Mexico played to a scoreless draw at the Azteca Stadium against Jamaica in the opening game of the hexagonal stage of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.
The teams split the points on Wednesday night.
This is the first point that Jamaica has won in their seven visits to Mexico.
Jamaica launched the first serious attack. In the sixth minute McAnuff took a shot that hit the post then made it’s way toward the goal line. Jesus Corona launched to make the save and kept the score at zero.
Mexico attempted to attack, but passes missed their mark and did not build up to a significant attack.
Jorge Torres Nilo made an attempt in the 29th minute, but the ball flew just wide of the corner post.
The first half ended with both teams equal with zero goals.
Back for the second half it was Hector Herrera who made an attempt for Mexico in the 47th minute. Herrera shot with the right, but Ricketts made the save to keep his net under control.
Mexico continued to move forward but with no avail.
It was Salcido in the 64th minute who seemed to have one of Mexico’s best opportunities. Chicharito had left the ball for Salcido in front of goal. Salcido shot but Ricketts made a spectacular block to continue the defense of his goal.
A mistake from Andres Guardado saw Johnson intercept the ball and make his way toward the goal. However, his weak shot in the 67th minute went straight to Corona’s hands.
Mexico’s fans then turned against the team. The audience Ole’d at Jamaica’s string of passes and boo’ed at Mexico’s touches.
Six minutes were added to the clock after Oribe Peralta had received a bruising knock to the face.
In added time Chicharito had an opportunity to put Mexico ahead, but Ricketts was able to make the save and help Jamaica earn a point at the Azteca.
Mexico: Corona, Aguilar, Moreno, Rodríguez, Torres Nilo; Herrera(Reyna), Salcido; dos Santos(Aquino), Guardado(Fabian); Peralta, Chicharito
Jamaica: Ricketts, Nosworthy, Mariappa, Taylor, Phillips, Elliot, Austin, J. Johnson(Robinson), McCleary(Daley), McAnuff, R. Johnson(Stewart).
This was not the game that many expected Mexico to play, especially against a team like Jamaica.
However, it’s not a discredit to Jamaica. They made their attempts and had a great performance by Ricketts to earn a point. This is also the team that defeated the US prior to the hexagonal stages.
‘Chepo’s’ formation left much to be desired, and when it wasn’t working he took a while to change it up.
But some of the blame also falls on the players. Passing was sloppy and inconsistent. They were also caught a few times by Jamaican players in situations that could have been game marking if it hadn’t been for Corona.
Mexico faces Honduras on March 22 in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. The team is tough, and if Mexico doesn’t see an improvement the hexagonal might just be a little bit more difficult to pass than expected.
Honduras beat the United States 2-1 at San Pedro Sula, and although the US didn’t play well either, the Central American team is a serious contender for a spot to the World Cup.