In 2011, Mexico earned three straight defeats to finish last in their group in the Copa America of Argentina. Now four years later in Chile, Mexico have the chance of winning back the respect of their South American peers in the 2015 edition of South America’s biggest international tournament.
Mexico will open their play 123 kilometers northwest of the Chilean capital at the Estadio Sausalito in Viña del Mar. In front of El Tri will be Bolivia, who will be looking to make an impression ahead of CONMEBOL’s qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup.
What may have been a routine win in the past for Mexico, leaves Miguel Herrera’s side with no room for complacency. Indeed, Mexico are fielding a majority reserve side, leaving their better players aside for the 2015 Gold Cup.
But fans of Mexico at least hope their team show more confidence and cohesiveness than they did in their previous two games; Mexico struggled against Peru and were quickly taken out by Brazil in last Sunday’s game.
On the other hand, it’s been a rough few days for Bolivia as well. Argentina defeated them 5-0 in their last friendly, but a win on Friday could really transform their chances of getting out of their group.
Much depends on how Bolivia will approach Mexico’s defensive inconsistencies and if they can materialize their drives forward into goals.
Mexico are accustomed to making impressive runs in the Copa America, though for the second tournament in a row the circumstances for this competition hinder Mexico’s chances of achieving success.
Nonetheless, El Tri have the weight of pressure and expectation to win their first game against Bolivia. Friday’s game is more or less a must win, and only their first step in their long run for South American redemption.
Mexico Lineup: Jose de Jesus Corona; Gerardo Flores, Julio Cesar Dominguez, Rafael Marquez, Hugo Ayala, and Adrian Aldrete; Javier Guemez, Juan Carlos Medina, and Jesus “Tecatito” Corona; Eduardo Herrera and Vicente Matias Vuoso
Where to watch: Friday, June 12, 7:30pm EST, beIN Sports and beIN Sports en Español