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Mexico: Fringe Players Draw Wales, Toulon Group Preps For China

mex-vs-wales-rose-bowl

Mexico began its final exhibition tour with a 0-0 draw at the Rose Bowl on Monday. Juan Carlos Osorio sent out an experimental XI, testing out several players to see if the final two games could show us something to help Osorio cut down his roster to the final 23.

Mexico’s match was dominant in terms of creating chances and maintaining possession but the finishing was sub-par. Wales, a talented team, did offer a good fight which helps Mexico expose players to a smart European side, as it will be needed due to playing Germany and Sweden in the group stages.

Mexico

Mexico national team during the playing of the national anthem | Photo by Jorge Galvez for The Stoppage Time | May 28, 2018

After 90 minutes of play, there were some obvious answers to who looked like a possible cut, while others made a strong case for themselves.

Mexico’s next match is on Saturday at Estadio Azteca against Scotland. They will then travel to Europe to face Denmark on June 9.

Stock up – Edson Álvarez, Érick Gutiérrez 

Edson Álvarez was placed in another odd position at right-back, this was especially odd due to the fact he is strongest as a defensive midfielder/center-back. His first 45 minutes were not bad at all but his second half stood out when he went back to defensive mid. Smart with the ball, Edson offers Osorio a little more breathing room because his other defensive midfield options are few.

Érick Gutiérrez is going to cause a little bit of a headache for JCO because of his ability to stay under control. Granted, his time with Mexico has been short, he may be able to make the final list due to his youth and experience leading Pachuca.

Stock down – Giovani dos Santos, Javier Aquino, Jesús Gallardo

Yes, I know, not all three players will be cut, but they didn’t do enough to help their case. Javier Aquino played way too one dimensional. Although he did well putting the ball on the pitch and beating a defender, he gets caught in a pickle once he cuts back. He runs out of ideas and defenses pick up on it quickly.

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Jesús Gallardo, like Aquino, will probably make the list due to a lack of choices at his position, but he did not impress, especially in the first half. He sent quite a few passes/crosses that went no one near the intended target.

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Jesus Gallardo of Mexico | Photo by Jorge Galvez for The Stoppage Time | May 28, 2018

Giovani dos Santos could very well bump Oribe Peralta off the final 23 due to his status with the team, however, his match was not what he needed to calm the criticism. One major moment that stands out is when he beat the backline defense of Wales and it was just him and the keeper. Giovani looked uneasy and sent a poor shot with his right foot at the keeper. If he is trying to win a spot, he needs to be smarter with such a big chance in a match.

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Mexico national team forward Giovani dos Santos | Photo by Jorge Galvez for The Stoppage Time | May 28, 2018

Toulon group looking sharp, preparing for the final group match

Mexico cruised to their first victory over Qatar, 4-1, and then had their most difficult match on Tuesday against England. It was an impressive match for the Mexico U21, as they outplayed the English side, despite being a goalless draw. Diego Lainez, the youngest player, was by far Mexico’s most deadly player and even deserved a penalty late in the match.

Next up is China for the Mexico U21. As of now, Mexico is first in the group with a +3 goal differential, so finalizing those chances will be crucial to maintaining their first place spot. A good win can also help the confidence and momentum, as Mexico could have what it takes to win their second Toulon tournament.

Mexico will face China on Friday morning (BeIN).

  • Mexico: 4 points, +3 GD
  • England: 4 points, +1 GD
  • China: 1 point, -1 GD
  • Qatar: 1 point, -3 GD

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