SAN DIEGO — Thanks to a late header from Javier Hernandez in the 86th minute Mexico defeated Chile 1-0 in both countries final warm up match ahead of the Copa America Centenario.
Here are the biggest takeaways for Wednesday’s game.
1) No repeat in lineup
Despite starting his tenure as the Mexico head coach with perfect 7-0 record Juan Carlos Osorio is yet to repeat a starting eleven. Against Chile once again Osorio decided to shake up his team and line up almost a completely different team than the one that defeated Paraguay 1-0 in Atlanta.
The game was the last opportunity for Osorio to have the team that will play against Uruguay to have those players to get more familiar and comfortable with each other.
2) Chile owned first half
Even though Mexico started with several second line players, Chile quickly took possession of the ball and the Chilean stars Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez constantly attacked with numbers.
Alexis Sanchez had a couple of shots that went wide of the net and Edson Puch hit the post just on the first half, Chile had every intent to come out strong after coming from a disappointing home loss to Jamaica 2-1.
By keeping possession of the ball Chile forced Mexico to concede too many fouls that allowed the Chilean team to create danger on set pieces although they weren’t able to finish them.
3) Mexico answers
After a terrible first half Mexico came out much better in the second half of the game and began to test the back-line of Chile. Mexico dominated the first 10 minutes of the second half and the rest was relatively even. Once Chile substituted out some of their most important players such as Vidal and Sanchez, things opened up for Mexico a bit and took advantage late in the game to escape with a 1-0 win after a masterful cross to Layun to the second post where Hernandez was wide open to score his 44th goal for Mexico. Hernandez is only two goals shy of the top leading scorer for the Mexican National team Jared Borgetti who scored 46 during his international career.
4) Only a matter of time
After two hard losses in which Chile outplayed its rival on the field, they still left ended in defeat. The team is generating enough chances, Sanchez and Vidal have shown their sill and ability but what’s missing for Chile is better execution in the final third of the field.
If the team keeps playing the way they have recently then Chile should be fine. It might not happen in time to beat Argentina in their opening game, but everything should be back to normal when they face Bolivia and Panama.
Mexico will make its debut in Copa America Centenario in Glendale, Arizona on June 5, while Chile will face the team they defeated in last year’s Copa America Final Argentina in Santa Clara on June 6.