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MEXICO

Mexico left with more questions than answers as World Cup looms

The Mexican national team lost to Colombia 3-2 at Levi’s stadium in Santa Clara, California in their last preparation game of the international window.

Update:
(Bottom row, from L) Mexico's forward Carlos Antuna, Mexico's midfielder Carlos Alberto Rodriguez, Mexico's defender Kevin Alvarez, Mexico's midfielder Jose Guardado, Mexico's defender Gerardo Artega, Mexico's forward Alexis Vega, (top row, from L) Mexico's midfielder Erick Gutierrez, Mexico's forward Henry Martin, Mexico's defender Nestor Araujo, Mexico's defender Hector Moreno and Mexico's goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa pose ahead of their international friendly football match against Colombia at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, on September 27, 2022. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP)
FREDERIC J. BROWNAFP

Once again Gerardo Martino is in hot water after Mexico lost 3-2 to Colombia at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California on Tuesday night after leading by two goals before the break. The CONMEBOL side enjoyed an amazing comeback with three goals in less than 20 minutes to win the game in Mexico’s last major preparation match ahead of the World Cup.

Martino has a lot of work to do

The veteran coach is being criticized for calling up players that are not in peak form and for the negative results delivered in the past two years. The Mexican national team has a record of 36 wins, 13 draws and 9 defeats across all competitions since Gerardo Martino took over the job in January 2019. The latest defeat against Colombia leaves El Tri with more doubts than certainties ahead of the World Cup.

Martino believes that the lack of minutes of the players in Europe’s top tier has affected the negative results during his tenure and his job is to fix that problem before the team travels to Qatar. It is expected that the final roster that will participate in the upcoming FIFA World Cup will be announced no later than 13 November and he will wait until the last minute for the recovery of two key players, Raúl Jiménez and Jesús ‘Tecatito’ Corona.

Head coach of Mexico Gerardo Martino
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Head coach of Mexico Gerardo MartinoCAROLINE BREHMANEFE

There is a problem with Mexico when they are put in this situation [referring to the defeat against Colombia]. In the past Mexico had a bunch of players in Europe’s top tier and we have to be fair in the critics. My coaching staff has this problem now and what we need to do is to fix it in less than 60 days,” said Martino during the post-game press conference on Tuesday night.

When these mistakes were made 4, 10, 11 or 16 years ago, this generation was not playing and the same mistakes were made. Because now we listen to former players giving their opinion of the result against Colombia,” added Martino.

The Mexico national team will return to action to play two friendlies in Europe against Iraq on 9 November and seven days later against Sweden prior to the start of the World Cup. The players from Europe’s top tier will join camp one week before the start of the tournament because that is when their respective leagues will go on winter break. So Martino will have less than two weeks with the final roster to prepare the first game against Poland for the beginning of the group stage.