After the top of Mexico‘s newest three-game pleasant run within the United States, El Tri can be heading residence with a 2-1 win over Nigeria, a 3-0 loss in opposition to Uruguay and a 0-0 draw with Ecuador. Via 270+ minutes of play, supervisor Gerardo “Tata” Martino could have realized loads 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, here is The Good, The Unhealthy and The Ugly from these video games.
The Good: Guillermo Ochoa and Fernando Beltran
Loss of life, taxes and Guillermo Ochoa thriving in web for Mexico. Though the Membership America goalkeeper can be turning 37 this July, his reflexes proceed to be at an elite stage for the nationwide workforce and relying on whom you ask, they may 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 Subject. It won’t have been the busiest evening in web, but it surely 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 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 in opposition to Nigeria and the 0-0 draw with Ecuador, and in its place within the 3-0 loss to Uruguay, the Chivas participant was an important facilitator of the ball and glorious along with his motion going ahead.
After Sunday’s draw, Martino praised the midfielder when interviewed by TUDN. “He has excellent qualities, he is courageous,” Mexico’s coach stated. “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 sequence, Beltran was a backup to a backup possibility at greatest for Mexico. Now? A beginning XI spot in Qatar is perhaps inside attain.
The Unhealthy: 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 latest appearances, there appears to be a deeper downside for Martino’s frontline. Granted, Jimenez did miss just a few good possibilities in opposition to Uruguay and Ecuador, however the blame must also 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 had been removed from threatening over the previous few video games.
Usually and outdoors of the win over Nigeria, a lot of Mexico’s gamers have actually struggled for many of this yr relating to likelihood 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 stated Martino, who has now seen his workforce go with out a objective in three of their final 4 outcomes, did not appear too anxious.
“I used to be nervous once we misplaced to the USA and Canada [in World Cup qualifying] in the midst of November final yr,” stated the supervisor after the draw with Ecuador. Every little thing that is taking place now … is to seek out the most effective 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 challenge, however one which has plagued the nationwide workforce for fairly a while. After seeming to have receded from Mexico’s friendlies this yr, the anti-gay chant made an unfortunate return through the late levels 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 Subject 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 admittedly 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 stage aimed toward followers, situations of the mantra impacted Mexico’s 2022 World Cup qualifying run to the extent that three of their video games had been closed to the general public. In Liga MX, it is nonetheless not unusual to listen to the mantra on the males’s membership stage.
Sunday’s occasion is a reminder that Mexican soccer is much from accomplished relating to coping with the mantra. Heading into the World Cup, these in cost should proceed to discover a means of constructing it a factor of the previous versus one thing that sadly defines the nationwide workforce going into the match.
Mexico’s turnaround can be a brief one, with their 2022-23 CONCACAF Nations League journey kicking off at residence in opposition to Suriname on June 11 and away in opposition to Jamaica on June 14. For the upcoming matches, Martino has shed many of the veterans and regular go-to gamers from his squad. If you happen to learn between the strains within the 16 who had been dropped and the 23 who will stay for the Nations League, it is fairly apparent that most 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 can be preventing for World Cup spots.
With a number of gamers trying to improve 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.