Mexico confirmed expectations in their second game as they lost 3-2 against England. Mexico were largely outclassed and continued their pattern of completely wasting the first half, although this time their lackluster play continued until the 65th minute as they went down 3-0. A Diego Lainez goal as well as the hot climate that started to impair the English team turned the tide and Mexico dominated play in the final minutes but not enough to get the point.
The defeat has Mexico with one point and will now face Chile on Saturday. Chile lost against Iraq and will be going in almost eliminated and with a -7 goal differential. Since the top four third-placed teams get to go to the next round, as well as Iraq facing England, Mexico's will have to play for the win or risk going out in the first round in what would be a devastating failure to a tournament that has been a disappointment so far.
Mexico was coming in against England, the best team in Group D, with the need to improve after a disappointing performance against Iraq, but it looked to be more of the same. Jairo Torres once again had a lackluster game and England was able to take complete control of the game. Roberto de la Rosa also failed to improve from the Iraq game. Rhian Brewster missed a wide open chance but then had a great free kick goal to open the scoring. Besides an individual play by Lainez, that De La Rosa blew, Mexico didn't have a clear chance in the first half..
The second half was supposed to have Mexico improve their play as the conditions grew hotter but it was a continuation of their bad first half. Minutes after it started, the Mexican defense left Philip Foden wide open in the area, and with a great shot he placed the 2-0. Later a controversial handball call gave England a penalty that their star Jaden Sancho converted.
England looked to be in complete control but against the run of play, Lainez was able to steal a ball in midfield, get the shot off as it deflected into the net. The goal changed the game and Lainez, like he had done against Iraq, stood out and took the team on his back, becoming a nightmare for the tired English defense. A great shot by him got deflected into the path of De la Rosa, who returned to Lainez for him to score.
Mexico kept the pressure and won the support of the fans in the stadium but it wasn't enough and Mexico failed to equalize.
Mexico will now face a do or die game against Chile. Mexico will need a win to get through but can get solace in the fact that Chile's tournament performance has been a disaster so far with a 4-0 and 3-0 loss. Mexico needs to improve a lot and to finally hit the ground running. Coach Mario Arteaga has done a terrible job of creating a balanced team so far in the competition and has relied on Lainez’s talent. The main problems of the team has been the defensive core, which improved somewhat against England because of the inclusion of Luis Olivas instead of Alan Meade. But what might make the team improve the most would be a return to form of Jairo Torres and Roberto de la Rosa, both of which have the most expectations. Daniel Lopez, who normally isn't as highly regarded as De La Rosa but was the leading scorer of the team in the WC qualifiers, also needs to step up as goal differential might be key to get to a second place spot or to be one of the top third place teams.