1) Mexico’s defense was once again shaky.
It almost sounds like a broken record, but El Tri’s back-line looked shaky once again. A number of factors have contributed to Mexico manager, Miguel Herrera, making constant changes to his back-line. Injuries are one, of course, but the players given the opportunity have struggled. Diego Reyes looked overwhelmed at times, making untimely tackles, and Hugo Ayala still doesn’t look very comfortable in a line of five. Moreover, Hector Moreno didn’t add his usual cohesiveness to the equation.
Barring major injuries to Rafael Marquez or Francisco “Maza” Rodriguez, it seems unlikely that we will see this defense in the Gold Cup. However, Ayala and Reyes could be two players Herrera looks for in the future, and they may just need time.
2) Jose de Jesus Corona made Miguel Herrera’s job tougher.
If Miguel Herrera is truly struggling to find his starting goalkeeper for the Gold Cup, his job may have just got a lot tougher. Corona was sensational for Mexico today, and there wasn’t a better way for him to quiet down his doubters than with a penalty save.
3) It wasn’t Jose Juan “Gallito” Vazquez’s best game.
One player that improved a great deal under Miguel Herrera is Jose Juan “Gallito” Vazquez. For the majority of Herrera’s tenure at the helm of El Tri, Vazquez’s position went unchallenged. That may no longer be the case; Javier Guemez saw substantial time in the second-half, and Vazquez clearly struggled with a lack of conformability with his colleagues behind him. Vazquez is an excellent defensive midfielder but one with a very limited skill-set. There are now midfielders in Mexico’s player pool prying for the opportunity, and it will be interesting to see if Miguel Herrera decides to assess alternatives.
4) Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez looked like the Chicharito of old.
Andres Guardado and Hector Herrera were ever-present with good performances for the national side, but one player that equally stood out was Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez. Chicharito has only played part in 13 league games with Real Madrid this season but looked superb today on the Mexico attack. Miguel Herrera has given him the freedom to exchange positions with Giovani Dos Santos at will. In turn, Chicharito has responded with great play.
One of the characteristics that set him apart at his time at Chivas was his ability to play well without the ball. It wasn’t just the goal, but it was the intangibles. If he wasn’t winning aerial duels, he was doing his best to win the ball back. It was a complete performance from the Real Madrid striker.
5) Mexico should be cautious of Ecuador in the Copa America.
In truth, I don’t think a lot of people knew much about new Ecuador manager, Gustavo Quinteros. The chatter around Ecuadorian media was that he was a very possession-minded manager and even played with a false-nine during his times at Emelec.
In his first game in charge, Quinteros has to be delighted with what he saw on the pitch. His team found spaces behind Mexico’s midfield and had possession for long periods of the match. His only misfortune was that Jose de Jesus Corona was excellent. Undoubtedly, this Ecuador side will be better molded come June, and Mexico should be cautious ahead of their Copa America clash.