Santa Clara, CA – Mexico’s last stop in North America for 2022 did not disappoint taking on CONMEBOL rivals Colombia. Tata’s intention here was to prepare Mexico for their World Cup group stage match against Argentina. Mexico wasted no time and quickly got on the board merely 6 minutes into the match via penalty kick delivered by Alexis Vega. Then, a brilliant dummy fake by Alexis Vega left Arteaga wide open and Mexico’s lead quickly swelled to 2-0 in just a half hour of play.
Mexico in the first half looked dynamic, fluid, and hungry. With only 54 days until the FIFA WORLD CUP, it was obvious Mexico’s starting 11 was looking to secure their spot on Tata Martino’s roster. This match really was a tale of two halves. Luis Sinisterra was subbed in for Colombia at half time and completely turned the match on its head. Within 7 minutes of his presence on the pitch, he became the author of 2 goals and drew the match level. A rocket volley by Wilmar Barrios completed Colombia’s comeback by the 68th minute.
A handful of substitutions around the hour mark killed Mexico’s momentum and the offense was completely dormant in the second half. The fans frustrations resulted in the p*to chant at the 80th minute and the referee was forced to stop the match and warn the fans.
Nestor Lorenzo after the match talked about the significance of the team’s confidence in the 2nd half. “As our confidence grew, Mexico’s diminished.” Colombia was unable to qualify for the world cup but he did wish Mexico the best of luck saying, “They have a great head coach and group of players, hopefully they can represent the Americas well.”
Tata Martino had a lot more to say in the post match press conference. I will link the entire interview here.
Overall, this was sadly Mexico’s best performance in a very long time (1st half only), and they still lost like always. “Jugar como nunca, perder como siempre.” We’ll have more thoughts and takeaways on the CantinaMX Podcast which will go live on Twitter spaces this week. We encourage you to partake in the discussion. We’ll see you then! Attendance 67,311