El Tri: Mexico player rankings after 0-1 loss to Chile

Members of Mexico's national football team pose ahead of the friendly football match between Mexico and Chile at the La Corregidora stadium in Queretaro, Mexico, on October 16, 2018. (Photo by RODRIGO ARANGUA / AFP) (Photo credit should read RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of Mexico's national football team pose ahead of the friendly football match between Mexico and Chile at the La Corregidora stadium in Queretaro, Mexico, on October 16, 2018. (Photo by RODRIGO ARANGUA / AFP) (Photo credit should read RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images) /

El Tri avoided a repeat of the previous Chile meeting, but still come away empty-handed.

El Tri suffered a disappointing 1-0 loss to Chile Tuesday night, conceding a goal in minute 89 that can be attributed to a combination of lax marking by Mexico’s right side and pure hustle by former Pumas striker Nico Castillo.

Mexico goalie Hugo González was headed for star of the match designation but instead ends up with another loss and a potentially serious injury.

Chile gradually grabbed control of the match over the final 30 minutes and kept El Tri without a shot on goal over the game’s final 45 minutes. Mexico did get off 12 shots for the match (only 2 on target, both in the first half) while Chile peppered González with 11 second-half shots (3 on net). Still, it was a far cry from when these two teams last met – a 7-0 rout by Chile in the Copa América quarterfinals.

It was a mixed bag for Mexico. Collectively, the team showed positive signs, but individually there were some poor performances. Chile’s aggressiveness produced turnovers though ref Joel Aguilar ignored a few too many fouls for my liking. Here are my rankings for El Tri.


Hugo González – 8

The Necaxa keeper made two sparkling saves and looked assured with the ball at his feet. Although he made a third save on Castillo’s rocket in minute 89, González could not control the rebound and Castillo pounced and in so doing crashed into González, knocking him out of the game with a shoulder (or collarbone) injury.

Raúl Gudiño – N/A

The Chivas keeper finished up the final minutes of the match.


Chaka Rodríguez – 6

The Tigres fullback might have gotten a higher mark but he gave up on a loose ball that he might have cleared then half-jogged back into position and the opening was exploited by Chile for the winning goal.

Diego Reyes – 5

An unconvincing and, arguably, a disastrous performance. His passing was inconsistent (several bad turnovers) and his marking was unreliable. He failed to track Castillo on the goal though he was covering up the spot vacated by Chaka.

Néstor Araujo – 7

Steady and strong. The Celta de Vigo center back played confidently and seems set to regain his starting role on the El Tri back line.

Jesús Gallardo – 5

An unproductive day for the Rayados fullback. Gallardo failed to contribute in attack, only getting forward a few times and when he did his centering passes were off-target. One first-half chance was wasted when he appeared to simply knock the ball into the box instead of trying to pick out a target from among three teammates.


Javier Guemez – 6

Looked good at times and made a nice tackle to block a shot in the first half. Got knocked off the ball too easily and his passing was unspectacular. Subbed out in minute 62.

Erick Gutiérrez – 5

Too often, the PSV midfielder was invisible. With the ball at his feet, he can be quite influential, but he did not insert himself into the action. Made one brilliant second-half pass that created a scoring chance that went wasting.

Marco Fabián – 7

Tried to take charge of midfield during the first half. Did a good job of directing play and forced a great save from Chile goalie Brayan Cortés in minute 20. If he stays healthy, he could be a mainstay in the middle of Mexico’s attack.


“Chucky” Lozano – 7

Looked dangerous occasionally on the flank but too often went down under pressure, looking for a call and ref Aguilar was allowing Chile to be physical. His diagonal pass to Marco Fabiaán in minute 20 was exceptional. He chased and pressed with energy before being subbed out in minute 81.

Raúl Jiménez – 8

Top-notch energy and effort from #9 all game. He pestered Chile’s defense, chased back to help his defense and fought for loose balls. He had a nifty give-and-go with Tecatito Corona in minute 50 but only managed to head a shot over the crossbar. If he could develop a finishing touch, he could be Mexico’s lead striker for years to come.

Tecatito Corona – 5

Two sparkling plays did not offset turnovers and missed opportunities. A nice solo effort in minute 10 excited the fans but the next three times he touched the ball he was dispossessed. Later he made a clever escape along the sideline and raced 50 yards down the flank, but then lost the ball as two teammates moved into scoring position. Too often, Tecatito provided sizzle but no substance. Just too profligate for my liking.

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Isaac Brizuela (midfield) – 6

Ran around a lot, but did not add much positive in his 30 minutes of action. Helped recover possession with his hustle and willingness to chase, but could not get forward with the ball.

Juergen Damm (midfield) – 6

His speed was on display, but so were his shortcomings. Sent through on goal by Erick Gutiérrez, Damm was slow to pull the trigger and his shot was blocked by defender Paulo Díaz. He mixed it up on defense and did not back down during his 30 minutes on the pitch.

Erick Aguirre (midfield) – 6

Did not play as well as he did against Costa Rica, but it’s tough to come off bench and face down Chile when “La Roja” is swarming forward. By the time he came on in minute 62, Chile was exerting control of the match. Aguirre was not intimidated but he could have relieved pressure with better passing.

Henry Martin (forward) – N/A

Came on in minute 82 and was unable to get involved. He was active but by the time he entered, Mexico was not maintaining possession in its offensive third.