Dominant Mexico Defeats Iceland 1-0 In Las Vegas

They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but Mexico will undoubtedly take some positives away from this match.

These February friendlies are always a bit of a wild card. Diluted squads, unusual locations and the determination not to get injured can often lend to a less than desirable match. Even with these issues, as a professional player, every time you put on that national team jersey, it’s an opportunity. With both teams fielding squads of mostly fringe players, El Tri were the only side to seize the chance and turn up in a one-sided affair.

The match was a platform for Mexico to show off some of its young stars. On the right wing, Jürgen Damm was a consistent threat with his pace and crossing. Every time he touched the ball, the Mexican fans rose to their feet and for good reason. Hirving Lozano matched his wing play on the left, even if his finishing left something to be desired. The Pachuca man was linked to Manchester United last summer, and it looks as if he has all the tools for a big European move.

Up front, Alan Pulido was a bustling presence with Giovani dos Santos buzzing around behind. Pulido should have done better on an early one vs. one with the Iceland keeper, but he finished Dos Santos’ free kick with a great header in the 20th minute.

Other than that, most of the excitement seemed to be off the field. 30,617 Mexico supporters packed Sam Boyd Stadium, celebrating a Wednesday night as only they can.

 

Overall, it was a measured performance in a low-stakes Vegas affair. With next month’s World Cup qualifying on the horizon, Juan Carlos Osorio and El Tri fans should justifiably be confident.

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