Mexico faces Panama in Concacaf Nations League

Gerardo Martino gets to coach El Tri in Estadio Azteca for the first time. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
Gerardo Martino gets to coach El Tri in Estadio Azteca for the first time. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images) /

El Tri has its second Concacaf Nations League test on Tuesday night when they face Panama in Estadio Azteca.

Mexico opened up the new Concacaf tournament – the Nations League – with a cool breeze facing Bermuda, cruising to an easy 5-1 win. J.J. Macias scored twice, while Uriel Antuna, Hirving Lozano and Hector Herrera each had a goal.

El Tri demonstrated a lot of character and composure even though the starting 11 were players had never played together before. Still, there could not be much positive notes taken from the game since Bermuda is ranked 167 in the FIFA world ranking. Coach Gerardo Martino players was no doubt pleased to see how his young players mixed with the few veterans on the roster demonstrating that they are ready to compete for roster spots during the upcoming World Cup qualification process.

On Tuesday night, Mexico will host Panama at the Estadio Azteca in a Group B match. El Tri tops the group even though all three teams have 3 points. That’s because Panama and Bermuda split their earlier matches: Panama winning at Bermuda 4-1 on Sept. 5 and Bermuda shocking Panama (ranked No. 77) in Panama City by a 2-0 score just three days later.

More from Viva Liga MX

Coach Martino will be making his Estadio Azteca debut as coach of Team Mexico. This will be Martino’s 15th game in charge of El Tri and only his second on home soil. No doubt, the fans will be in full voice to support their team, so Panama knows it must bring its A game as they usually do when they face Mexico at home.

Martino is featuring a squad of youngsters with a few veterans mixed in, a perfect scenario in the team’s preparation on noting down the players he would like to carry into the World Cup qualifications.

One of the things fans should appreciate is how Martino is rejuvenating the roster. In past years, Mexico coaches would stick to their favorites throughout the World Cup qualification process, so we should tip our hats to “Tata” for his strategy of giving the youngsters – like J.J. Macias – experience on the senior team.