Rotated players fail to impress as Mexico lose to Qatar

Mexico’s interim coach Jaime “Jimmy” Lozano took his first major risk with a changed starting XI in Sunday’s group stage as the Gold Cup drew to a close, and in return, they suffered their first defeat since losing 1-0 to Qatar.

With a place in the tournament’s knockout rounds already assured through two wins in the group stage—a 3–1 win against Haiti and a 4–0 victory against Honduras, Lozano made six changes to his XI. Rotated.

On paper, one could forgive the manager for doing this. The 44-year-old wanted to break out some of his usual starters and, in the process, also have the opportunity to give minutes to backups. Despite being familiar with a strong core of the roster that he previously led at the 2020 Olympics, the coach was still trying to piece everything together after being hired just days before the start of the Gold Cup.

Lozano said of his changes after the match, “It was about looking at the other players, resting (some of the starting players), as well as being careful with the few (yellow) cards we had.” After two consecutive games with the same lineup, Lozano was brought on. Santiago Jimenez, oziel herrera, Carlos RodriguezGerard Arteaga, Israel Kings and Julian Araújo,

And to be fair to Lozano, it wasn’t as if his changes failed to create chances for Mexico in the final third.

While Qatar only needed one shot to score which came from a defensive error Three, Lozano’s players totaled 25 attempts on goal with an xG of 2.27. For Qatar, he earned a tally of only 0.05, yet won the match.

“There were very, very clear chances, from Santi (Jimenez), from Edson (Alvarez), not even sure if it was Diego (Lenez) or someone else there. I think five, six very, very clear chances. Which I’m sure would have happened in any other game, and today in the end, we lost,” Lozano said.

The players should also get some blame for the defeat. Lozano, whether it was through his 4-3-3 setup or his desperate changes in the second half that threw literally every forward option on the pitch from midfield and the bench, gave his players at least one Did everything in his power to inspire. equalizer. Despite this, a total of 19 shots were seen from inside Qatar’s 18-yard box, not even one Three The player was able to find the back of the net.

Defensively, the only goal allowed was a gift to Qatar in the 27th minute, with Mexico’s backline in disarray. With two central defenders, Álvarez and Reyes, out of position, Qatar easily got into the final third after intercepting a ball from Álvarez. Right-back Araújo had two players to mark the cross, but he backtracked awkwardly, giving Hajime Shehata a golden opportunity to connect with the ball with a header. Goalkeeper and captain Guillermo Ochoa didn’t have the pace he had in his youth, yet he wasn’t quick enough to stop it.

“That goal, definitely wouldn’t have happened in one club (situation),” Lozano said. “These defensive questions and defensive zones are very practical, it’s something we focus on a lot as a coaching staff.”

And yet, it was Lozano who decided to take that risk. Having already claimed a spot in the knockout rounds, it’s understandable to want to mix things up as effectively group winners because of their goal difference, but there’s no real room for experimentation when you’ve got to start the Gold Cup. The work was given in the following week itself.

For the pessimists and skeptics, there is an argument to be made for sticking with the best XI during the tournament and achieving whatever adjustments can be made along the way. As unfair as it is for Lozano, the hopes and expectations of those in charge of the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) will be the Gold Cup title. Even if there is limited time to prepare with their new coach, Three When you consider that fellow title-contenders Canada and the United States sent “B” teams to the tournament, you have to be the favorite.

keywords there: Needed Be a favourite. Gold Cup winners need depth, and on Sunday, most if not all of the substitute players failed to make a good claim for themselves. Araújo, Reyes, Rodríguez and Jiménez were all highly suspicious of their decision-making and effectiveness. Herrera and Arteaga were better overall, but it was Arteaga who ended up as the lone backup who can claim he took his chance.

Elsewhere in the XI, there were worrying moments even from ordinary starters like Luis Romo, orbelin pinedaAlvarez and Ochoa.

However, going ahead, the big question now is whether this is just a storm in a tea cup. We also can’t forget that Lozano is only here because of the Mexican football structure which is in trouble. issues seen with Three Gold Cup and much beyond 2023. Now, Lozano has a tough job of changing that narrative as he enters the knockout rounds.

Mexico has five days to prepare for the quarterfinals — the opponent will be discovered on Tuesday — Three Will need to bounce back. Crisis or not, ambitions are high for one of the heavyweights of CONCACAF who have made at least the semi-finals in the last eight editions of the tournament.

Mexico are also in dire need of a regional trophy, after recently losing to the more dominant US men’s national team in a 3-0 loss in the CONCACAF Nations League semi-finals last month.

Click to rate this post!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]