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Three takeaways: Effective but not pretty, Mexico beat Iceland

Soccer: Mexico vs Iceland Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t pretty, but thanks to a brace from Miguel Layun, El Tri was able to defeat Iceland 3-0 on Friday. Here are three quick takeaways from Mexico’s win over the Vikings.

Mexico win but some problems remain

Juan Carlos Osorio tried to balance caution by playing Miguel Layun and Andres Guardado in the middle of the pitch in hope of covering for Marco Fabian in an attacking role. It was a fine theory, but more often than not, Fabian was left stranded in a sea of blue shirts. Fabian never looked eager to get involved, and barring a singe play midway through the first half, Mexico’s game in between lines was nonexistent.

Of course, Marco Fabian went on to score a golazo that put him firmly in the picture of Russia 2018, but this has been recurring problem for the Mexico national team. There never seems to be that little bit of thrust to propel El Tri from a possession-based side to a side that makes opponents nervous.

Diego Reyes a ghost in the midfield

Juan Carlos Osorio has preferred Diego Reyes in the defensive midfielder role not for his ball-carrying ability but for his physical presence. It’s great to see Mexico can match physically with just about any team, but you get the feeling that sometimes using Reyes as a midfielder is more of a liability than an advantage. Reyes never really gets on the ball well as a midfielder, and if he is there for his physical presence, then Mexico were lucky that Iceland didn't’t have the type of player capable of running at him. The flaw in Osorio’s plan is quite simple, Diego Reyes is not a midfielder.

Players trust the process

The execution hasn’t always been perfect, but there is no doubting the commitment and belief the Mexican players have in their coach. It’s easy to point out all the bad things about this team, but the fact of the matter is they are getting the results they need. They have been more ruthless than brilliant, and that’s enough to make some of them dream.