El Tri

Table-Topping Tri Have Room to Grow

(Photo: Twitter/miseleccionmx)

The three points are in the bag, but there’s still plenty for El Tri to work on. Victory over an inferior Dominican Republic side is an important first step towards Tokyo, but more will be needed for the tough tests ahead.

Mexico did manage to put four goals past an overworked Johan Guzmán, but they could have at least doubled their total with better finishing. A host of players took turns passing up great opportunities, with Sebastián Córdova particularly culpable with a pair of glaring misses.

That the América man ultimately redeemed himself with a perfect second half hattrick is the major positive for Jimmy Lozano’s men, especially given the absence of star striker JJ Macías. Getting all four goals from midfield (Charly Rodríguez chipped in with the opener) is an encouraging sign moving forward.

Córdova and company eventually found their shooting boots, but a worrying wastefulness in front of net should not be El Tri’s sole concern. Despite fashioning a boatload of chances there were times where a lack of creativity caused promising attacks to peter out amidst the massed ranks of Dominican defenders.

Costa Rica and the United States are unlikely to sit as deep as the Caribbean debutants, but they will almost surely prove harder to break down. More inventiveness will be required against both of those rivals for regional supremacy.

El Tri can surely step their game up for those two titanic tilts, and Thursday’s win sets them fair for the semifinals. Nevertheless, their ticket to the next round could ultimately be decided on the details. Goal difference may be a factor in deciding who advances, and if that were to occur the unnecessary penalty conceded by Johan Vásquez would be looked on unfavorably.

There can be no similar lapses in concentration in the next clash against Los Ticos. The Central Americans gave the Stars and Stripes all they could handle in the early match and were ultimately unlucky not to leave the Estadio Jalisco with at least a share of the spoils.

Improvements must be made ahead that crunch clash, but that process will go a lot smoother following a comfortable triumph than it would have after a shock setback. There’s still work to be done for Mexico to reach their full potential, but what they learned on Thursday could prove invaluable as they chart a path to success this summer.



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