quite good defensively, especially in the first half. For example, Kamal Miller made a good defensive play in the eighth minute. In the 16-minute, Doneil Henry blocked a shot. Lastly, Junior Hoilett made a cross pass to Tajon Buchanan to avert the Mexican press.

Unfortunately, a mistimed tackle by Henry inside the box gave Mexico their first corner of the game. It was a terrific penalty by Orbelín Pineda (link for the goal to the U.S. viewers), who kept CanMNT goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau guessing and scored at that time the go-ahead goal. It also almost cost CanMNT in the second half as Mark-Anthony Kaye committed a foul just inside the box. In the penalty, Carlo Salcedo’s penalty was stopped by CanMNT goalkeeper Crépeau, which kept the scoreline at 1-1. Credit should also be given to Mexican player Jesús Corona, who helped create those two penalty opportunities for Mexico.

The Mexicans were slightly the better team against CanMNT

As great as Canada was against Mexico, the Mexicans were slightly the better team with more scoring chances. The Mexicans had seven shots on target compared to Canada’s three. Most of their dangerous chances came late into the game. Their first two shots on target were half-chances that did not trouble the Canadian goalkeeper Crépeau.

Late in the game, Rogelio Funes Mori’s header was a few inches off-target but could have been a goal if it was on target. Then in the 90+4-Crepeau made another big save from a Rodolfo Pizarro shot.

Then in the 90+9-minute, Mexico scored the game-winner. Pizarro delivers an excellent pass to Héctor Herrera, who delivered a terrific strike. This gave Mexico the win (link to the goal for the U.S. viewers). Maybe Crepeau could have saved the shot. However, he already made two big saves before then and was in top form against the Mexicans.

CanMNT had chances to score

The CanMNT only had a few chances to score. However, for the losing team, it will most likely always be what they did not capitalize on. Canada had a few decent chances in the game.

The first one came in the 18-minute. Stephen Eustáquio got a big chance to score. He got the pass from Tesho Akindele. Jonathan Osorio then stole the ball in the 26-minute but was unable to turn that into a meaningful scoring opportunity.

On this goal, what Buchanan did was terrific (link to the goal for the U.S. viewers). His shot came from a difficult angle but still was able to find the back of the net. With plays like that Buchanan will not be staying in MLS much longer. A move to Europe seems inevitable if he keeps it up. The goal was assisted by Kaye. After that Canada, would get one more big chance. It came in the 77-minute when Theo Corbeanu’s shot was stopped by diving Mexican goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera.

Also, working on corners would also help the CanMNT. They had a lot of corners against Costa Rica and Mexico but could not seem to capitalize on that particular set piece. However, saying that, there were many more positives than negatives to talk about with the CanMNT. There is a lot to look forward to when World Cup qualifying starts.

Mexico wins thriller thanks to a late goal by Héctor Herrera – Overview

It is important to contextualize this loss against Mexico. Yes, it stings, but the main goal is still alive. That goal is to qualify for the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1986. Forcing these players to play in these types of games will mentally toughen them up when playing on the road in FIFA World Cup qualifying. This might be different this time because of COVID-19. However, the point still remains as the CanMNT will most likely feel that pressure outside of the stadium even if there are not many fans in Central America.

This game also shows the depth CanMNT has at multiple positions. A combination of yellow card accumulation and injuries played a big role in Canada not advancing to the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup Final. However, it also might help Canada qualify for the FIFA World Cup. Their first game in the final stage of World Cup qualifying will be against Honduras on September 2. The time of the game is unknown, but it will be a CanMNT home game. The game will most likely be played in Canada.

While for the Mexicans, they will get to face the Americans in the Concacaf Gold Cup Final. The Americans made the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup Final thanks to a late goal by Gyasi Zardes against guest nation Qatar. The game will take place in Paradise, Nevada at Allegiant Stadium. The game will take place on Sunday, August. 1 at 8:30 p.m. ET.

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