El Tri: Mexico player rankings vs Costa Rica

MONTERREY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 11: Ricardo Ferretti, coach of Mexico gestures during the international friendly match between Mexico and Costa Rica at Universitario Stadium on October 11, 2018 in Monterrey, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
MONTERREY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 11: Ricardo Ferretti, coach of Mexico gestures during the international friendly match between Mexico and Costa Rica at Universitario Stadium on October 11, 2018 in Monterrey, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images) /

El Tri victorious after impressive showing against Costa Rica.

Mexico ended its 4-game losing streak with a workmanlike 3-2 win over Costa Rica in Monterrey. Pachuca teammates Víctor Guzmán and Erick Aguirre were impressive in midfield, Guzmán scoring a golazo and Aguirre cutting off Tico advances with sparkling defense.

Coach Ricardo Ferretti used 5 of his 6 available substitutes and El Tri played a possession game (62%) while occasionally looking suspect at the back. There were a few squandered scoring opportunities but, in general, Team Mexico looked good going forward.

Here are my player rankings:



Miguel Lajud – 5

The Tijuana goalie almost goofed in minute 10 when a back pass got under his foot, but he recovered just in time to keep the ball out of his net. Later, he charged well out off his line and failed to clear, but Edson Álvarez saved him. He was not at fault for either goal and he made a fine save. Subbed out at the half trailing 2-1.


Gerardo Arteaga – 5

Looked nervous early on and had too many wayward passes. He failed to track back on Costa Rica’s first goal but he settled down and held his own as El Tri protected its late lead.

Jesús Ángulo – 5

Did not seem comfortable playing central defender (he usually plays fullback with Santos) and got dispossessed a few times in bad position. He had a bad turnover in minute 16 that was covered up, but his giveaway in minute 42 led to a Costa Rica rush which produced the penalty to give the Ticos a 2-1 lead just before the half.

Edson Álvarez – 6

Steady when guarding the ball but forced a few passes early on that might have caught El Tri out, but Erick Aguirre was there to cover up. His alert coverage in minute 77 prevented Costa Rica from getting a shot on goal from 10 meters.

José Carlos Van Rankin – 6

A bit impatient with the ball early on, making speculative passes forward instead of maintaining possession. His rush forward in minute 33 sparked Mexico’s opening goal. He touched the ball twice on the play and his cross was spot on for Guzmán to volley home. Subbed out at the half.


Jesús Dueñas – 6

Steady presence in midfield during first 45 minutes before moving to right fullback for the second half. His passing was not as crisp as it usually is, but he made a nice cross in minute 21 that Ángel Saldívar almost headed home.

Erick Aguirre – 8

Nothing spectacular but very steady in plugging holes in the back line (and there were many in the first half). He disrupted Costa Rica advances, intercepted a number of passes and moved the ball forward effectively. Hardly took a wrong step all game.

Víctor Guzmán – 8

His goal – a wonderful volley that grazed the underside of the crossbar – gave Mexico the confidence it needed. His passing was very good, shifting fields and probing openings in the Ticos’ defense. Later on, he dropped into a deeper role to help protect El Tri’s lead.


Isaac Brizuela – 5

Tough game for “El Conejito” as he played large stretches out of his natural position on the wing. Never got fully involved but some of that was due to the impatience of Van Rankin, the fullback on his side.

Ángel Saldívar – 5

Not very effective but he too suffered from poor moves forward by the back line. Goalie Keylor Navas denied him a goal in minute 21 but he might have had better luck trying a volley instead of ducking down for the header. Subbed out at the half.

Roberto Alvarado – 4

Very disappointing match from “El Piojo.” He was dispossessed too many times as he tried to go solo or held the ball too long. His poor ball movement stunted quite a few Mexico possessions. Subbed out at the hour mark.


Goalie, Raúl Gudiño – 6

He played the second half but was not really tested.

Forward, Juergen Damm – 7

Damm was a threat down the right flank the entire second half. He hustled to win a loose ball the chipped a beauty of a centering pass for Mexico’s second goal. He did squander a late break by opting to go solo only to fire way over the net.

Forward, Henry Martin – 7

On Mexico’s second goal, he teamed up with Damm to keep possession in the offensive third, then drifted into the middle of the box and headed home nicely to tie the score at 2 in minute 56. Throughout the second half, he worked hard to find space, and his movement on a free kick forced Costa Rica’s David Guzmán to tackle him and a penalty was called.

Forward, Raúl Jiménez – 7

Entering on the hour mark, Jiménez converted the penalty kick 10 minutes after coming on. He also smacked the crossbar with a header in minute 87. But his high mark also comes down to his willingness to chase back and help his defense.

Related Story. Mexico downs Costa Rica 3-2. light

Forward, Jesús Corona – 7

Tecatito played the final 30 minutes and was a constant menace with his fancy footwork. He deked out a defender and got in alone to the right of goalie Kaylor Navas but his fearsome shot was blocked.