El Tri slipped past Peru 1-0 in the first of a two-game send-off series as part of Team Mexico’s preparations for the World Cup in November.
“Chucky” Lozano bagged the game-winner with a left-footed volley at the back post off a corner kick. César Montes had extended the play by getting his head on Andrés Guardado’s cross, popping the ball into the air and Peru’s Pedro Gallese could not recover quickly enough to cover his far post.
El Tri fans won’t get too excited about the performance (Lozano’s goal was the only shot on target all game, for either team) but a hard-fought victory over world No. 21 Peru is nothing to sneeze at. [El Tri is No. 12 in the FIFA rankings.]
Coach “Tata” Martino will continue evaluating his team which next plays world No. 17 Colombia on Tuesday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
El Tri Player Ratings
“Tata” surely can’t be too pleased with Saturday’s Rose Bowl performance as El Tri lacked crispness in midfield and created few good scoring chances. Peru outshot Mexico 9-7 and enjoyed the better scoring chances, controlling possession much of the second half.
El Tri was careless with the ball in the second half and several clear-cut starters had sub-par games, most especially César Montes and “Chucky” Lozano, the two players who combined for the game-winning goal.
Overall, Mexico earned a steady 6.0 rating, but steady is not going to get El Tri to a fifth game in Qatar. The low grade comes primarily because of a lack of crisp passing and occasionally poor decision-making. An excess of turnovers after halftime also hurt.
Guillermo Ochoa – 6.0
“Memo” did not face a single shot on goal and would have been beaten by André Carrillo header that whispered past the left post in minute 29. The low grade comes from a few sloppy outlet passes, a no-no in Qatar.
Jesús Gallardo – 6.5
The Monterrey left back did nothing remarkable, but he did not make any egregious mistakes either.
Héctor Moreno – 5
The El Tri veteran was beaten badly by Carrillo on the near goal. Robert Lewandowski would have buried that. His passing and dribbling out of the back was positive.
César Montes – 5.5
The Monterrey stud showed rust from his lack of playing time (only six complete games with the Rayados this season) and his passing out of the back – usually an El Tri strong point – was poor. Two second-half turnovers led directly to Peru scoring chances.
Kevin Álvarez – 6.5
Perhaps the player with most at stake, the Pachuca youngster acquitted himself well. Despite a different role than with his club team, the 23-year-old right back had a mostly error-free game.
Edson Álvarez – 7.0
The one guaranteed starter who met expectations. The Ajax disruptor patrolled the middle of the field with aplomb and got into the box a few times, but did not make any decisive passes
Carlos Rodríguez – 6.5
Charlie looked sharp early on, keeping the ball moving and testing the Peru defense, but his flubbed pass on a break-out ruined a clear scoring chance in the first half. The sprightly Cruz Azul playmaker is capable of better.
Luis Chávez – 6.0
The stately midfielder did not make his presence felt, but did not make mistakes either.
“Chucky” Lozano – 6.0
The game-winning goal rescued the Napoli man from an embarrassing grade. Until his acrobatic volley, his most notable offensive contribution was his whining and gesturing toward the linesman who refused to award his flops with foul calls.
Henry Martín – 4.5
This is arguably an unfair grade because the América frontman hustled during his hour on the pitch. Unfortunately, he never shook free quite enough for a teammate to find him.
Roberto Alvarado – 5.5
“El Piojo” was very active and persistent in the first half but his passing in the offensive third left a bit to be desired.
Uriel Antuna – 6.0
The elusive Cruz Azul winger made a nice escape wide right and delivered a tantalizing cross but did little else.
Santiago Giménez – 5.0
The youngster, much like Henry Martín, did not get any services that allowed him to make a play.
Andrés Guardado – 6.0
The El Tri skipper came on in minute 68 and settled a team that was scrambling about unnecessarily.
Orbelín Pineda – N/A
The AEK Athens man didn’t really get enough time on the pitch to make a difference.