1) The goals finally arrived for the Mexican forwards.
It had been three games since the last time a Mexican forward scored a goal, and on Monday, Vicente Matias Vuoso and Raul Jimenez each got on the scoreline for El Tri.
It is quite simple, if your forwards score goals then you have a pretty good chance of getting a result. As Mexico have experienced in the past, you can be as dominant as you want, but you need to be clinical if you want to get points.
It was also welcoming watching Raul Jimenez score a goal. He is a talented player, but his confidence had been missing the past few months. This goal can only do him good.
2) Mexico capitalized on Chile’s weaknesses.
In a game of high intensity like today’s, it is easy to give all the praise to the players. However, Miguel Herrera had a battle of his own on the touchline, and he did well against an exemplary Chile side that is managed by Jorge Sampaoli.
One can go back to the previous friendly between these two teams where Mexico and Chile finished scoreless. Chile were the better side, but if it weren’t for Javier Orozco’s lack of finishing, Mexico could have easily ran away with a victory from that game.
Today’s game mirrored that game in several aspects. Miguel Herrera found ways of getting players behind the Chilean defense, and unlike in the past, Mexico scored on their opportunities. Moreover, Mexico took advantage of Chile’s lack of size and scored from a header. Now one wonders what the result would have been if Mexico had brought their first-string side.
3) Mexico’s defense did well against Alexis Sanchez.
The question mark heading to this game was if Mexico’s defense would be able to neutralize Alexis Sanchez. It was obvious, Alexis Sanchez is pesty and fast, the kind of forward that complicates things for Mexico. On paper, it looked like Mexico’s defense was headed towards a nightmarish game.
The reality, though, was much different. Alexis struggled, and it was Arturo Vidal who shined for the Chileans. Sanchez rarely complicated things for Mexico, and El Tri’s tackles were always on point when trying to stop the Arsenal player.
4) Mexico showed resilience when they had to.
It is not easy to lose your lead twice and go down like that to the tournament hosts before eventually earning a point. We’ve seen it so many times where a team holds their head down and everything goes downhill from there. This Mexico team didn’t seem fazed by the situation at any time, and that in the very least is admirable. They weren’t the better team on Monday, but they certainly wanted it as much as Chile.
5) Mexico’s tournament still hinges on beating Ecuador.
Mexico’s tournament path is looking a lot like it did in Brazil for last year’s World Cup. After emphatically drawing the hosts, Mexico need a win to guarantee a place in the next round of the competition.
Judging by Bolivia’s shock 3-2 win over Ecuador, the task doesn’t look impossible. But if this tournament has taught us anything it’s that no team should be taken lightly.