ESPN presents the players who stood out in the squad thanks to their performance, as well as those who fell short of expectations
The Mexican National Team maintained third place in the Concacaf qualifying round for Qatar 2022, with 21 points, below the United States (21) and Canada (25).however, the operation of those led by Gerardo Martino has been questioned due to the lack of forcefulness against the framework, as well as the periods of concern that he went through on this FIIFA Date before Jamaica, Costa Rica Y Panama.
The initial eleven that the Argentine strategist presented at the start against said third of rivals, had problems finding the goalsince against the Jamaicans they managed to come back from an adverse goal at 81′ thanks to Henry Martinwho exchanged ten minutes ago, and Alexis Vega he sealed the score two minutes later. Against Costa Rica, Mexico finished on goal on one occasion, while the Ticos put the scoring in danger. William Ochoa on three occasions and against Panama the goal came thanks to a controversial penalty on Diego Lainez at 80′.
The El Tri goalkeeper was a factor in the duels against Jamaica, Costa Rica and Panamaas several of his actions under the sticks were essential to cover multiple errors of the defense and midfield.
Against Jamaica he could do little in the goal, because a bad clearance with the head of Néstor Araujobefore a rival corner kick, left the ball in the center of the large area to be finished off by Daniel Johnson, stuck to the post and far from his gloves.
Against Costa Rica, he stopped the two most dangerous plays of the rival. At 40 ‘he intervened in a header by Celso Borges on the edge of the area and in the second period he reduced Adrián Martínez in a dangerous incursion down the left side of the ‘box’.
The left back played his first minutes in the tie and the comparisons with Jesús Gallardo and his questioned reiteration in the starting eleven appeared in the debate on networkssince it gave sufficient arguments to be considered by Gerardo Martino from the beginning.
The 23-year-old played 19 minutes against Jamaica, 28 against Costa Rica and 90 against Panamathe latter being a duel of vital importance for the Argentine strategist and his project, since a slip meant falling from the World Cup qualifying zone and setting off the alarms.
The 24-year-old striker became one of the brightest players on the pitch against Jamaica, Costa Rica and Panamabecause his placement, speed, overflow and shot contributed offensive volume to a Tri in need of generating danger in the last area of the field and goals.
Against Jamaica, he participated for 90 minutes and collaborated with a volley on the left side of the small area at 84′ that resulted in the final 1-2 and the achievement of three vital points for El Tri’s aspirations in the tie.
Against Costa Rica, Vega Rojas participated for 16 minutes and his characteristics contributed to the pressure on Costa Rica within his areahowever, did not find the combination to associate or find the winning goal. Against Panama he participated for 82 minutesin which he generated multiple dangerous plays and tried on goal on two occasions.
The ‘Tecatito’ showed signs of recovering his best soccer, compared to previous qualifying duels, and his 19-minute performance against Jamaica, with incursions into the area and centers that led to El Tri’s goals. At 82′, a diagonal from the right side of the area to the left vertex of the small ‘box’, allowed Alexis Vega to send the ball into the space that Henry Martín found to push the ball and tie the duel.
Two minutes later An attacker’s escape down the right flank towards the center of the area connected the ball with Carlos Rodríguez and a subsequent stroke left Alexis Vega in a finishing position to snatch all the points from the Caribbean team.
His actions allowed him greater prominence against Costa Rica with 74 minutes, without luck against the frame, and 22 minutes against Panamaas a revulsive to put pressure on the canaleros in the final stretch of the duel.
The moment that the attacking midfielder is going through with his club was reflected in football with the Tri shirtas he served as a starter during the three duels played during this FIFA Date and even provided an assist against Jamaica.
Against the Caribbean team, he gave the final pass so that Alexis Vega broke the tie at one goal and kept the points of the duel; at 84 ‘he received a pass from’ Tecatito ‘inside the area and pumped the ball to meet Alexis Vega, who hit first intention.
Against Costa Rica he played the first half of the duel, although he did not weigh on the field due to the bad actions of the team during the first half and against Panama he counted for the coach for 68 minutesalthough another bad duel for El Tri put their aspirations for the World Cup in jeopardy.
