Mexico had several chances in the early going, but it was the hosts who took the lead. In the 17th minute, Memo Ochoa parried a low shot from Romelu Lukaku, but the rebound fell into the path of Eden Hazard, who made it 1-0.
Mexico and Belgium will face off in Brussels this Friday in an international friendly. Both teams qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russia in fairly dominating fashion (with Belgium winning Group H unbeaten with nine wins in ten games, and Mexico finishing first in the Hex with just one loss) and will now look to prepare for next summer’s event with a friendly.
As part of those preparations, Mexico’s November friendlies were scheduled as away games against European teams, with El Tri facing first Belgium and then Poland. Juan Carlos Osorio has referred to the games as “a high-level test”, with Mexico looking to show they can compete outside of the CONCACAF region.
Mexico’s lone World Cup referee, Marco Antonio Rodríguez, will get his first taste of the 2014 World Cup on Tuesday, June 17th, when he takes charge of Group H’s Belgium vs Algeria clash.
Rodríguez, known as “Chiquimarco” in Mexico, is viewed as one of Liga MX’s better officials – but also as one with a penchant for getting involved in the game. He’s no stranger to handing out controversial cards, both at home and in the World Cup. Remember when Australia’s Tim Cahill was harshly red-carded in 2010 against Germany?
Yes, it was Rodríguez who sent him off. A straight red, with no hesitation. (Yes, it was a bad attempt to recover the ball, but a yellow would have done the job for me).
Nevertheless, at a recent ceremony where Rodríguez received his coaching license, he also handed out some advice for the new referees who were also named at the ceremony: “You must develop the instinct of prevention, of intuition. The best refereeing isn’t punishment, the best refereeing is prevention.”
We’ll see if Rodríguez decides to take his own advice.
His assistants will be his countrymen Marvin Torrentera and Marcos Quintero, while the fourth official will be Iran’s Alireza Faghani.
Where to Watch: Belgium vs Algeria – June 17th – 12:00 noon – Univision/ Univision Deportes/ ESPN