Monday, 20 November, 2017

Mexico 3 El Salvador 1: Defending Gold Cup Champions Win Opener

Mexico national team soccer coach Juan Carlos Osorio was suspended six matches by FIFA Mexico national team soccer coach Juan Carlos Osorio was suspended six matches by FIFA
Lucas Bell | 11 July, 2017, 00:47

El Tri does not have its best players in this competition with nearly a full Liga MX side, Erick Torres from the Houston Dynamo being the only player who does not play in Mexico on the squad.

Shifted out to the right after the break, Hernandez broke through 10 minutes into the second half and put in a risky cross for Orbelin Pineda to tap in. Mexico finished with 66 percent possession and 16 shots (seven on goal) to El Salvador's 12 (four on goal), per ESPNFC.us.

Mexico came into the Gold Cup as favorites to win the tournament and, aside from a few lapses in concentration, were clearly the better side on the day and appear ready to make good on their promise.

Playing on the left wing in the first half, Hernandez swung in the free kick from which Hegardo Marin headed in Mexico's opening goal after only eight minutes. Sunday's doubleheader in San Diego begins with Curacao-Jamaica at 4 p.m., followed by Mexico-El Salvador at 6.

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The lead returned to Mexico right before the half-hour thanks to Hernandez, and what a goal it was. However, El Salvador was resolute in defense and quick on the counter, even managing to generate more chances early on.

Once the third goal was scored, the match ended up being a training session, where Mexico worked on possession and movement of the ball. Corona collected the ball and tried to distribute it quickly by hand but miscommunication nearly gifted the El Salvadorians the lead, though Gerson Mayen's chipped effort was just too high.

Hernandez's final effort of note on the night was to just peg the El Salvador goalkeeper in the face.

El Salvador pulled one back through Nelson Bonilla to briefly level the match at 1-1 in the 10th minute, but Mexico were deserved winners with a controlled display of mesmerizing passing. It was a theme that repeated all too often for Mexico, especially in the first half, although it points to El Tri being an exciting team to watch at this Gold Cup.

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