How did Mexico perform in FIFA break? Australia and Uzbekistan expose issues
Under new manager Jaime Lozano, El Tri conceded more than a handful of goals across the two international games.
It had been a long time since the Mexican national team’s defense had such terrible nights as in the two recent games under the leadership of Jaime Lozano against Australia and Uzbekistan, both ending in score draws.
Defensive concerns for Lozano’s Mexico
The severity of the situation lies not only in the results themselves but also in the performance of the Mexican backline, starting with the hesitant display by the experienced Guillermo Ochoa and extending to those directly in front of him who featured in both games, such as Julián Araujo, Edson Álvarez, Johan Vázquez, and Jesús Gallardo against the Australians.
Against the Asian opponents, the defensive line was tweaked to have Kevin Álvarez, Gilberto Sepúlveda, Johan Vázquez, and Jesús Ángulo, who undeniably delivered such a subpar performance that both opponents managed to score a combined five goals.
Many arguments can be made, but the reality is that the Mexican team assumed a low-level role in the danger zone, where their defenders and goalkeeper found themselves entangled in a spiral of errors that exposed significant vulnerabilities. There is an urgent need for improvement, especially with more demanding matches on the horizon, including the upcoming games against Ghana and Germany in October.
Australia and Uzbekistan raise doubts
In the first match, Australia had minimal offensive presence, yet somehow managed to score two goals out of three attempts, raising questions about whether Lozano had deployed his best strategies. That was followed by the game against Uzbekistan, where defensive errors made by Álvarez, Sepúlveda, and Vázquez were evident for the first two goals conceded, before Ochoa’s poor attempt to stop Otabek Shukurov’s free-kick at the near post allowed the equaliser.
The truth is that the performance of the Mexican defense has raised a multitude of doubts, especially because once again, El Tri displayed weaknesses in aerial duels, an aspect where the national team has historically struggled. Of course, optimists will look at the five goals scored at the other end, but a successful team almost always need solidity at the back.