Arlington, TX- The Mexico National team returned to AT&T stadium to start their Gold Cup campaign against Trinidad and Tobago in a scoreless draw.
El Tri has the mission of repeating their previous success from the 2019 Gold Cup, where they came out on top against the U.S., their border rivals. Mexico returned to Arlington after their impressive friendly win against Iceland last month.
Mexico is the clear favorite to win this tournament. Head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino mentioned how his team needed to perform well to keep the favoritism intact.
"Lo mejor que le puede pasar al equipo es respaldar con buen rendimiento el favoritismo".
— Selección Nacional (@miseleccionmx) July 9, 2021
Mexico’s First Half Shock
El Tri played far better than Trinidad and Tobago. Mexico led the game with more shot attempts but they were not enough to open the scoreboard. The real shock of the game came in the tenth minute when Napoli winger, Hirving “Chucky” Lozano suffered a horrendous injury after an accidental collision with T&T’s goalkeeper. He stayed on the ground for ten minutes before being taken out to the hospital. The main talking point of this game was the development of Lozano’s condition.
Assistant head coach Jorge Theiler talked about their point of view from the bench:
“It was a moment of despair because we saw Lozano lying on the grass and from the bench we could not see what he had”
El partido se detiene por atención a @HirvingLozano70. 🚨
— Selección Nacional (@miseleccionmx) July 11, 2021
Second Half Action
Trinidad and Tobago’s defensive shaped held very well against Mexico. This game was previewed to be one-sided. T&T had a lone striker up front, five in their deserve lineup, and four midfielders. Tobago’s players were very compact and did not allow spaces big enough for Mexico to create goal scoring opportunities.
Trinidad and Tobago, despite being the underdog in this game, gave El Tri a couple of scares that could’ve ended in a goal. Luckily the players and fans were saved by Talavera or blocked by the defense. Trinidad’s goalkeeper Marvin Phillip put out an outstanding performance denying Mexico numerous times.
The game stopped towards the end of the second half due to the unfortunate chants coming from the Mexico fans. The “p” chant was heard, and as a result, the central ref stopped the match momentarily. The match stopped for a second time during stoppage time. It was an unfortunate thing to see that homophobic chants were heard.
Assistant head coach Jorge Theiler talked about the team’s performance:
“Chucky’s blow affected the mentality of the players when they saw their teammate like this. We generated many occasions; today there was only one protagonist on the pitch and it was us, but the ball did not go in.”
Upcoming Gold Cup Games
Following Saturday’s scoreless draw, Mexico will play two straight games in the Cotton Bowl Stadium against Guatemala and El Salvador on the 14th and 18th of July respectively.
Mexico now has the obligation to win the next two games, as a result of Saturday’s draw. With Gerardo Martino back in the bench for El Tri their team dynamic might be more threatening, and as a result end in winning games.
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