Although coach Juan Carlos Osorio and most of Mexico’s “A” team is still in Russia for the Confederations Cup, the domestic-based Gold Cup roster took on Paraguay in Seattle as they prepare for the rapidly approaching CONCACAF competition.
Rodolfo Pizarro opened the scoring for El Tri in the 19th minute after Orbelín Pineda saw his header saved. Paraguay couldn’t clear the rebound, and Pizarro won the ball back in the box, beat his defender, and then beat the keeper with a shot to the far post to make it 1-0.
Soon afterwards, a penalty kick gave Mexico the chance to add to their advantage. Alan Benítez was called for bringing down Elías Hernández in the box, and Hernández himself took and converted the spot kick to make it 2-0 in the 26th minute.
Mexico could have made it three in the 41st minute when Pineda found Hernández at the back post, but Antony Silva was able to make the save.
Instead, Paraguay found a lifeline with a goal in first-half stoppage time to reduce the deficit to 2-1. Antonio Bareiro hit the crossbar with his initial attempt but put away his own rebound with a header to beat Jesús Corona.
There were no more goals in the second half, however, with the South Americans unable to rally after Bareiro’s goal.
Despite the victory, Mexico will be concerned about the injury to Pulido, who suffered a right arm or shoulder injury after taking a bad fall while contesting a header. Pulido had to be subbed out in the 61st minute and was taken to a hospital for evaluation with his arm immobilized.
Mexico: José de Jesús Corona, Hedgardo Marín, Jair Pereira, Jesús Gallardo, Luis Rodríguez, Jesús Dueñas, Jesús Molina, Rodolfo Pizarro (Martín Barragán 92′), Elías Hernández (Raúl López 90′), Alan Pulido (Erick Gutiérrez 61′), Orbelín Pineda (Ángel Sepúlveda 86′).
Paraguay: Antony Silva, Luíz Cardozo, Juan Carlos Escobar, Salustiano Candía, Alan Max Benítez, Néstor Camacho (Alfio Ovidio Oviedo 83′), Cristian Riveros, Marcos Riveros (Jorge Rojas 75′), Santiago Salcedo (Jorge Recalde 68′), Óscar Romero, Antonio Bareiro (Jesús Ernesto Medina 85′).