Mexico got back to winning ways with a comfortable 3-1 victory over the Republic of Ireland in their international friendly on Thursday night.
The game, played at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, started at a good pace, with Jesús Manuel “Tecatito” Corona having a chance to open the scoring in just the third minute. Although that attempt ended up just wide, El Tri didn’t have to wait long to break the deadlock. In the 16th minute, Mexico caught Ireland out on the counterattack, with Jorge Hernández playing the ball to Corona, who got past his defenders before sending his shot past Darren Randolph to make it 1-0.
Shortly after that, James McClean brought down Carlos Vela in the box and referee Ted Unkel pointed to the penalty spot. Raúl Jiménez stepped up to take the PK and he converted it to give Mexico the 2-0 lead in the 25th minute.
A spate of halftime substitutions didn’t affect Mexico’s rhythm, with the insertion of Oribe Peralta quickly paying dividends. Although his initial shot was saved by Randolph, he collected the rebound and fed Vela, who made it 3-0 for El Tri in the 54th minute.
Ireland was able to reduce the deficit thanks to a mistake in the back, with Oswaldo Alanís failing to clear a cross by McClean; the ball fell for Stephen Gleeson – who had entered the game just four minutes earlier – and he sent it past Rodolfo Coa to make it 3-1.
They could have had a second in the 81st minute, but Cota made a good save on Callum O’Dowda to preserve the 3-1 scoreline.
Mexico will now turn their attention to World Cup qualifying, with the Hexagonal continuing next week with games against Honduras and the U.S.
Mexico: Rodolfo Cota, Jesús Gallardo, Diego Reyes, Héctor Moreno (Oswaldo Alanís 45′), Carlos Salcedo (Miguel Layún 45′), Jonathan dos Santos (Orbelín Pineda 58′), Héctor Herrera (Oribe Peralta 45′), Jesús Manuel Corona (Javier Aquino 58′), Jorge Hernández, Raúl Jiménez, Carlos Vela (Rafael Márquez 68′).
Ireland: Darren Randolph, Richard Keogh, Shane Duffy, John Egan (Kevin Long 64′), Cyrus Christie (Alan Browne 73′), Daryl Horgan (Stephen Gleeson 73′), Conor Hourihane (Eunan O’Kane 64′), James McClean, Callum O’Dowda, Daryl Murphy (Wes Hoolahan 64′), David McGoldrick.