As Mexico earned a 2-0 win over Curacao to top Group C at the Gold Cup on Sunday, two players significantly bolstered their cases for first-team action — one an established veteran and the other an untested prospect.
For goalkeeper Jesus Corona, his string of show-stopping saves proved the former No. 1 could yet challenge for the starting spot. Right back Raul Lopez, meanwhile, thoroughly impressed in his first international start, creating a slew of chances while bombing down the flank.
Here are Goal's full player ratings from Mexico's match against Curacao in San Antonio:
GK JESUS CORONA, 8: Made several brilliant stops to preserve the shutout and avoided any juicy rebounds. Also was calm in distribution.
D RAUL LOPEZ, 8: Offered a consistent attacking threat at right back, setting up the opener with a brilliant cross before hitting two more pinpoint services that should have been assists.
D JAIR PEREIRA, 6: Was lucky not to be called for an early penalty but settled in after that, making his fair share of interventions and striking the crossbar with a late header.
D CESAR MONTES, 7: Put in a confident shift at center back, winning plenty of battles while holding the Curacao attack in check.
D LUIS REYES, 4: Lost track of his man on multiple occasions and was largely wasteful when venturing forward at left back.
M LUIS RODRIGUEZ, 4: Was clean on the ball but didn't do enough to make an attacking impact on the right flank.
M JORGE HERNANDEZ, 4: Had a poor giveaway that led to a key Curacao chance and should have done more to fill the defensive gaps in midfield.
M ERICK GUTIERREZ, 5: Provided strong movement in possession, but he definitely should have buried a pair of point-blank opportunities.
M ORBELIN PINEDA, 5: Showed some class on the ball while cutting in from the left, though he seemed to fade as the match wore on.
M MARTIN BARRAGAN, 4: Never really found a rhythm, failing to get on the ball and influence proceedings before coming off in the second half.
F ANGEL SEPULVEDA, 7: Opened the scoring with a perfectly placed header at the far post, then teed up a golden opportunity for Gutierrez. Was an active presence throughout the game.
M ELIAS HERNANDEZ, 6: Entered shortly after halftime and brought some welcome urgency to the attack.
M EDSON ALVAREZ, 7: Moved the ball efficiently and finished with composure to clinch the result in stoppage time.
M JESUS GALLARDO, 6: Brought flashes of skill in a late appearance.