Mexico extended their unbeaten streak to seven games with a 1-0 victory against Iceland in Las Vegas on Wednesday night. The friendly – which set an attendance record for soccer in Las Vegas – served both teams as preparation for World Cup qualifying, which resumes in March.
El Tri took the lead in the 20th minute, when Alan Pulido met a Giovano dos Santos set piece with a header to make it 1-0. It was Pulido’s first international goal since 2014 and it would eventually prove to be the game-winner.
Mexico kept the pressure on Iceland throughout the first half, but they were unable to add to their lead. Jürgen Damm came closest to netting El Tri a second with a shot that went over the bar. Most of Mexico’s attempts were equally wayward; although they had 18 shots throughout the ninety minutes, just four of those were on target.
The pattern continued in the second half, although the spate of substitutions common to friendlies interrupted the rhythm of the game. Iceland was almost entirely unable to generate anything dangerous in the attacking third, with just one shot recorded.
Of note for Mexico were the national team debuts of 19-year-old Edson Álvarez, who entered the game in the 60th minute, as well as Luis Reyes, who came on at halftime.
In the closing stages of the game, Hirving Lozano had a good chance to add a second goal for Mexico after Reyes sent in a well-placed cross; however, Lozano couldn’t put his header on target.
Mexico: Alfredo Talavera, Néstor Araujo, Oswaldo Alanís, Rafael Márquez (Hugo Ayala 52′), Jesús Gallardo (Luis Reyes 46′), Jesús Molina (Edson Álvarez 60′), Jürgen Damm (Luis Montes 65′), Orbelín Pineda, Alan Pulido (Elías Hernández 75′), Giovani dos Santos (Raúl López 46′), Hirving Lozano.
Iceland: Frederick Schram, Orri Omarsson, Hallgrimur Jónasson, Boovar Boovarsson (Kristinn Jónsson 77′), Vioar Jónsson (Adam Om Amarson 85′), Aron Siguroarson (Christian Steindorsson 77′), Aron Thrándarson (Arni Vilhjalmsson 77′), David Vidarsson, Kristinn Freyr Sigurdsson (Tryggvi Haraldsson 65′), Kristjan Finnbogason Felt (Oliver Sigurjónsson (54′), Sigurdur Larusson.