Mexico vs Canada – Football Match Report – October 7, 2021
Jorge Sanchez scored in the first half for Mexico before Jonathan Osorio equalized, leaving Mexico in second place on goal difference in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying after a 1-1 draw against Canada in Mexico City.
The United States and Mexico currently have eight points after four games, but the Americans, who beat Jamaica 2-0 earlier in the evening, have a higher goalscoring record which means El Tri will now give up first place in the finals on the road to Qatar 2022.
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Mexico played their first game at the Estadio Azteca with fans in the stands after nearly two years. Since defeating Panama by a score of 3-1 on October 15, 2019, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with disciplinary action for fan behavior, has held steady El Tri away from the crowds on its legendary grounds.
Stars like Raul Jimenez, Hirving Lozano and Hector Herrera were back after missing the September games. Jimenez and Lozano were held back after travel bans were imposed on England and Italy due to the pandemic, while Herrera recovered from an injury.
Despite the return of all-star power, Mexican coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino surprised fans by allowing Canada to set the pace of the game from the start. Mexico relied mainly on counter attacks to generate offense, using fast players like Lozano and Jesus Corona on the wings to stretch the Canadian defense.
On one of those breaks, Lozano found winger Sanchez in the box with a cross. Canadian goaltender Maxime Crepeau rushed to meet Sanchez, but the Club America player finished cold to open the scoring.
It was Sanchez’s first international goal for the Mexico senior team. To start, the defender had scored only one goal in the national championship since December 2018.
Canada reacted quickly, taking advantage of Mexico’s willingness to back down by generating several opportunities thereafter. Ten minutes after Sanchez’s goal, Alphonso Davies missed a goalkeeper after a pass found him in the six-yard penalty area.
However, Davies caught up with his howl later, finding Jonathan Osorio wide open in the box just three minutes before the end of the first half. Taking advantage of the advantage, Osorio turned and landed a low shot past Ochoa to tie the game.
By the end of the first half, Mexico had just 49% possession, a rarity in the Martino era.
Despite a good start to the second half for the home side, which included a header from Raul Jimenez to the crossbar, Mexico were unable to take the lead again. A brief hiatus from the game after fans engaged in anti-gay chanting helped dampen the pace of El Tri.
Canada secured its first-ever World Cup qualifying draw at the Estadio Azteca. Mexico had not lost any points at home since a 1-1 draw with the United States on June 11, 2017.
Mexico will host Honduras at the Estadio Azteca on Sunday, while Canada will travel to face Jamaica on the same day.