FOOTBALL

Efraín Álvarez makes his debut with the Mexico national team

The Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder made his international debut in Mexico's 1-0 victory against Costa Rica in their second exhibition match of the year.

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Efraín Álvarez makes his debut with the Mexico national team

Efraín Álvarez made his much anticipated international debut with the Mexico national team on Tuesday against Costa Rica at the Stadion Wiener Neustadt. The Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder took to the pitch in the second half when he replaced Jesús ‘Tecatito’ Corona in the 81st minute with the game still nil-nil.

The 18-year-old got involved right away on the right side with Diego Lainez. Álvarez received a long ball from Hector Herrera inside the box in the 86th minute, but he was called offside. Minutes after ‘El Tri’ had a corner kick that was taken by Diego Lainez, then Luis Romo flicked the ball and Hirving Lozano’s header inside the six to find the back of the net to give them the 1-0 victory.

Martino pleased with Álvarez debut

After the game the coach of the Mexican national team, Gerardo Martino, was interviewed by TUDN where he expressed his pleasure with Álvarez's debut. “It is positive for Mexico that young players like Álvarez and Lainez play with the national team. They came in when the game was nil-nil and they helped us get the victory,” he said.

Since Álvarez has dual citizenship, he declined the invitation from the United States youth national team earlier this month to be part of the roster to compete for a ticket to Tokyo in the CONCACAF Olympic qualifiers. The reason behind his decision was because he had been in talks with Martino about his call-up to ‘El Tri’ for the FIFA international break of March.

After his debut with the Mexico national team, Álvarez will fly back to Los Angeles, California to rejoin the preseason of the Los Angeles Galaxy ahead of the 2021 Major League Soccer season opener against Inter Miami FC on 18 April.