Mexico headed down to El Salvador for its second game in 2014 World cup qualifying. The environment was extremely hostile as expected…and it worked for El Salvador. The first half had very little to feel good about from a Mexico standpoint. Corona had to work a little as El Salvador had some close shots on goal, and the attack for El Tri seemed to lack much urgency. At the end of 45 minutes, Mexico was at a dead 0-0 with their El Salvadorian hosts.
The second half showed a few more opportunities for Mexico. One specific moment was a cross from Chicharito to Giovani, but the pass was just a bit too high for Gio to head it in. The play was very sloppy, and the pressure the fans and El Salvadorian attack posed was causing problems for the Mexicans. However, in the 61st minute Zavala received a go-ahead pass with numbers, yet took the shot to give Mexico the 1-0 lead. Unfortunately, the celebration was short lived as El Salvador was awarded a very dangerous free kick in the 65th minute. Pacheco stepped up to take the kick, and swerved a line drive past Corona into the net. From that point on Mexico seemed to rely on a defensive minded game plan. Mexico had a major opportunity in the 82nd minute on a free kick. The ball skidded on the pitch and Hector Moreno tried a header that was deflected off his head for the goal. The El Salvadorian felt Moreno was offside’s, but the replay shows no Mexican touches the ball before Moreno Scored.
The Mexicans are currently sitting first with 6 total points in their group. Costa Rica’s victory over Guyana (4-0) puts them at second. The next qualifier will be held on September 7th against Costa Rica at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica. For now, Mexico will look to shape up before then, and some new faces could really help Chepo de la Torre get ready for the September series of qualifiers.
and as always….