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Gold Cup Rewind: Mexico held to shocking draw in Group A opener


Mexico’s 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup campaign did not get off to the start El Tri would have wanted, with a frustrating night ending with a 0-0 draw against Trinidad and Tobago.

The loss of Hirving Lozano in the early stages of the contest to will leave Gerardo “Tata” Martino with at least one extra concern as he looks to help his side rebound from a disappointing opening to the regional competition.

Lozano took a hard blow to the head just 15 minutes in as he collided with Trinidad goalkeeper Marvin Phillip, opening up a gash on his left eye and leading to him being replaced by the LA Galaxy’s Efraín Álvarez.

Even before Lozano’s injury, and certainly following it, Mexico struggled to break down T&T’s defense, despite controlling the run of play.

Trinidad, often playing with 10 men behind the ball, offered very little in the way of an attacking threat, but did well to limit Mexico’s attacking chances.

Jesus Corona had the best look of the first half for Mexico, only to see his poked shot well saved by Phillip. Hector Herrera also offered an attacking threat, hitting the post with one of his attempts on goal, but T&T held firm and took the match to the break still clinging to a 0-0 scoreline.

Mexico’s frustration continued in the second half, with T&T’s tactic of sitting deep and playing a very physical match working well.

Mexico had a flurry of chances late on. Corona had two looks over the course of five minutes, pushing one high 79 minutes in and forcing a sprawling save in the 84th with a shot from 25 yards out, while Orbelín Pineda had a good chance from the six-yard box in the 83rd that he pushed past the post.

El Tri continued to push deep into stoppage time, with a potential goal ruled  offside and Rogelio Funes Mori forcing another strong save out of Phillip with a header from a corner, but the goal was not to come.

Mexico will next face Guatemala on Wednesday, with T&T facing off with El Salvador in its second match on the same day.


    • Did you see him play?

      Not only oh well, thank goodness! He is going to mess up their team for years if they keep calling him in. He was worse than a traffic cone. He blocked the flow of the game through wherever he was.

    • I’ve been watching him at LAG for years. I think he is a bit overrated and isn’t going to offer much to El TRI in my opinion.

  1. That Chucky injury was awful to watch. Hope he can recover but wow that was nasty. Should have been a penalty. Trinidad was awful to watch with the way they bunkered down and let Mexico hold the ball the whole game but they got the result they wanted.

    • Sorry Cylo in no way was that a penalty. The call was also backup up by VAR. It looked like minimal contact to me shoulder to shoulder. It would have been a soft penalty like the England one in England vs Denmark. No one wants a game decided like that. Mexico should have been able to score a goal without needing a crap penalty call.

    • I hope they were paying attention to what happened to Efrain Alvarez. Poor kid got himself cap-tied tonight. What an introduction. Thrown on by a near-fired coach who is desperate to prove to his bosses that he can also recruit like Berhalter. Forced to step over the bleeding body of Lozano into a role for which he was unsuited. Then got to hear the “fans” of his new team get the team shamefully marched into the center circle. Twice. All while failing to beat one of the worst teams in CONCACAF. In front of a massive and totally one-sided crowd at JerryWorld.

      • Technically if he walked out of camp right now and never played for them again he could file switch in three years. But if he plays in one more game he is tied. (New U21 rule)

    • I’m sure the players are paying attention. Are the fans? History shows what happens in these matches. It’s hard to break teams down. There r upsets. Matches are scrappy. Happens all of the time everywhere, but some fans never seem to learn or understand this. Ever. These are almost always the so called, hard core fans. Hard core and passionate r just excuse names for a general lack of experience, emotional imbalance, delusion, and pure ignorance. The team and players never can live up to the hardcores fantasies and delusions. It’s no a plaer issue per se…..its a “smart (haha), hardcore fan issue.
      The folks I a mentioning know who they r and will of course do what the do best now…..preach, rant and get overly defensive. No one understands properly but them!

      Of course not. It’s tedious, completely predictable and ultimately sad. It won’t stop either, but u hope more learn and rise above it. as we have seen in society many cant and it can be dangerous.

      • Did you fall off that soap box? Just kidding but you do make a good point about expectations.

      • Spot on man. This stuff is never easy. Games are not won on paper. Professional athletes compete. Hell, all athletes compete. We have all been on teams that got overconfident and didn’t perform. Or overperformed against competition that was more talented.

      • All these things are true…. and particularly true of CONCACAF where bunkering, physical play, gamesmanship, poor refereeing, poor playing conditions are all world. Sports in CONCACAF can be an arena for fans and nations to act out geopolitical resentments- the frustration with economic disparity between a minuscule 3rd world nation that is playing a large nation. A draw can signify a lifetime accomplishment and a huge moral victory for an entire country vs a team that is yawning- taking a victory for granted. All this makes for an… interesting dynamic. None of this exists on the same level in UEFA. One of the beauties and sometimes frustrations with this incredible game is the unpredictability… that on any given day- any team can take another down- often with girt, bunkering and tactics that make for an interesting plot but very ugly game. When our national team was a rag-tag group of college players this was perhaps a source of hope… as the game progresses in our nation- it may feel more like a great source of frustration.

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