Mexico started out with a semi-familiar back line, at least in Molero games. Yasser Corona, Flores, Zavala as well as Captain, Nestor Araujo. The weakness in the Mexican defense seemed to lie initially with Jerry Flores, then Yasser Corona joined in with a couple of nearly fatal mistakes. Yasser was taken out at the half, as was expected. Osorio was well aware of his mistakes and noted them in the press conference after the game.
One of the attractions for this game was the opportunity to see younger up and coming players. Hirving Lozano did start the game and he was definitely dangerous, but didnt have the cohesion and help needed to make an impact in the marker.
Jurgen Damm was as speedy as ever, even coming back to recover defensively. However, the surprise player seemed to be Candido Ramirez, who hasn’t been playing much for his club, but his first touch in the 2nd half was a nice cross to Jesus Dueñas who put it in the back of the net. He looked to be on fire and energetic on the left side.
With Candido now on the left, Lozano moved to the right where he eventually sent a cross over to Rodolfo Pizarro who scored the 2nd goal for Mexico. Pachuca teammates unite!
That would wrap up the match. In a game that started off slow and scary with various defensive lapses, Senegal proved to lack finishing on the few opportunities they had. Jesus Corona came up big on a couple of them. Senegal had some spots where they showed “garra” and even went on the attack for spurts, but Mexico controlled it in the end. Two goals were what the 15,000 fans who were in attendance were waiting for.
Osorio was asked in the post game press conference by a Senegal reporter, what he thought of the Mexican defense and how Senegal was able to nearly score on 2 or 3 occasions. JCO was adamant that the reason Senegal was able to get these golden opportunities was because of individual error. He referenced the Yasser Corona error as well as a counter off a Mexican corner kick, where he instructed them to play it short. He defended the strategy of the team. He said, the scoring opportunities were not because they were created by Senegal but due to individual error, and that their system/tactics did not fail them.
JCO also talked about Chucky Lozano and almost said he was just as skilled as Tecatito, but then changed his phrasing to say “not as skilled”. Lozano is good, but needs some more growing to reach Tecatito level, but he is well on that path.
Overall the game started slow, but gained entertainment value as the youngsters got the opportunity to shine and work hard to prove to Osorio that they belong for future National Team call ups.