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Mexico v Jamaica Live Commentary, 7/13/17

0 - 0
Empower Field at Mile High


Little to report from Denver as Jamaica came out with the bus parked and accomplished what they set out for, securing a dull, dreary point - but a point nonetheless - as they frustrate Mexico and slam the door shut. El Tri came close with a pair of first-half chances, denied by the woodwork and a goal-line clearance, before the match stuttered to a finish through the course of the second half.
J. Johnson
D. Mattocks
90' + 4' Jermaine Johnson makes a late cameo - very late, in fact - replacing Mattocks.
90' + 2' Serenaded by boos as we approach the final whistle. Both teams have accepted the end result and there's no desire to set out and change it. Jamaica are preparing another change, too, which should run another minute off the clock at the rate their players are departing the pitch.
90' There will be four minutes added on before the match mercifully is brought to an end. No respite for these fans just yet, though.
O. Gordon
C. Burke
88' A second change for Jamaica as Owayne Gordon replaces Burke.
86' Burke is down again for Jamaica. It looked like an innocuous knock to say the least, but it's no surprise to see Jamaica trying to run the clock down. Given how they have played tonight, they will take this draw and run with it.
84' STAT: Mexico have won four successive Gold Cup matches and are unbeaten in their last seven (W5 D2).
82' Mexico are knocking the ball around in midfield, just inside their own half. They've run out of idea, and every ball forward sees one white shirt run into a wall of defenders. Mexico were looking like the only side capable of finding a goal, but at this point no one is.
80' Into the final 10 minutes and there's a whole lot of nothing going on. At this point neither side will want to lose the game and their chances of winning the group so late on, so we shouldn't expect the tempo to magically pick up towards the conclusion.
78' Mexico's pressure has dwindled as the match is now being played at a standstill. It's become increasingly congested with the ball contained predominantly in midfield. Time is winding down and it's looking unlikely we will see a winner here tonight.
É. Gutiérrez
E. Hernández
76' Mexico, meanwhile, go to the bench for the final time and it's their opening match hero Elias Hernandez who is replaced, with Erick Gutierrez entering the fray.
E. Grandison
M. Binns
75' Jamaica go to the bench for the first time and it's a long overdue change as Ewan Grandison replaces Binns.
73' STAT: Jamaica have won five of their last six Gold Cup matches, the one exception being a 3-1 defeat to Mexico in the 2015 final.
71' Powell takes a blow to the face and that sure has to hurt! He needs and is granted a minute to collect himself before walking off under his own power. Unavoidable stoppage, but another delay nonetheless, and we're into the final 20 minutes now.
69' A plethora of stoppages over the last five minutes has again disrupted the tempo. This match hasn't been able to get into any sort of rhythm, and just when it's showing signs of coming to life, it's brought to an abrupt halt.
M. Barragán
J. Dueñas
67' The second Mexican change sees forward Martin Barragan replace midfielder Duenas. El Tri are going for it.
66' Jamaica have everyone behind the ball when Mexico attack, or just about at least. There's no outlet for them to break. Every time the Reggae Boyz win the ball back and try to play it forward, it's hit right to a white shirt and Mexico can regroup.
64' Nothing comes of the free-kick, taken by Hernandez. Mexico are in control, but they have to start making some of these opportunities count.
M. Binns
Yellow Card
63' Binns is booked for Jamaica, but more concerning is the set-piece to come for Mexico, just over 30 yards from goal in a good position for a shot.
62' STAT: Mexico have won all six of their Gold Cup matches against Jamaica, outscoring them 20-3. Four of those victories came in the United States.
60' The stretcher is out here with Burke down for Jamaica, taking the sting out of the match just as it was picking up and finding a rhythm. Into the final 30 minutes and Mexico look far and ahead the likelier of the two to break the deadlock. Jamaica are showing no signs of being able to test Munoz in the slightest.
58' There's a real sense of urgency to Mexico's play now. The game is there for the taking and they know it. They had the same opportunity to take charge in the first half but seemed hesitant. They aren't anymore.
A. Blake
Yellow Card
56' Blake becomes the second Jamaican player booked, this for dissent.
