After a surprising tournament, Mexico will face their most important match when they face Honduras in the Semifinals of the 2019 Pan American games in Lima. While Coach Jaime Lozano wasn’t able to bring their most talented squad to the tournament, they surprisingly won the group after failing to get a win in their opening match against Panama. Mexico will now face a tough Honduras side, who also surprised by getting to the knockout stages over hosts Peru but finished their group stage participation with a tough loss against Uruguay.
Mexico seemed to have a tough task coming into the Pan American games. Because of the start of the Liga MX season, many teams didn’t lend players to Coach Jaime Lozano, so he apparently had to come to the tournament with a weaker squad tan the one he went to the 2019 Toulon Tournament, where Mexico finished in third place. Things didn’t get better when they failed to get a win in their opening match versus Panama despite having a last minute penalty that forward Jesus Godinez missed. Things didn’t look good in their second game when with the scored tied at a goal apiece against favorite Argentina, Ismael Govea got red carded in the final minute of the first half. With everything against them, Mexico played the best 45 minutes under Jaime Lozano, and led by a great performance from Godinez, Mexico got the 2-1 win after Godinez converted a penalty kick in a very deserved win. In their final game, Mexico faced an Ecuador team that were coming back from a third-place finish in the U-20 World Cup and won 2-0 with another good defensive display.
Honduras, like Mexico, also had a surprising tournament. While nobody expected them to get out of the group, they got a comeback win against Jamaica by a 3-1 score. They then faced the hosts Peru, and went down 2-0, even-though to most fans they were the better side throughout the game. In extra time, they had an even bigger comeback when they tied the score twice after the 90 minutes, including in the final play of the game. The 2-2 draw put destiny in Honduras’s hands, and with just a draw in their final match against Uruguay, they would be through to the next round. Against Uruguay, however, Honduras crumbled and lost by a score of 3-0. The win gave Peru a chance to advance over Honduras with a win, but the struggling hosts lost 2-0 to Jamaica, giving Honduras their ticket to the next stage.
Mexico should be favored against Honduras, but it will be a really tough match. Although Mexico got two victories against tougher CONMEBOL opposition, the ghosts from their opener against Panama could rise again. Honduras should be tough physical side, and will probably use the same defensive style that Panama employed, as opposed to the attacking style that both Argentina and Ecuador showed. Unlike those teams, Honduras is a CONCACAF rival whose style might complicate Mexico a lot, especially a team coached by Lozano, who is still relatively inexperienced.
Finally, with both teams having strong chances of facing each other in the CONCACAF Olympic qualifiers, there is an added importance for both set of sides.
Date: Wednesday, August 7
Time: 3:30pm Pacific, 5:30pm Central, 7:30pm Eastern
Venue: Estadio Universidad San Marcos, Lima, Peru
TV: ESPN Deportes (US-Español)
Listings via LiveSoccerTV.com