After the top of Mexico’s newest three-game pleasant run in the USA, El Tri will likely be heading house with a 2-1 win over Nigeria, a 3-0 loss towards Uruguay and a 0-0 draw with Ecuador. By 270+ minutes of play, supervisor Gerardo “Tata” Martino can have discovered lots about his squad as they proceed preparations for the 2022 World Cup.
In an effort to focus on what labored, what did not and what stood out for El Tri, this is The Good, The Dangerous and The Ugly from these video games.
The Good: Guillermo Ochoa and Fernando Beltran
Dying, taxes and Guillermo Ochoa thriving in web for Mexico. Though the Membership America goalkeeper will likely be turning 37 this July, his reflexes proceed to be at an elite degree for the nationwide staff and relying on whom you ask, they could even be getting higher.
Throughout Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Ecuador, Ochoa was impeccable in holding their South American opponents scoreless at Chicago’s Soldier Area. It won’t have been the busiest evening in web, nevertheless it was as soon as once more an indication of his assured standing as a starter after beforehand incomes 5 clear sheets in El Tri‘s final 5 matches of World Cup qualifying this yr.
Within the midfield, Fernando Beltran, 24, can also be price highlighting. Of all of the gamers concerned within the newest friendlies, Beltran has improved probably the most. As a starter in each the 2-1 win towards Nigeria and the 0-0 draw with Ecuador, and as an alternative within the 3-0 loss to Uruguay, the Chivas participant was an important facilitator of the ball and wonderful together with his motion going ahead.
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After Sunday’s draw, Martino praised the midfielder when interviewed by TUDN. “He has superb qualities, he is courageous,” Mexico’s coach mentioned. “Not even I assumed that Fernando was going to play so many minutes, so many video games and two as a starter.”
Heading into the three-game pleasant collection, Beltran was a backup to a backup possibility at finest for Mexico. Now? A beginning XI spot in Qatar may be inside attain.
The Dangerous: No one’s scoring the objectives …
It isn’t simply Raul Jimenez struggling to seek out the goal. Whereas many Mexico followers have pointed the finger on the Wolves’ striker, who did not rating for El Tri in his two current appearances, there appears to be a deeper drawback for Martino’s frontline. Granted, Jimenez did miss a couple of good probabilities towards Uruguay and Ecuador, however the blame also needs to land on the shoulders of those that didn’t meaningfully join with the striker within the field.
Alongside him, Alexis Vega was far too quiet and winger Jesus “Tecatito” Corona suffered an damage that pressured an early substitution within the draw with Ecuador. In his place, Uriel Antuna did not provide a lot going ahead. Captain and attacking midfielder Andres Guardado wasn’t as influential as he ought to have been, and in help, the high-pressing fullbacks have been removed from threatening over the previous few video games.
On the whole and outdoors of the win over Nigeria, a lot of Mexico’s gamers have actually struggled for many of this yr on the subject of probability creation and decision-making as soon as within the opposition’s finish of the pitch. In 10 video games (all competitions) in 2022, El Tri have scored simply eight occasions. That mentioned Martino, who has now seen his staff go with out a purpose in three of their final 4 outcomes, did not appear too anxious.
“I used to be frightened after we misplaced to the USA and Canada [in World Cup qualifying] in the course of November final yr,” mentioned the supervisor after the draw with Ecuador. All the things that is occurring now … is to seek out the very best set-up and discover the variations that we may have in a World Cup.”
The Ugly: The return of the anti-gay GK chant
That is an off-the-field subject, however one which has plagued the nationwide staff for fairly a while. After seeming to have receded from Mexico’s friendlies this yr, the anti-gay chant made an unlucky return through the late phases of the scoreless draw with Ecuador. Annoyed by questionable officiating and a scarcity of a penalty name in Mexico’s favor, tens of 1000’s of followers in Soldier Area belted out the mantra through the eightieth minute, forcing the match to be suspended for round 5 minutes.
Sadly, this reemergence is not precisely shocking. Mexican soccer has struggled with curbing the anti-gay chant and albeit did not make a lot of an effort to take action till FIFA started handing out fines and stadium bans in recent times. Even with renewed PR campaigns and efforts on the home and worldwide degree geared toward followers, situations of the mantra impacted Mexico’s 2022 World Cup qualifying run to the extent that three of their video games have been closed to the general public. In Liga MX, it is nonetheless not unusual to listen to the mantra on the males’s membership degree.
Sunday’s occasion is a reminder that Mexican soccer is way from finished on the subject of coping with the mantra. Heading into the World Cup, these in cost should proceed to discover a means of creating it a factor of the previous versus one thing that sadly defines the nationwide staff going into the match.
Mexico’s turnaround will likely be a brief one, with their 2022-23 CONCACAF Nations League journey kicking off at house towards Suriname on June 11 and away towards Jamaica on June 14. For the upcoming matches, Martino has shed many of the veterans and typical go-to gamers from his squad. When you learn between the strains within the 16 who have been dropped and the 23 who will keep for the Nations League, it is fairly apparent that lots of the fringe, alternate and up-and-coming choices left on the 23-man roster — Marcelo Flores, Beltran and Julian Araujo, to call simply three — are ones who will likely be combating for World Cup spots.
With a number of gamers seeking to enhance their profile forward of the World Cup, Mexico will take the sector as soon as once more this Saturday at Santos Laguna’s Estadio Corona.