FINAL SCORE, Mexico 0, Croatia 1: In a game riddled with injuries, the Mexico national team fell 1-0 to Croatia. The only goal of the match was scored in the 62nd minute when Ivan Rakitic fired the Croatians into the lead following a silly foul from Miguel Layun. The game, though, was marred by injuries to Nestor Araujo, Diego Reyes and Carlos Salcedo. Araujo seemed to have got the worst of it and is pending an MRI to determine the severity of his injury. El Tri’s next game will be on May 28 against Wales, where by then Juan Carlos Osorio will have released the 23 players that will represent Mexico in Russia 2018.
Mexico 0, Croatia 1: Silly penalty by Miguel Layun, and Ivan Rakitic makes no mistake from the spot to give Croatia the lead.
#FechaFIFA: ¡GOOOOL! Ivan Rakitic abre el marcador desde los 11 pasos. Muy cerca Ochoa de pararlo.@miseleccionmx 0-1 @HNS_CFF #SoyMéxico #MEXvsCRO pic.twitter.com/XHEEeRGReS— Univision Deportes (@UnivisionSports) March 28, 2018
Halftime Update: Nightmare first half for El Tri, as Nestor Araujo leaves the field with what looks like a serious injury to his left knee. Mexico were thoroughly outplayed after the incident and are lucky to go into the break leveled. Wholesale changes are expected in the second half, with Juan Carlos Osorio stating before the game he could use this match to play some of his youngsters.
How To Watch
Date: Tuesday, March 27
Time: 7:00pm Pacific, 9:00pm Central, 10:00pm Eastern
Venue: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas, United States
TV: Univision Deportes Network(US - Spanish), UniMas (US- Spanish), FOX Sports 1 (US- English), Televisa Deportes Network (Mexico), UnivisionTDN (Mexico), Azteca 7 (Mexico)
Streaming: fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription), FOX Sports GO, Univision NOW
#MEXvCRO | Our Starting XI in Dallas. ⚽️❤️#SoyMéxico | #MEXTOUR pic.twitter.com/CfURBbAZJE— Mexican National Team (@miseleccionmxEN) March 28, 2018
#Croatia starting lineup against @miseleccionmx in Dallas!#BeProud #Family #MEXCRO #Vatreni pic.twitter.com/RI4Z6nVipP— HNS | CFF (@HNS_CFF) March 28, 2018
El Tri returns to the Lone Star State for the second time this year for a bought with a Croatia team that they overcame in a hard-fought, entertaining matchup at the 2014 World Cup. With only 80 days left until Mexico kicks off its quarterfinal-seeking campaign in Russia, the Aztecs have only a limited number of chances left to fix some problems on the field and focus on a consistency that was once thrived on by El Tri. Unfortunately for Juan Carlos Osorio, he will not have much of his desired midfield thanks to a long list of injuries that most recently includes Jesus Manuel Corona, whose right ankle injury will supposedly keep him out of the game against the Vatreni, according to multiple reports.
Players to Watch: With Croatia sending many of their stars back to their clubs early ahead of this game, to Osorio’s reluctance, the Mexico boss mentioned more playing time could be coming toward some of the younger players. So keep an eye on Omar Govea and Jonathan Gonzalez, who might see more minutes due to Mexico’s lack of depth at the midfield position. Both players only have a handful of minutes playing in the green-and-white uniforms and will be looking to start their first international match and further impress.
It’s been a strange international break for Croatia. After disappointing against Peru en route to a 2-0 loss, they sent back almost all their stars and don’t seem to want to be as competitive as Mexico. This will be the Blazers’ second friendly out of four ahead of the World Cup. A win, while unlikely, would strengthen the team’s morale by winning without their stars against a quality opponent in Mexico.
Player to Watch: With Croatian and Real Madrid superstar Luka Modric out of the squad, as well as Perisic and Brozovic, the time is now for Modric’s teammate Mateo Kovacic to show off his talents. Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic will be calling the shots in the middle, but Kovacic will get a rare chance to be in the starting lineup. Once upon a time, the sky was the limit for the Dinamo Zagreb prospect, who was dubbed the second coming of the aforementioned Modric. He’s slowed down since his 35 million euro move to Los Blancos, but now has the chance to get back on the national stage for his country.