Mexico announced their first friendly next November when they play against South Korea in Austria. The match will take place on November 14th, the biggest day of the year, which has nothing to do with it being my birthday. No word yet on the federation if that had any part of the decision for the game to take place in that date. The match will be the first for Gerardo Martino with an AFC Nation, and will be the first match with South Korea since meeting in the 2018 World Cup, where Mexico defeated South Korea 2-1. Days later South Korea beat Germany, in a result that helped Mexico to get to the Round of 16, which gave the world images of Mexicans celebrating with South Korea nationals in a grateful fashion.
Gerardo Torrado, sports director of the National Team, had announced that Mexico will play two more friendlies in Europe in the November FIFA Date window. While he didn’t give names, most of the press announced that they were looking to play against Japan and Qatar. Early on Monday, South Korea had announced they would be traveling to Austria in November to hold a training camp and have two games. That same day, the National Team announced they would play against South Korea on November 14th in Austria but they didn’t announce on which venue. There is no word yet on which side they will play in the second match, although it guarantees that Mexico will not face a European team in this tour. UEFA will be playing two Nations League game that weekend and most sides already had friendlies set up for the free day of November 11th. Only the teams that lost their UEFA playoffs matches had a free date, and apparently Mexico didn’t reach an agreement with any of the sides since Mexico playing on November 14th means they will not be playing on November 11th.
Mexico will play on November 14th which is a date that has given Mexico some very different results. Mexico last played a friendly match in Europe in that date when they faced Spain in Spain and lost by a score of 1-0 in 2001. Mexico had a good performance before losing to a goal by Raul in a match that was an afterthought for most fans as they had beaten Honduras days before to qualify to the 2002 World Cup in the match that had “saved” Mexican football.
Yet a year ago, Mexico had a big moment on November 14th although it was on the youth level. In 2019, Mexico shocked the rising Netherlands team to tie them in the U17 World Cup Semifinal by a score of 1-1. They then went on to win the penalty shootout 4-3 to get to the U17 World Cup final. Unfortunately they lost to the host Brazil, but still got an incredible result of getting to second place in a tournament where they were far from the favorites to win.
Mexico will have a new friendly in Europe on November 14th in which hopefully they give a performance like 2019. In a strange coincidence, Mexico had to play against South Korea in the Quarterfinals match (which they won by just a 1-0 score) to get to play the Dutch, so not only is the match a “rematch” against Mexico for the 2018 World Cup but the 2019 U17 World Cup too.
Mexico will have a tough friendly match against South Korea. South Korea is a team that gives Mexico some trouble because of their speed and strong physical condition. Mexico have a two game winning streak in the senior team and were the better team in 2018, but it will be a good test for the team. Hopefully they can bring a good performance and more importantly, not ruin my birthday.