The Mexican national team will be in action on Wednesday night as they face Trinidad and Tobago in an international friendly. The game will serve as preparation for both teams ahead of October’s CONCACAF Nations League games.
El Tri was unbeaten in their first 11 games of 2019 – with 10 wins and a draw and a Gold Cup title in that span – before falling 4-0 to Argentina in a September friendly.
T&T, meanwhile, is winless so far in 2019, after nine games – with four draws and five losses in four friendlies, three Gold Cup and two Nations League matches.
The Mexican Football Federation (FMF) has announced a new protocol to deal with the pervasive homophobic chants present at both Liga MX and Mexican national team games.
The chant has become increasingly controversial, with opinions split regarding how offensive it actually is. Fans using the chant have long defended it as not homophobic, but merely the equivalent of the English term “bitch” (which, of course, carries misogynistic connotations in turn), while organizations such as CONAPRED, a Mexican anti-discriminatory body, denounce it as unequivocally homophobic.
FMF has apparently decided that the bad press (and continual fines from FIFA) mean the chant needs to stop – debate about its interpretation aside – and they are finally taking concrete steps to try to eradicate it. FMF president Yon de Luisa noted that with FIFA set to implement a three-step anti-discrimination procedure at the start of qualifying for the 2020 World Cup, “if we don’t resolve this problem before the World Cup qualifiers for Qatar 2020, we’d be putting ourselves at risk of being punished by point deductions and, in the worst-case scenario, missing out on the World Cup.”
Mexico continued their dominance of CONCACAF on Sunday night as they beat the U.S. 1-0 to become the 2019 Gold Cup champions. That gives El Tri their record-setting 8th Gold Cup title and marks the fifth time they’ve beat the U.S. in the final in six meetings there.
The U.S. had a pair of great chances in the opening 10 minutes, with Christian Pulisic and Jozy Altidore combining well, but Guillermo Ochoa stopped Pulisic and Altidore couldn’t get his attempt on frame.
Mexico needed some time to get into the game but they created a few chances of their own as the half wore on. The game went to halftime goalless, but in the second 45 the game tilted decisively in Mexico’s favor.
The 2019 Gold Cup concludes this Sunday with a marquee final, as Mexico and the United States renew their rivalry with a trophy on the line.
Mexico holds the record for Gold Cup titles with seven, but the US would match that mark with a victory in this one. The US are also the reigning champions after beating Jamaica 2-1 in the 2017 edition.
On the other hand, these two have faced each other five times in Gold Cup finals, with Mexico winning the title four of those times, including 2011, which is the last time both CONCACAF giants made the final.
It took 120 minutes and an extremely dubious penalty, but in the end Mexico eked out a 1-0 victory against Haiti in their 2019 Gold Cup semifinal.
The Haitians had been the surprise of the tournament with an upset victory against Costa Rica in the group stage and an epic come-from-behind 3-2 victory against Canada in the quarterfinals, but their Cinderella story couldn’t stretch to getting them to the final.
Mexico dominated possession form the opening whistle – with 76% of it in the first half – but Haitian goalkeeper Jhony Placide was in fine form to keep El Tri off the board. His best save of the half came against Raúl Jiménez, when he made a diving stop to keep out the header.
The 2019 Gold Cup continues this Tuesday with the first semifinal, where Mexico will be facing an unexpected opponent: Haiti.
Haiti made history on Saturday night with a come-from-behind 3-2 victory against Canada in the quarterfinals, putting them into the semifinals for the first time. They’ll be looking for another huge upset in this one as they set their sights on reaching the final.
It went all the way to penalties, but in the end Mexico won their 2019 Gold Cup quarterfinal against Costa Rica, beating the Ticos 5-4 in the shootout after a 1-1 draw in regulation.
The game started off fairly evenly, with neither team able to dominate. There were scattered chances at both ends, but few clear-cut opportunities, with the rhythm of the game frequently interrupted by fouls: a total of 12 yellow cards were issued during the game, 10 to players and one to each coach.
The knockout rounds of the 2019 Gold Cup begin this weekend with the quarterfinals. Mexico won Group A with a perfect 3-0-0 record and will now take on Costa Rica, the Group B runner-up, on Saturday night in Houston.
Costa Rica opened their Gold Cup with a pair of victories against Nicaragua and Bermuda before suffering a surprise loss to Haiti in the final Group B game, while Mexico beat Cuba, Canada, and Martinique in Group A play.
Mexico and Costa Rica last met in the quarterfinals in the 2015 Gold Cup, where El Tri advanced in extremely controversial circumstances after being awarded a penalty kick in the final minute of stoppage time in the second half of extra time; Andrés Guardado scored the PK to eliminate Costa Rica.
It was more of a fight than Mexico was likely expecting, but in the end El Tri picked up a 3-2 victory over Martinique to win Group A with a perfect 3-0-0 record.
With advancement all-but-assured, Tata Martino made six changes to the starting XI that beat Canada on Wednesday; nevertheless, Mexico controlled possession for most of the game. In the 29th minute, Uriel Antuna continued his breakout performance as he cut in to the top of the box and sent a low shot into the corner to make it 1-0 for El Tri with his fourth goal of the tournament.
Mexico wraps up the group stage of the Gold Cup with a match against Martinique. El Tri is currently sitting in first place in Group A with six points after victories against Canada and Cuba, and they’ll look to post a third straight win here.
Martinique has a chance to advance if they can get a positive result here, depending on the result of the Canada/Cuba clash, but getting even a draw will be a tough task against one of the tournament favorites.