Mexico remains on cruise control heading into Sunday’s match with the U.S. Men’s National team.
El Tri continued the team’s unbeaten run in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying by easing past Honduras, 3-0, on Thursday evening. In preparation to face the rival USMNT at the Estadio Azteca on Sunday night, Juan Carlos Osorio’s side were looking for a positive result to stay on top of the group.
Hector Herrera’s 15th-minute effort from a difficult angle posed the first real threat on goal for either side before the hosts broke the deadlock. Oswaldo Alanis’ 34th-minute header from a corner kick gave Mexico a 1-0 first-half lead. Alanis’s header from the center of the box found the bottom right corner to give El Tri a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Second-half substitute Hirving Lozano doubled the Mexicans’ advantage after 63 minutes as the midfielder got on the end of Herrera’s through-ball assist and beat Donis Escober to the center of the goal. It was the 21-year-old’s second goal in World Cup qualifying.
Raul Jimenez added to the lead just three minutes later, finishing off Carlos Vela’s assist from inside the box.
At the final whistle, Mexico cruised their way to an important three points at home, which sees them now sit on 13 points (4-1-0). Honduras (1-1-3) failed to record a single shot on goal, which keeps them in fifth place on four points.
COSTA RICA, PANAMA SHARE POINTS IN SCORELESS DRAW
In the final match of the evening, 10-man Costa Rica was held to a 0-0 draw with visiting Panama in San Jose.
Oscar Ramirez’s team was the more dominant of the two sides, forcing Panama on the back-foot frequently. However, neither side could find a breakthrough at the Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica Stadium.
Celso Borges’ left-footed effort after 14 minutes forced a good early save from Jaime Penedo. Bryan Oviedo and Kendall Waston created the best first-half opportunities for the Ticos, but the sides went into the halftime break scoreless.
Panama seemed to have a lifeline prior to the hour mark as Costa Rica defender Giancarlo Gonzalez was shown a straight red card for violent conduct after a foul on Anibal Godoy.
Yoel Barcenas’ long-range effort after 65 minutes forced a strong save from Keylor Navas before the Real Madrid keeper also kept out Ismael Diaz De Leon’s similar effort just minutes later.
Joel Campbell’s late effort inside the box was saved by Penedo, who earned Man of the Match honors with the clean sheet. Penedo made four saves, while Navas made a pair.
With the USMNT’s victory over Trinidad & Tobago, Panama drops into fourth place on six points. Panama next hosts Honduras on June 13 while Costa Rica stays in second place on eight points before welcome T&T that same day.
Must win for USNT! No excuse! USNT needs crush “forces of evil” once for all.
Best results would be a Costa Rica win vs T&T and a Panama-Honduras tie. Mexico will be a tough match, so if the outcome is a loss, I hope we get a combination of all these results and stay in 3rd place. After Mexico, the schedule is very doable with home games vs. Costa Rica and Panama, with road games versus weak Honduras and T&T. Hoping for the best
Now that the US is back on track, the race for second and third is tightening up. If the US continues to win at home and can win at T&*T, we should qualify in 2nd or 3rd. There’s little margin for error, however so the team can’t let down for any game.