In a tightly contested and chippy game, Mexico overcame hosts 4 – 1, Chile, front of a home crowd nearing 11.000 in Chillan, Chile. Facing arguably their toughest test yet, Mexico saw off a late surge by Chile to advance to quarterfinals.
Mexico’s goalkeeper had his worst game of the tournament. He was victimized for the first goal after being caught in no-man’s land conceding a header goal to Chile’s #16 Brian Levia. The Mexican markers did their goalie no favors as 4 chilean players got loose from their markers in this corner with Levia hammering home the opener in the 40th minute.
Mexico would waste no time as they would even the scoreline 2 minutes later as Mexico’s #9 Aguirre, #11 Magaña and #10 Zamudio would combine for the last goal scored before referee Michael Oliver would whistle a pause to the festivities.
Two key injuries that would influence the final result as Mexican left winger, #11 Magaña, and Chilean back, #3 Monilla, would be subbed out in the 50th and 60th minutes of the game respectively. Coincidentally, both players would be subbed out after landing hard on their shoulders after being challenged. The hardness of the pitch definitely contributed to the quality of play.
Mexico for their injured man would sub Monterrey midfielder, Javier Ibarra #16, and slot Pachuca starlet, Pablo Lopez #8, into left wing. Lopez had been having a quiet game as Chile had been successful in denying him time and space on the ball. The #8 would waste no time in showing Chile what was to come as he he whip in a cross minutes later that Santos Laguna Striker, #9 Aguirre, would drill into the stands at the 56th minute.
Ibarra’s impact would be felt as he started to combine with Aguirre, who instead switched to the #8 who was open 25 yards out on the left side of the pitch. The #8 would drill his into the first post as Chile netminder, Lopez #21, would stretch but ultimately fail in reaching it as the ball curled away from him. Mexico’s third goal was also from the #8’s boot as he would serve cross for Pachuca hitman, Aguirre, to guide in.
Chile enjoyed a late surge in the final 15 minutes of the game as they would play a more direct form of soccer looking to push numbers forward and overwhelm the Mexican defense. Their best chance to close the gap was snuffed out by Romero, caught out of position as #18 Walter Ponce would attempt an underweighted square pass to oncoming U de Chile Striker, #9 Mazuela.
The final goal was slotted in by Chivas Guadalajara right back, #2 Diego Cortes. Cortes would win possession and play a wide through pass to Pachuca right winger, #17 Nahum Gomez. Gomez, who subbed in for Santos Laguna winger, #7 Kevin Lara, after Mexico coach, Mario ‘Califa’s Artega, required a more physical presence, had only played 15 minutes prior to this cameo.
Mexico awaits the result of Russia V Ecuador to be played October 29, 2015 in Estadio Municipal Ester Roa Concepcion at 20:00 local time. They will do so without centerhalf Francisco Venegas’ partnership with Esquivel has created a formidable wall in defense. A silly challenge in the 43′ minute netted him a second yellow, and one game suspension. Venegas was not shy about Mexico’s objectives before the game stating, “. We like challenges. We want to show that we’ve come here for nothing less than the title”