And so, the first objective is complete for Juan Carlos Osorio and the Mexico national team. After a 2-0 win over Jamaica, El Tri sealed their place in the quarterfinals of the Copa America Centenario. Now, Mexico will look to top Group C as they take on Venezuela at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.
Much of the work has already been done for El Tri and a draw would be enough for Mexico to clinch first place in the group. Venezuela, however, are on something of a fairy tale run. La Vinotinto opened their Copa America with a win over Jamaica and then shocked Uruguay to knock them out of the competition.
As such, Mexico should not expect an easy task against Venezuela. For the third game in a row, Juan Carlos Osorio is expected to rotate his squad and could be tempted to rest several of his starting players. The pitch will also play a factor after the conditions of the NRG Stadium field were less than appropriate for Saturday's Copa America game between Colombia and Costa Rica.
Nonetheless, the return of Andres Guardado from suspension will be a welcomed boost for El Tri in this game and going forward. The Mexican captain was highly missed during Mexico's tame victory over the Reggae Boyz and we could see his return on Monday night.
Of course, the main concern for Mexico in this game is to avoid a potential quarterfinal matchup with Argentina. When Lionel Messi turns in the kind of performance we saw during Argentina's 5-0 thumping of Panama, there are only a few teams capable of matching up with La Albiceleste. Juan Carlos Osorio and Mexico will know that.
Match date/time: Monday 8pm EST, 7pm local
Venue: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
TV: Univision (US - Spanish), Univision Deportes Network (US- Spanish), Fox Sports 1 (US-English), Azteca 7 (Mexico), UnivisionTDN (Mexico), TDN (Mexico), Sky HD (Mexico), Canal 5 Televisa (Mexico)
Radio: Futbol de Primera