Late drama as Mexico fall to Brazil

A much improved Mexico despite conceding a late goal against Brazil.
Mexico v Brazil - International Friendly
Mexico v Brazil - International Friendly / Omar Vega/GettyImages

Jaime Lozano needed to start a much stronger side than the one that lost 4-0 to Marcelo Bielsa's Uruguay on Thursday evening. The loss caused major concern within Mexico, with many fans even calling for Lozano to be sacked.

Turning their attention to the 5-time World Cup Champions, lessons needed to be learned and fast if things were to improve against Brazil.

Lozano played a completely changed starting 11 for this game as captain Edson Álvarez and left back Gerard Arteaga were the only players to keep their place following the disastrous result against La Celeste. However, the West Ham United midfielder was dropped into centre half to accompany Johan Vásquez.

Playing a much stronger side against Brazil, the likes of Santiago Giménez, Uriel Antuna and Julián Quiñones led the line for El Tri. The biggest news ahead of the clash regarded the goalkeeper position as Luis Malagón, who many tipped to start between the sticks suffered a late injury and is expected to miss the Copa América. He has been replaced in the squad by Santos Laguna 'keeper Carlos Acevedo, who will likely be used as a squad player. However, for this game against Brazil, Lozano decided to utilise Pumas goalkeeper Julio González.


Position + (FotMob Rating)

Julio González

Goalkeeper (4.9)

Israel Reyes

Right Back (5.9)

Edson Álvarez

Centre Back (6.0)

Johan Vásquez

Centre Back (5.7)

Gerardo Arteaga

Left Back (5.9)

Luis Chávez

Centre Midfield (6.6)

Luis Romo

Centre Midfield (7.1)

Carlos Rodríguez

Centre Midfield (6.6)

Uriel Antuna

Right Wing (6.8)

Santiago Giménez

Striker (6.3)

Julián Quiñones

Left Wing (6.6)

Piling on the misery from Thursday night, Mexico got underway in the worst possible way. Five minutes on the clock and Brazil had the ball in the back of the net. Receiving the ball on the edge of the box, Fulham playmaker Andreas Pereira faked a shot as Álvarez lunged to block the effort. In quick succession, the Brazilian's faked effort also sold Johan Vásquez to create an open space to wrong foot González, giving Brazil the opening goal of the game.

Mexico struggled to gain a foothold in the game as Brazil searched for a second goal. Despite Brazil's best efforts, the game stayed at 1-0 as both teams went into the halftime break.

Within 10 minutes of the second half, Brazil found what they sought. Manchester City loanee at Girona Yan Couto broke down the right, heading towards the byline, he was able to find Gabriel Martinelli in plenty of space in the Mexico box. Falling perfectly to the Arsenal winger's feet, Martinelli was able to slot his effort home to double the Brazilian lead.

The second goal for Brazil seemed to spark life into Mexico, out of fear of a second heavy defeat in three days.

Mexico's revival attempt started in the 73rd minute as Quiñones scored from point-blank range. In a similar fashion to Brazil's second, second-half substitute Alexis Vega provided an inch-perfect cross along the floor into the path of the América striker at the back post, left unmarked, it was almost impossible to miss.

Mexico, desperate to end a 12-year losing streak against Brazil, appeared to have achieved their goal when they scored a second goal two minutes into added time. Guillermo Martínez capitalised on an Alisson save, smashing the ball into the net and sending Mexico fans at Kyle Stadium into a frenzy. In a surprising turn of events, given their earlier performance in the match and their recent game against Uruguay, Mexico seemed to have secured a result against the World Cup record holders.

Adding to the late drama, Brazil had one last say on proceedings. Pushing for a late winner, they managed to find a way past González four minutes after the Mexico equaliser, in the 96th minute. Swinging in a deep cross, Vinicius Jr found the head of 17-year-old Endrick, who are both soon to be Real Madrid teammates. Left in acres of space, the youngster was able to direct his header towards the far post, beating the Pumas shot-stopper.

Food for Thought

The loss will be a bitter one to swallow for many Mexicans. Despite a slow start to the game, Mexico managed to push Brazil to the very last second. Recording more shots and shots on target throughout the game, there are a lot more positives to take from tonight's result, which will help many forget about the result against Uruguay.

Lozano's side now have two weeks to prepare for the opening game against Jamaica. After two defeats, admittedly against two of the strongest sides at this summer's Copa América, and a win with the youngsters against Bolivia, there will be a lot to work on for both ends of the pitch.

Tonight showed that Mexico needs to work on their defensive resilience, as they presented Brazil with plenty of space in the final third to cause damage. The two goals scored will provide reasons to feel positive going into the competition. Firstly, a fast-paced move which led to a perfect cross from Vega, followed by a smart finish from Martínez, highlighting his inclusion in the squad, Mexico can be a threat this summer, but there is work to be done on the training ground to ensure that they can challenge Venezuela, Ecuador and Jamaica in the group stage.