It was a much more difficult game than Mexico was anticipating, but in the end El Tri walked away with a 2-0 victory against Curaçao, and with it, first place in Group C.
Mexico made 10 changes to the lineup that drew 0-0 with Jamaica on Thursday, with only Orbelin Pineda making a second consecutive start. Curaçao made five changes from their loss to El Salvador, and it was Curaçao who started the game off better.
After some early shakiness, Mexico rallied for an ultimately comfortable 3-1 win against El Salvador as they opened their 2017 Gold Cup campaign with a victory.
El Salvador had the better of the run of play at the start, but a set piece gave Mexico the early lead. In the 8th minute, Hedgardo Marín scored his first goal for El Tri when he headed home a free kick from Elías Hernández at the back post.
The 1-0 lead lasted just two minutes, however, before Nelson Bonilla leveled the score with his low shot from inside the box.
It was not nearly as easy or as straightforward as Mexico was expecting, but in the end El Tri rallied for a 2-1 victory over New Zealand.
There were surprises both on and off the field, with the All Whites taking a shock lead and Mexico fans in the stands largely refraining from the infamous “eh p*to” chant after FIFA’s latest warning, drawing praise from the national team’s official Twitter account.
APPLAUSE for the fans who DIDN’T shout at the @NZ_Football goalkeeper. True #Incondicionales!
There was no praise, however, for the play on the field. Juan Carlos Osorio made no fewer than eight changes to the starting XI that drew 2-2 with Portugal on Sunday, and Mexico looked rather disjointed in the opening half. New Zealand had several chances to take the lead, beginning with a dangerous header in the 20th minute that Alfredo Talavera snagged right on the line.
In their 2017 Confederations Cup debut, Mexico scored a stoppage-time goal to tie Portugal 2-2. El Tri twice came from behind to tie the game, leaving Mexico and Portugal to share the spoils in this Group A match.
After a few minutes of feeling each other out, both teams went on the attack. It was Portugal who had the ball in the back of the net first, but that would-be goal was disallowed thanks to the new video assistance referee technology.
In the 19th minute, Portugal won a free kick, which Cristiano Ronaldo sent into the wall. He collected the rebound and hit the bar; that rebound was sent back into the box yet again and nodded in by Pepe; however, VAR ruled Pepe was offside from the initial ball in.
Pumas UNAM earned an emphatic 8-1 victory over W Connection to book their spot in the knockout rounds of the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League. Eduardo Herrera, Jesús Gallardo, and Fidel Martínez all scored braces in the rout as Pumas topped Group A.
Saúl Berjón opened the scoring in the 16th minute when he finished off a cross from Pablo Barrera at the far post. The universitarios had looked dominant up to that point and the goal only confirmed it.
Tigres UANL booked their spot in the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals with a 3-0 victory over Herediano. The universitarios needed just a draw to guarantee their advancement, while the Costa Ricans needed to pick up all three points to move on.
The hosts put out a strong lineup and they took the lead shortly before the half-hour mark. In the 27th minute, Tigres earned a free kick and Herediano was unable to clear it away, with Hugo Ayala pouncing on the rebound to make it 1-0.
Plaza Amador upset Tigres UANL 1-0 to earn their first win of the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League. The loss prevented Tigres from guaranteeing their spot in the knockout round, and made the final group stage game against Herediano crucial.
The Panamanians made their home-field advantage count as they made Tigres uncomfortable all over the field. Plaza Amador dominated possession while the universitarios struggled to keep the ball for more than two or three passes.
Honduras Progreso kept their hopes of advancement alive with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Pumas UNAM. The loss ends the universitarios’ unbeaten run in the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League but keeps them atop Group A nevertheless.
Tonight’s game was a must-win for the hosts, and Progreso came out looking to control the ball and the match. However, it was the visitors who took the lead, with Alfonso Nieto scoring on the half-volley to make it 0-1 in the 27th minute.