Wednesday night was the final time El Tri would play in Mexico up to the World Cup. The night was special, as legendary Cuauhtémoc Blanco would suit up one last time in a Mexico kit.
The game against Israel would serve as a good exhibition, especially since Israel was a difficult opponent in their group during WCQ. It would be pivotal to see who would fight for a potential starting spot, and Herrera sent out the Following XI:
- Aguilar, Maza, Salcido, Reyes, Layún
- Brizuela, Guardado, Fabián
- Peralta, Cuauhtémoc (C)
It was a very experimental lineup, especially with Salcido and Guardado in unfamiliar territory. However, the match started off in good rhythm for Mexico, and Blanco helped keep things entertaining with his legendary footwork and precise passing.
Just before the 40th minute, Blanco was called off and the Estadio Azteca gave a spine chilling roar for the legendary Mexican.
Raúl Jiménez entered for Blanco and the energy didn’t die down. Only 3 minutes after Blanco left the pitch, Miguel Layún scored a rocket knuckle ball from distance. The goal gave Mexico a lead into half, and something felt right for once in the Azteca.
12 minutes into the second half, Miguel Layún didn’t have enough…he had yet another screamer in which Israeli keeper, Harush, was able to deflect. However, the ball rotated its way back into the goal.
Yet, the two goal lead was quieted several minutes later when Maza Rodríguez collided with keeper Corona. José de Jesús Corona laid still after the collision, and the injury was enough to bring in Guillermo Ochoa as a sub.
Mexico began to really take control of the game, and the Israeli’s found it difficult to rattle the home side.
El tri continued to pressure and in the 85th minute, Marco Fabián scored from inside the box off a deflection.
The 3-0 scoreline would remain, and Mexico left the Azteca feeling happy. Something that was a rarity in 2013. But, the enjoyment will be short lived as Ecuador awaits Mexico in Dallas, Texas.
*Update: José de Jesús Corona will make the trip to Dallas, and looks to be ok to continue with the team.