What we learned from Mexico-Trinidad result

Jesus Angulo (right) celebrates after scoring for Mexico against Trinidad and Tobago. (Photo by Angel Castillo/Jam Media/Getty Images)
Jesus Angulo (right) celebrates after scoring for Mexico against Trinidad and Tobago. (Photo by Angel Castillo/Jam Media/Getty Images) /

In front of home fans in Toluca,  a young El Tri handily defeated Trinidad and Tobago, providing hope for the future.

Gerardo “Tata” Martino coached El Tri for the first time in Mexico (at the Nemesio Diez Stadium in Toluca), managing a roster of 25 youngsters against a strong, fast Trinidad and Tobago squad. The Caribbean side was completely different than its team at the Concacaf Gold Cup this summer.

The 2-0 final score was a hint of what the future could hold for Team Mexico as Martino’s roster did not feature anyone over the age of 23 years. Skeptics and critics argue  that not much could be learned after facing a “weak” Concacaf team but the big takeaway of the story is that each player showed how hunger and strength.

One of the biggest positives from the win is that the El Tri attack will be in good hands going forward, as demonstrated  by Leon striker Jose Juan Macias and attacking midfielder Jesus Ricardo Angulo. Both showed character and determination, as well as solid finishing skill.

Macias opened the scoring in minute 23 after stealing the ball from Trinidad defender Daniel Cyrus near midfield, dribbling to the top of the box, cutting inside onto his left foot and firing past Marvin Phillip at the near post.

It did not take long for Mexico to get another score. In minute 31, Angulo cut inside two defenders inside the top right corner of the box before shooting with his left foot. The ball deflected off a defender and skipped past Phillip, giving Mexico the 2-0 of the game.

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With the two goals other good chances created throughout the match, it is clear that Martino has plenty of options pair with star strikers Raul Jimenez and Hirving Lozano. There will certainly be plenty of healthy competition for spots up front.

Another big takeaway is in midfield where Pachuca youngster Erik Aguirre took charge, making his presence known throughout. He was very effective and controlled the middle of the field, distributing the ball from side to side and linking up very well with both the back line and the attack group. Aguirre could be the perfect successor to Andres Guardado.

Another solid performance came from America midfielder Sebastian Cordova, a scary weapon on the front foot. He showed creativity and kept everybody involved while also proving to be adept with the ball at either foot.

On defense, UNAM fullback Alan Mozo showed why he has become a dangerous player with the Pumas. He got forward well, and showed skill with his crosses, while also playing solid defense. Mozo will provide competition for America’s Jorge Sanchez as Martino searches for a replacement for veteran Miguel Layun as he would be 34 when the next World Cup rolls around.

Overall, it was a great presentation for the team and for Martino. After the game, “Tata” told reporters that perhaps half of the 25 players will be integrated into the Team Mexico line-ups for the upcoming Concacaf Nations League tournament. Hopefully nothing but optimism is generated from these young players who could be stars for El Tri in the 2022 and 2026 World Cups.