Given El Tri’s poor offensive performance, the offensive midfielder raised his hand once again to receive more minutes on the pitchbecause his actions with the ball make him the center of attention of the rival defense, he causes spaces within the area with his routes and unbalances with the dribbling ability he possesses in the booties.
Proof of the above is that Lainez caused the controversial penalty against Panama that meant the triumph for the Tribecause the midfielder received a double mark inside the area for which he was knocked down and the referee determined a contact in one of his ankles that resulted in a penalty shot.
It is worth mentioning that Lainez also saw action in the complement of the duel against Jamaica and also celebrated the annotations on the fieldbecause he entered the 54th minute and the comeback began in the 82nd minute.
The position as right back in the Tri is kept in constant rotation, thanks to the irregular performance of Jorge Sanchez (injured against Jamaica), Julio Cesar Dominguez (usual central defender) and ‘Chaka’ Rodríguez, Gerardo Martino’s favorite defender to occupy that position despite his constant errors in passes and centers on offense, as well as covering his flank in transition to defense.
against Jamaica, Rodríguez Alanís came on as a substitute at 4′ after an injury to Jorge Sánchez and his services on the right side were unwisedespite the permissiveness of the rival, and also lost balls in simple situations with the team deployed on the attack, which resulted in counterattacks.
Against Costa Rica, it was an election from start to finish and again showed signs of poor performancewith the same errors for which he was pointed out against Jamaica.
On the other hand, the position of left back is also going through a constant debate, because Jesús Gallardo has also given bad dividends in the positionwith questionable performances in defense that have cost El Tri goals during the tie, as well as imprecise strokes and centers in attack, against rivals that allow freedom to create opportunities.
against Jamaica, Gallardo participated, he started for 71 minutes and against Costa Rica he left the field at 62′ to make way for Gerardo Arteagawho left good feelings in his performances and took over the position for the duel against Panama.
The midfielder is going through a period without many minutes with his club and the irregular performance with the Tri shirt reflects italthough Gerardo Martino used him as a starter against Jamaica, Costa Rica and Panama.
Against the Caribbean team, Herrera left good feelings as a mixed midfielder, with key passes that helped the team’s offensive generation, however, he suffered in defense and gave spaces and balls that compromised Guillermo Ochoa’s goal.
Against Costa Rica and Panama he lost the ‘touch’ to connect balls with his more advanced teammates and maintained the bad tendency to play backwards and to the sideswith the delivery of balls to the rival in turn that even earned him criticism from the father of Rogelio Funes Mori after the duel against the selected uncle.
Like Héctor Herrera, the ‘Little Prince’, in the same functions as his teammate, suffered duels against Jamaica, Costa Rica and Panamaas he yielded the ball to the minimum pressure of the rival, failed to connect with the offensive third of El Tri and led to a belt of the field with extreme fragility, exposed to counterattacks.
Against Jamaica he played 54 minutes in which his football did little to equalize the duel before the rival’s surprise scorewhile against Panama he played the entire duel and did not show off the skills that have elevated him as team captain.
The improvement in performance that Uriel Antuna has had with his new team did not appear with his performance with the Mexican team against Jamaicasince he disappeared down the right wing in the attacking third and Gerardo Martino dispensed with his services in the 71st minute against the Caribbeans, and opted for ‘Tecatito’ Corona against the Ticos and even placed Lozano, on a changed wing, against the canaleros.
The naturalized forward jumped onto the field as a starter against Jamaica and during 71 minutes that he remained on the pitch he waited for balls inside the area that never came, with the exception of a clear shot at 63′ that he wasted with a bad shot. It is worth mentioning that Henry Martín replaced him and found himself with the partial equalizer at 82′.
Facing Costa Rica, the attacking center also performed poorly and his presence on the pitch had little weightdue to poor decisions in the face of the few shots he made.
As an addition, he came between Jesús Corona and a ball inside the area that could have meant a goal for Mexico, however, he was offside at the time of the shot and the play was invalidated.
-With information from Sergio Dominguez
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