The long-awaited match began living up to its hype when the fastest own-goal in the history of Copa America put Mexico ahead. The Uruguayans lost their concentration for a while and could have lost the match right there and then but as the match progressed, they managed to begin attempting to balance it little by little. But, the Mexican performance during the first half was marvellous. It reminded me of Pep Guardiola’s Bayern München in the way they controlled the ball and intercepted every single Uruguayan attempt to build anything. They just were not lethal.
The fastest own goal in the history of Copa America
Before the match started, the Chilean National hymn was played instead of the Uruguayan National hymn. How does this happen? I mean, is Peter Griffin in charge of it or what? They apologized publicly through their social networks, but the incident is still frowned upon. The Mexican fans booed those in charge, standing up for Uruguay, and the world went mad accusing the Mexicans of being disrespectful.
Anyway, after twenty-five minutes, Mexico started offering more spaces to the Charrúas, and the score was almost tied when Talavera stopped a bullet with his chest in the 29th minute when the Mexican defense allowed PSGs Cavani to roam the area completely unmarked.
The Mexican national team completely dominated the first half of the match by applying pressure to every build-up from the South Americans and stealing every dubious pass. On an individual level, the North American squad was simply unreachable, especially Javier Aquino, who was practically unstoppable in the first 45 minutes. This led to the Uruguayan players losing their patience and starting tackling right and left, which resulted in a red card for Matias Vecino in the 45th minute.
The beginning of the second half saw a more attacking Uruguayan side and a shaky Mexican defense. Cavani almost got the best of them three minutes into the second half. Rafael Márquez (who is playing his sixth Copa America), instead of remaining strong, fumbled a few important balls and Javier Aquino, Mexico’s most dangerous man until that moment, was substituted at the 53rd minute. However, his replacement, Pachuca’s Hirving Lozano, proved to be a fast and fit replacement, capable of providing good opportunities for Chicharito and becoming the decisive factor. Man of the match material, too!
Uruguay produced a couple of beautiful plays but the finishing touch was just awful or non-existent. Rolan at the 57th minute and a horrible mistake by Mexican’s goalkeeper, Arturo Talavera, at the 70th minute, were their best options to tie the game, but their efforts were in vain until the 73rd minute, when a weird call saw PSV’s player, Andrés Guardado, receive a red card and in the following set piece, Diego Godin headed the ball home for the 1:1.
Andres Guardado Red Card
Diego Godin Goal
Ten minutes later, the former Barcelona player and captain of the Mexican National team, Rafael Márquez, found a lonely ball in the area and hit it as hard as possible to put it past Muslera, putting Mexico ahead and scoring his first goal in six Copas Americas. Héctor Herrera (this time it really was him) scored the third goal for Mexico in the 92nd minute to kill any opportunities of an Uruguayan comeback.
In summary, Mexico paid their second half instability and descended into an unorganized state that gave Uruguay a chance to claim a point in Phoenix, Arizona. But by being consistent, Mexico showed that if they can remain focused, few teams can give them a run for their money. The Mexican National team has not lost a single game in 20 consecutive matches. If Mexico is on fire, the United States stadiums will burn. I did not mean it that way, Trump!
An interesting match and a good result that keeps the excitement alive in the group. Uruguay will face Venezuela and Mexico will go up against Jamaica on June 9 to try and decide Group C.
Alvaro Pereira (OG – MEX) ’4, Rafael Márquez (MEX) ’85, Héctor Herrera (MEX) ’92 / Diego Godín (URU) ’74
Andrés Guardado (MEX) ’25, Raúl Jiménez (MEX) ’93 / Matías Vecino (URU) ’27, J.M. Giménez (URU) ’59, Maxi Pereira (URU) ’68, Matías Vecino (URU) ’84
Matias Vecino (URU) ’45 / Andrés Guardado (MEX) ’73