El Tri took its first step towards qualification for the Brazil 2014 World Cup with an unconvincing 3-1 win over Guyana in the Azteca Stadium on Friday night.
Mexico coach Jose Manuel de la Torre deployed his players in an offensive but experimental formation, with Javier Hernandez and Aldo de Nigris leading the line.
Having raised their game in an impressive win over Brazil just five days earlier, they were disappointing against the minnows of South American football, winning by a tighter score line than many would have hoped.
Tigres midfielder Carlos Salcido opened the scoring with an 11th minute volley. Delightful work from Hernandez and De Nigris set up Giovani Dos Santos to double Mexico’s lead four minutes later with his third goal in as many games for the national team.
An exchange of second-half own goals left the score at 3-1. Javier Hernandez appeared to back-heel Andre Guardado’s cross into the net in the 51st minute but replays showed Guyana defender John Paul Rodrigues got the final touch.
A Hector Moreno own-goal offered Guyana a lifeline nine minutes later and an unlikely comeback appeared on the cards when the visitors hit the top of the post.
“This was definitely not a good game for us … we were not precise on offense, our passing was not clear and we lacked major opportunities up front,” said de la Torre. It is important to take advantage of this game and analyze it well to be able to correct [our mistakes].”
Mexico now travels to El Salvador for its next World Cup qualifier on Tuesday, June 12 (9.30 p.m. ET).
By Duncan Tucker (@DuncanTucker)
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