Mexico defeated Canada with goals from Raul Jimenez and Marco Fabian.
Three points are enough to position Mexico in the next round of the Gold Cup tournament.
Canada: Borjan; Ledgerwood, Edgar, De Guzman, Haber(Ricketts 45′), Nakajima-Farran(Porter 61′), Piette, Bekker(Aleman 82′), De Jong, Henry, Osorio
Mexico: Jonathan Orozco, Joel Huiqui, Luis Montes, Juan Carlos Valenzuela, Miguel Layun, Adrian Aldrete, Jorge Enriquez(Alejandro Castro 53′), Efrain Velarde, Raul Jiménez, Marco Fabian(Javier Orozco 77′), Rafael Marquez Lugo(Miguel Angel Ponce 72′)
Mexico earned a corner in the opening minutes of the game, but the ball ended up back at goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco’s feet.
In the fifth minute Marco Fabian took a free kick, but Milan Borjan was able to send to a corner.
Canada attempted to earn opportunities of their own and moved up the field to attack Mexico’s goal.
It was Rafael Marquez Lugo who had an opportunity for Mexico in the 18th minute, but a weak shot ended up in Borjan’s hands.
Samuel Piette had a chance for Canada in the 28th minute. The Canadian player headed the ball toward Mexico’s goal at a tough angle, but Orozco was able to catch on time and keep the score level.
Mexico took the lead in the 41st minute. A corner kick from the right let ‘Chaton’ Enriquez set up the ball for Raul Jimenez who scored with a diving header to give Mexico the 1-0 lead.
Enriquez left the field early in the second half with an injury. In the 50th minute during play ‘Chaton’ went down clutching his right hamstring and signaling for a change.
Minutes later Mexico double their lead. In the 55th minutes Fabian went down at the edge of the box and was awarded a penalty.
Fabian stepped up to take the penalty and slotted the ball to the back of the net with a swift and hard shot.
In the 89th minute Canada received a free kick at the edge of the box. Marcel de Jong stepped up to take the shot and surprised with a potent hit that shook the crossbar.
Mexico’s turn to hit the crossbar came in the 91st minute. Javier Orozco attempted a header in front of goal, but his shot hit the crossbar.
The two goals were enough against Canada to earn all three points.
Though Mexico could have performed better, a win is a win. It seems like the team has been down emotionally and hopefully this win will help get them back on track mentally.
There were some individual players who helped Mexico improve their collective performance. Miguel Layun did well and had a good understanding in the back.
However, one thing that I was a bit confused on was Huiqui as captain. This is a young squad sure, and usually those that are older are given the role. What Mexico needs is a strong leader on the field to help with the current mentality. I don’t get that from Huiqui.
Mexico sits in second place with a game left to play. Panama currently sits in first place with a game against Canada next. Canada needs a miracle to advance to the next round, but based on performances in the group it seems like Panama will take that game. That would leave Panama in first place of Group A. Mexico would go through as second provided that they beat Martinique. Opponents remain to be seen pending on remaining group B and C games. But it seems like things are going on as planned in terms of making it to the next round of the tournament.
As for ‘Chepo,’ he still seems to be stuck on his ways. He played defensively against Canada when it would have been a good time to throw the guys forward. Canada had opportunities but some experimentation could have been done.
He has the opportunity to switch things up against Martinique and rotate some of the squad.
As of now the win will placate some. However, there are some that are surely calling for his head. Is this latest win enough to keep things as they are? Or does this win mean very little?