Mexico bounced back from a stunning defeat to Panama to put itself in position to advance to the knockout stage of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.It may have arrived from a dubious penalty and a well-worked corner, but Mexico’s 2-0 victory Thursday over Canada was a welcome boost for under-pressure coach Jose Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre.
Raul Jimenez's first Mexico goal, an unmarked header off a set piece at the end of the first half, was augmented by Marco Fabian's penalty conversion off a controversial call in the second half, and the goals provided Mexico with all it needed to be in position to advance to the knockout stage of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
“The team improved in many aspects and that helped the performance, in spite of the rival pressuring all over the field,” de la Torre said in his postgame press conference. “At the end, fortunately, goal-scoring chances were taken, which also gives you some tranquility.”
It was Mexico’s first win in this edition of the Gold Cup, having fallen 2-1 in the opener last Sunday against Panama, and de la Torre said it was a small step in the development of El Tri’s “B” side in this tournament.
The Mexico coach added that getting the win – the team’s third in 14 games in 2013 – was a good confidence boost for the whole squad and a lift ahead of Sunday’s game against Martinique.
“The triumph is important in all aspects; in the continued growth of the group, in putting us in position to qualify for the next round and, of course, for the confidence that the whole group gets,” de la Torre said.
There was some positive news for the manager about midfielder Jorge Enriquez, who limped off with what looked like a pulled muscle. The Chivas midfielder told the press after the game that he doesn’t believe he will be out the tournament, although tests carried out today should reveal the full extent of the injury.