Mexico and Honduras played to scoreless draw at the Estadio Azteca on Tuesday night to close out the World Cup Qualifiers prior to the hex.
The first half lacked in action from both sides, with Honduras getting opportunities to play in Mexico’s half. Mexico’s backline had some trouble containing the Honduran attack. Diego Reyes, joining Juan Carlos Osorio’s starting 11 after completing his move to Espanyol from Porto, had a rough night in general. Reyes’ positioning was off as well as a few errant passes that led to Honduran counters.
On the offensive side of the ball, Javier Aquino worked industriously on his flank to produce chances. He and Ángel Zaldívar nearly gave Mexico the lead in the 37th minute when Zaldívar’s shot forced a save from Honduran goalkeeper Donis Escober. Zaldívar would jump on another opportunity in the 84th minute when Escober bobbled a save.
Mexican passing was not sharp early on but improved in the second half with Guardado and Herrera distributing well. Even with sustained possession and the insertion of Hirving Lozano and Orbelín Pineda, Mexico couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net.
Juan Carlos Osorio will now have to prepare his team for the upcoming hex games, starting with a November 11th game against the United States on American soil.
Man of the Match: Ángel Zaldívar
Ángel Zaldívar conducted himself as an efficient opportunist on the pitch and was nearly rewarded for his alert play on a couple of occasions. While limited in touches throughout the 90 minutes, he worked well with Aquino up front to make the most of what they had against the Honduran defense. The youngster certainly did well in the face of a spell where Mexico’s options were relatively depleted. The serviceable effort proves him as a viable option in the future on the senior national team.
Here are the ratings for the entire Tuesday night squad:
Alfredo Talavera: 7
Héctor Moreno: 7
Hugo Ayala: 7
Jesús Dueñas: 7
Miguel Layún: 6.5
Héctor Herrera: 6
Diego Reyes: 4
Andrés Guardado: 6.5
Ángel Zaldívar: 7.5
Javier Aquino: 7.5
Ángel Sepúlveda: 6
Hirving Lozano: 5
Orbelín Pineda: 6
Elias Hernández: 6