54' The tempo has picked up in the second half - though in fairness there was only one way it could go and that was up. Mexico are to thank for that, but their quick jump out of the interval seems to have sent a jolt of life into Jamaica as well.
52' STAT: Jamaica have scored in seven successive Gold Cup matches, dating back to a 2-0 defeat to USA in 2011.
50' Mexico in charge at the start here, really starting to take the game to a seemingly disinterested Jamaican side. El Tri need to start taking advantage of their opportunities, though, the latest of which sees a free-kick from a tight angle crash onto the roof of the net.
48' That's poor! Strong attacking play to kick-off this second half by Mexico, which ends with Hernandez placing a cross onto the head of Gallardo at the far post. It's a bit tall for the wing-back, but he still has to be guiding that into the gaping net in front of him!
46' Here we go again!
C. Montes
R. Pizarro
46' Pizarro is replaced at the interval with Cesar Montes coming on for Mexico, which will likely prompt a change to a 3-5-2 formation.
Mexico with a pair of chances through 45 minutes, but the woodwork and Jermaine Taylor have kept the game scoreless into the break. For the most part it has lacked pace, attacking quality and general excitement, but there's still time for these teams to turn things around over the course of the second half.
45' There will be a minimum of two minutes added on at the end of this first half.
43' Jamaica are showing some urgency for the first time, but their urgency is not being applied to their attack, instead on aiming to wind down the clock and get into half-time unscathed. Neither manager will likely be happy with what they have seen thus far, but Whitmore will be especially discouraged.
41' STAT: Mexico have won three of the last four Gold Cups and have reached the semi-finals in each of the last five.
39' MEXICO DENIED THE OPENER! A Mexico corner is flung into the box and Blake is caught in no-man's land. The ball is eventually bounced towards goal, over the head of the keeper, but Taylor is able to leap to clear it off the line! That looked like the opener.
37' Aside from a goal, which would do wonders to take the shackles off the match, the other thing this game could use is half-time. Football is a beautiful game and every match is unique in it's own way, much like a snowflake, but this is one dull snowflake. These fans deserve 15 minutes of half-time entertainment.
35' The tempo, or lack thereof rather, is very poor as we enter the final 10 minutes of this first half. It's been a hard watch thus far, begging out for someone to take charge. What this match desperately needs is a goal to open things up.
33' Jamaica really seem to be lacking in belief. It's almost as if they came into this match scared of what Mexico can do. They need to start playing Jamaican football. We have seen none of that from them through the first half-hour.
31' Signs of life! Jamaica with a rare burst into the final third! Burke holds it up smartly and the run of Lawrence to his left opens up a lane for the striker to thread in Mattocks. The forward tries to cut it back into the centre, but there's absolutely no one there to receive the pass. That's disappointing.
K. Lambert
Yellow Card
31' Lambert puts in a crunching tackle near the halfway line and he becomes the first player booked on the night.
29' STAT: Mexico have scored in 15 successive matches across all competitions.
27' Mexico have a worry here as Torres goes down in a lot of pain after being clattered to ground from behind by Lowe. It's hard to speculate exactly what is bothering him here, but it appears to be his right hand that the training staff is attending to. The stretcher is out, though.
25' One-way traffic here at Mile High Stadium as Mexico are asking all the questions. Jamaica are more than capable of troubling this El Tri defence with their pace and skill on the break, but they've done little of that thus far, and almost seem disinterested.
23' OFF THE WOODWORK! Mexico looking increasingly threatening now as they probe for the opener. A cross in from the left finds an unmarked Torres, and he guides a header beyond Blake, but can't beat the post as it clatters off the inside of the frame and stays out!
21' CLOSE! Pineda goes on a lovely jaunt into the final third before bursting into the area. He finds himself in space with only one man to beat, but can't cut around Lowe who makes a terrific tackle to snuff out the attack.
19' STAT: Jamaica have not won back-to-back matches, excluding extra-time, since July 2015. They beat Curacao in their last match.
