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Mexico beat Venezuela 3-1 in Gold Cup tune-up

Soccer: Venezuela at Mexico Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Goals from Roberto Alvarado, Rodolfo Pizarro and Andres Guardado steered Mexico on their way to a 3-1 win over Venezuela in El Tri’s penultimate friendly ahead of the 2019 Gold Cup.

The result left a feeling of satisfaction for El Tri fans, but the injury bug once again reared its ugly head as Edson Alvarez had to leave the match early in the game with a suspected knee injury.

Jhon Murillo fired Venezuela ahead after only 18 minutes when what appeared to be a bad cross found the crossbar and bounced into the back of the net.

Mexico piled on the pressure after falling behind and came close to drawing level when Roberto Alvarado twice came within inches of scoring.

Things soon went from bad to worse for El Tri when Edson Alvarez had to leave the match with a knee injury, potentially stripping coach Gerardo Martino of one of his most important players for the Gold Cup.

While Mexico players were still reeling from Edson Alvarez’s injury, a rebound inside the box fell to Roberto Alvarado, who smashed the ball past Wuilker Fariñez to put the score at 1-1.

With both teams going into the break leveled, it wouldn’t take long for Mexico to carve open the Venezuela defense a second time. From a breakaway off a Venezuela corner kick, Rodolfo Pizarro fired in an opportunist finish to give Mexico the lead.

Raul Jimenez almost sealed the contest moments later when he had an opportunity denied from point-blank range.

But second half substituted Andres Guardado would be the one in charge of putting the game away after a lovely play from Uriel Antuna down the right wing finished with Guardado placing a shot into the bottom corner of the net.

Mexico will now take on Ecuador on Sunday in their final friendly ahead of the start of the Gold Cup, where they will make their debut against Cuba on June 15.