17' Patient and relaxed are Mexico in possession, knocking the ball around harmlessly around the halfway line. Jamaica are dropping dangerously deep in defence, though, just inviting El Tri to attack. You have to question this approach from the Reggae Boyz.
15' Jamaica have not done any attacking down the flanks, where Mexico have proven to be most vulnerable. The altitude could have an effect on their gameplan, but they need to start taking advantage of their pace. It's been very pedestrian from them thus far.
13' Mexico have settled nicely in possession, with Jamaica's stints on the ball becoming less and less frequent. There really has not been much in this match yet in terms of attacking potency, but with the style of these two sides it shouldn't be too far off on the horizon.
11' HEADED OVER! The first sight of goal in the match goes to Mexico, and it comes from a set-piece, where they were so dangerous against El Salvador. The delivery from Pineda lands on the head of Torres, but the striker's effort lifts over the bar!
9' STAT: Mexico are unbeaten in their last four matches against Jamaica, winning three straight, dating back to a 1-0 defeat in October 2008.
7' This is of course a rematch of the 2015 Gold Cup final, which Mexico won 3-1, but this is a very different side put out by El Tri than the one that travelled to the US in the last edition. There's plenty of fresh faces as it is very much their B team, with the 23-man roster combining to score just 11 goals at the international level.
5' It will be interesting to see if the altitude in Denver has an effect on the match tonight. Played nearly 5,300 feet above sea level, it won't be an issue for Mexico who are used to playing even higher up at their home stadium, the Azteca, but it is a drastic change for Jamaica.
3' Plenty of pace to Jamaica's approach in the early stages, as was expected. They are looking to go from back foot to front in a hurry when they win back possession, but Mexico are comfortable on the ball, and they should see more of it tonight.
1' AND THEY'RE OFF! Jamaica in their green and yellow kits as they get us underway, attacking right to left, with Mexico in all white.
Theodore Whitmore makes three changes to the Jamaica side that dumped Curacao 2-0 in their opener. Speedy Portland Timbers forward Darren Mattocks joins a refurbished attack, with Cory Burke and Michael Binns coming in to form a strike partnership, at the expense of Jermaine Johnson, Owayne Gordon and Romario Williams.
Juan Carlos Osorio makes four changes to his side from the victory over El Salvador, including one in goal where Moises Munoz replaces Jose de Jesus Corona. Elsewhere, Jair Pineda and Jesus Molina come into midfield, while Houston Dynamo striker Erick Torres leads the line, replacing Luis Reyes, Jorge Hernandez and Angel Sepulveda.
SUBS: Harriott, Richie, Campbell, Francis, Grandison, Miller, Nicholson, Johnson, Gordon, Morris, Williams, Hyatt.
JAMAICA (4-4-2): Blake; Powell, Taylor, Lowe, Lawrence; Fisher, Watson, Lambert, Mattocks; Burke, Binns.
SUBS: Corona, Rodriguez, Pereira, Gutierrez, Barragan, Fraga, Montes, J. Hernandez, Lopez, Sepulveda, Reyes, Mayorga.
MEXICO (4-3-3): Munoz; Alvarez, Ayala, Marin, Gallardo; Pineda, Molina, Duenas; E. Hernandez, Pizarro, Torres.
Jamaica have brought close to their best squad, with a couple of exceptions, as they will not be participating in Russia 2018. They are, however, coming off their best-ever finish at a Gold Cup, ending as runners-up in 2015, a mark they have the potential to improve on this summer.
Mexico have travelled to the tournament with a predominantly domestic-based squad, Erick Torres the lone exception, as they left their first team at home following their recent participation in the Confederations Cup – meaning they are far from runaway favourites to defend their title.
The opening victories for these two sets the scene for what figures to be the match to decide top spot in Group C, with the loser having to settle for second in all likelihood, barring an impressive turnaround from the other Group C competitors.
It was not always convincing, but it was job done in the end for Mexico as they claimed a 3-1 victory over El Salvador in their opener, while Jamaica comfortably saw aside a tricky Curacao outfit 2-0.
Hello and welcome to live coverage from Sports Authority Field in Denver, Colorado as Mexico and Jamaica do battle for top spot in Group C!